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Can Dyshidrosis Spread?

Dyshidrosis (aka pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema) can be a tricky condition to get rid of, but can it spread further over the body if it’s not managed?

Dyshidrosis is a form of eczema that affects the hands and feet, manifesting with intensely itchy blisters that eventually dry up and can lead to the skin cracking. It often appears on the sides of fingers or toes, and a mild case will go no further.

However, if it doesn’t improve, or is further aggravated, it can spread to the palms of hands or the soles of the feet. In very severe cases, the blistering can also reach the back of hands or the top of feet.

Facts about Dyshidrosis

  • Dyshidrosis tends to cycle through different stages, from tiny blisters, to larger blisters, then drying up and flaking. The drying stage can be accompanied by stinging pain and broken or cracked skin.
  • The amount of skin affected can increase, from a small cluster of blisters to a wider patch of skin.
  • The blisters can get bigger, going from tiny pinhead blisters to much larger and more uncomfortable blisters.
  • The blisters can spread from fingers or toes to palms and soles, the back of the hands etc., but not beyond hands and feet.
  • Dyshidrosis isn’t contagious, and can’t spread from person to person.
  • Broken or scratched skin can get infected by yeasts or bacteria, which can in turn potentially spread to other areas of the body.
  • You can have dyshidrosis and atopic dermatitis (eczema) at the same time; eczema can affect a much wider area of the body than dyshidrosis.
  • Dyshidrosis only appears on the hands and feet, so however bad it gets there, it can’t affect your arms or chest.
  • Not everyone’s dyshidrosis follows the same pattern or is affected by the same triggers; many people will only experience a mildly itchy blistered rash on one or two toes or fingers, with no worsening of the condition. Some people will find their dyshidrosis gets much worse before they manage to get on top of it.

See our blog How Do You Get Rid Of Dyshidrotic Eczema? for more tips on treating the condition. 

From our range, we’d suggest washing your hands and feet with our Natural Shampoo & Body Wash, and moisturising your skin with Skin Salvation if it is very cracked and sore. If it is itchy but not broken, try our Cooling Cream to take the heat down a notch, or our tea tree-rich Scalp Oil to keep the area clean.

Recommended products:

Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax

Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender

Balmonds Scalp Oil
with tea tree, nettle, borage & rosemary

Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile

If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.

If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.

Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.

Posted on: Jan 14, 2021

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