Symptoms of Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of eczema (a group of skin disorders) that affects the hands and feet. More commonly known as dyshidrotic dermatitis or pompholyx, this skin condition causes itchy, small fluid-filled bumps on the palms of the hands, sides of the fingers, and soles of the feet.

It is a common skin condition that accounts for about 5% to 20% of all hand eczema cases. While preventing the rash is not always possible, identifying and avoiding triggers can reduce the incidence.

This article will discuss dyshidrotic dermatitis symptoms, complications, and when to seek a healthcare provider.

Eczema on hands

Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images

Frequent Symptoms

Dyshidrotic eczema is a skin condition that often starts with tiny fluid-filled bumps called vesicles on the palms of the hands, sides of the fingers, or soles of the feet. These small bumps, and the area around them, are incredibly itchy. In some cases, the itching can start before the bumps appear.

The bumps can last for two to three weeks. They may go away and never return, or the bumps can come and go, causing lasting itching and discomfort.

Here is a list of all the frequent dyshidrotic dermatitis symptoms:

  • Fluid-filled vesicles on the sides of the fingers, palms, or soles
  • Vesicles with a lumpy appearance
  • Intensely itchy skin
  • Dry, peeling skin
  • Redness

The rash may have several fluid-filled vesicles in one area with red, dry, peeling skin. The skin can become thickened and cracked in people with chronic dyshidrotic dermatitis.


With the intense itching caused by dyshidrotic eczema, there is a risk of developing a skin infection called a secondary infection. When someone scratches their skin, they may cause small openings or wounds where germs can enter and cause an infection.

If dyshidrotic eczema is accompanied by swelling, pus, or pain, contact a healthcare provider to ensure the condition has not progressed into a skin infection.

A 2015 study showed that people with dyshidrotic eczema were at a higher risk for developing herpes zoster (shingles).

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Dyshidrotic eczema can be a very uncomfortable rash that can make it hard to perform daily activities or sleep. If the rash interferes with your life, it is time to contact a healthcare provider.

If the rash appears to be infected or is accompanied by a fever, pain, or discharge, then it is also time to contact a healthcare provider.


Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of eczema that is found on the hands and/or feet. It is characterized by small fluid-filled bumps, redness, and significant itching. The rash can take several weeks to resolve and cause dry, peeling skin in place of the fluid-filled bumps. A healthcare provider can help identify a person's triggers and develop a treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms.

A Word From Verywell

Dyshidrotic eczema is a very uncomfortable skin rash that can interfere with your life. If the symptoms are making daily activities difficult, contact your healthcare provider. There are over-the-counter and prescription medications that can relieve itching and pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long does dyshidrotic dermatitis last?

    Dyshidrotic dermatitis generally lasts for three weeks. Some people may never have the rash again, whereas others can experience it several times.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. BMJ Best Practice. Dyshidrotic dermatitis.

  2. Calle Sarmiento PM, Chango Azanza JJ. Dyshidrotic eczema: a common cause of palmar dermatitisCureus. 12(10):e10839. doi:10.7759/cureus.10839

  3. MedlinePlus. Skin infection.

  4. Hsu CY, Wang YC, Kao CH. Dyshidrosis is a risk factor for herpes zosterJ Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015;29(11):2177-2183. doi:10.1111/jdv.13175

By Patty Weasler, RN, BSN
Patty is a registered nurse with over a decade of experience in pediatric critical care. Her passion is writing health and wellness content that anyone can understand and use.