Dyshidrotic Eczema: A Malady of Concerning Cause and Effect


I’ve been working on writing a blog about this for quite some time now.  My time, however, has been occupied mostly by trying to juggle being a “new to two” mother.  I’ve revised this blog post over and over again.  Frankly, I’m tired of revising it during the short time frames in which I both have free time to write and am also not tired enough to watch some Netflix instead.  So, here is a combination of what I’ve written over the past few months about my hands.  My witchy, wrinkly, crusty, itchy hands.  I’m also extremely SICK of having to talk about these hands.  I’m kind of getting used to dealing with them, really.  Fuck these hands.  Here are some exerts from my continuous stream of writing:


Tomorrow my lover and I plan to work. To work our job, we’ll need to photograph items to post for sale on Ebay. Tomorrow, I’ll be using a new set of hands to work with.  For the past three months I have been struggling with an excruciating, debilitating case of dyshidrotic eczema. The fingers of my hands were so laden with this oozing, crusty, flaky, bleedy, itchy ailment that just a month ago, I could barely hold my newborn son.

I was a slave to white cotton gloves, petroleum jelly, Coconut Oil, Dial antibacterial soap and off brand Neosporin. I was a creature of an unwanted yet necessary routine:

Disinfect hands with dial soap.

Coat in Neosporin.

Coat again in White Petroleum Jelly.

Wrap in White Cotton Gloves.

Don’t scratch.

Don’t touch anything.

The last on the list, “Don’t touch anything” was the hardest step of my regimented routine. I have a newborn son, Harper Tribann. He will be fourteen weeks old this Sunday. How can a Mother not TOUCH her newborn son??? The severity of my hand eczema was so intense that it was physically painful for me to hold him. He needed me.  I was distraught.

I have been through one of the most intensely painful, insanely stressful, psychological challenges of my life over the past few months. I’ve been struggling with severe eczema on both of my hands. It is painful. It is itchy. It is crackly and peely and oozy and crusty and not very socially acceptable. I’ve been stewing on how to write about this topic. At first, I thought about writing a raging blog of blame. A blog to release my outrage onto our twisted standards of normality. I wanted to blame something, someone for my ailment.

I have tried to write about how my hand eczema (dyshidrosis) has affected me, several times over the past few weeks. I’ve started typing, and couldn’t finish because I wasn’t completely healed, and therefore felt the story I was writing had no end. I finally feel comfortable enough now to feel as if the end of suffering is near. My hands, I feel, have regenerated themselves. I am convinced that the skin on my fingers has been reborn. I have baby soft, newly evolved finger skin 🙂 You can’t imagine how happy it makes me feel to be able to say that.  They aren’t pretty…but they are diamonds as compared to their former coal state.

Am I fully in the clear? No. Not by a long shot. I still have to continue a regular routine of hydration. My hands have to be moisturized pretty much at all times. Just like a baby’s skin…my hands require constant attention.

In my journey, I’ve learned to be glad that I was able to heal with the minimal use of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are routinely prescribed as treatment for eczema sufferers. They have many side effects (scary ones…like  steroid psychosis). Read into the side effects of corticosteroids for yourself, and you’ll see why their minimal usage is the golden goose of this story.  For example:

Below Source: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corticosteroid

Corticosteroids are a class of chemicals that includes steroid hormones naturally produced in the adrenal cortex of vertebrates and analogues of these hormones that are synthesized in laboratories. Corticosteroids are involved in a wide range of physiological processes, including stress response, immune response, and regulation of inflammation, carbohydrate metabolism, protein catabolism, blood electrolyte levels, and behavior.

It’s got electrolytes.  Perfect example of how poisoned we are.


Synthetic pharmaceutical drugs with corticosteroid-like effects are used in a variety of conditions, ranging from brain tumors to skin diseases.

 Corticosteroids have been widely used in treating people with traumatic brain injury.

 First known use was in 1944.

 Side effects such as cutaneous addiction with the development of uncomfortable and unsightly dermatoses, can occur with just one 15 g (!!!) tube of moderate steroid over a period of one year.

I have used a HELL OF A LOT MORE than a 15g tube in a year’s time. Just to let you in on just how severe an outbreak I had, I currently hold a prescription for TWO 60 g tubes of steroid creme.  Corticosteroids are SCARY and should be avoided at all costs.  I believe that the “unsightly dermatoses” that was listed as a side effect to overuse/addiction explains a lot about the severity of my last outbreak.

Need another example why I’m ANTI-CORTICOSTERIOID?

Use of corticosteroids has several severe side-effects as for example: steroid psychosis,[19] hyperglycemia,[20] insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus,[20] osteoporosis, cataract, anxiety,[20] depression, colitis, hypertension, ictus, erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, amenorrhoea, and retinopathy.

The choices that the dermatologist, general practitioner and allergist gave me as treatment options were:

A.) corticosteroid prescriptions, including topical cremes and Prednisone.

B.) Suffer through it and use lots of lotion.

I won’t be able to write about all of the stages of psychological distress I went through during the healing process. There are too many tales to tell.  In short, I chose option B, with a few relapses out of painful desperation to option A.

 The best way that I can show you a glimpse into my mind during the healing process is to simply share with you a few of my thoughts . They may seem a bit psychotic to you… That is, if you have never had to deal with eczema. If you suffer from this ailment on any level, chances are you can connect to some of the thoughts that ran through my head through the depths of this skin disease.  Or maybe I just took one too many corticosteroid treatments before I decided to stop using them? 🙂

 Here are a few of the things I remember thinking while my hands were at their worst.

 Dyshidrosis is a psychological disorder.

 Is dyshidrosis more commonly found in women with newborns?

 Is this a bacterial infection?

Will I ever be able to use my hands the same way again?

Did gardening without gloves, combined with the lack of antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizer in our home cause this?  (AKA:  was I too much of a hippy?)

Is this a sanitation issue? (My Mother thought it was).

 Has this ailment caused me to connect less with my baby (ex: not holding him enough because it hurts to use my hands to hold him), and therefore caused me to produce less breast milk?

Is there a link between eczema and fungal infections? Why do my fingernails look so disgusting?

 I felt as if my stress was pouring out of my hands. My hands were itching with the force of fire. When an itching episode would emerge, it was as if I could feel the disease writhing through my bloodstream.

 I was in agony.

 Was I suffering from a side effect of the corticosteroids of my past? Was I dealing with the worst eczema outbreak of my life because of prescription medications that numerous doctors had prescribed me? I have no other logical answers.

Of course, the answer to my dilemma changed over time. I was so ready to have an answer to my ailment that each thing that seemed logical was instantly roped and pulley-d to the top of the reasoning flagpole.

I arrived at the following conclusions that I was satisfied with for a limited amount of time on my journey:

There’s something funky in our kitchen towels.

I am allergic to Charlie’s Soap.

I have a bacterial infection.

I have a gluten allergy.

Our food system has poisoned me.

I’m allergic to pretty much every modern day skin product.

I am allergic to water ( sounds hilarious, right? It felt true at the time. Trust me.)

(The majority of these false(?) conclusions were arrived at due to the placement of the eczema on my hands. It extended over my fingertips and to my knuckles on each and every finger except my thumbs.)

We live in a toxic world.”  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Aaron make this comment since we’ve been married.

I’ve struggled with eczema since childhood. It was always controllable in my youth.  In my adulthood, it has steadily worsened. My eczema has most recently been a vicious beast. A beast who seeps through your skin in the form of water blisters that itch until you scratch them open. If you abstain from scratching, they will often do the task of bursting open for you. Once they are open, they begin to spread their ooze all over your skin. Growing like a culture in a petri dish. The itching is unbearable, so you eventually scratch. The beast has got you now!!!! Once you scratch, the skin is an open sore. The skin begins to crack and if you’re not careful, it will begin to bleed, while oozing and scratching. My own painful, cruel, outbreak.

The past few months, my eczema was the worst it has been in my life. My fingers were swollen with edema, covered in ooze and were so cracked and bleeding that I couldn’t even straighten them or form a fist. They were only comfortable in a mannequin-like pose. Fingers slightly apart and slightly curved. I could no longer do household chores around the house. I couldn’t open the juice container to refill Zen’s juice cup. I couldn’t change Tribann’s diaper without pausing to retain mind over matter when he grabbed one of my fingers or kicked another. Doing dishes was out of the question. Putting up laundry could not even be accomplished without wearing gloves, for fear of dripping ooze all over the freshly washed clothes. If I decided to wear gloves to handle these chores anyway, the gloves would often STICK TO THE OOZE. I’d have to painfully pry the gloves off of my crust infested fingers, separating the dried ooze from the cotton fibers of the glove. It HURT. No way to cover up this predicament so that I could function. I was miserable.

Nice article to read, huh? Everyone loves the combination of the words “blood, ooze, scratching, painful and cracking” in more than one paragraph, right? Eczema is an ailment that most people do not want to talk about. If they have it, they shield it from the world. They don’t want others to see their socially unacceptable wounds. This is, at least, what I’ve heard from fellow eczema sufferers and have also experienced for myself.

For the past few weeks, I’ve stayed at home, keeping tasks at a minimum, trying to re-cooperate. Finally, last week, I decided that I was going to have to get out of the house and keep my mind off of this crap. I decided that I would take Zen and Tribann to the library’s story time.

When one wears white, cotton gloves out in public in the middle of July…the public eye glances when you aren’t looking. When you combine white gloves and a swollen, red, gypsy eye…the public eye studies you from afar behind whispers and curiosity. Can’t blame them.

When a few of the mothers asked me “What’s with the gloves?” I made jokes about having a job as a mime on the side. I told one woman that I was just feeling fancy that day. I followed up both of the jokes with “I have a severe eczema outbreak going on right now on my hands.” Each woman instantly began telling me about how someone they knew or loved had also struggled with this painful atopical dermatitis.

Soon, the question arose in my mind: How long has eczema been around? Has it gained steam since our soaps and cleaning products began being produced with chemical compounds we can’t pronounce? Do the preservatives and ingredients of our food that are 18 letters long have anything to do with this outbreak?  This is still a theory that I want to explore.

Eczema is, by the definition of Wikipedia, a “condition whose cause is unknown.”


After doing a bit of online research about Eczema, I discovered that there are multiple types. This is how I discovered “Dyshidrosis” or “Dyshidrotic Eczema.” FINALLY. I felt as if I had found the specific definition of what ails me. The photo struck a nerve. “There it is”, I thought.


Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyshidrosis

It is an acute, chronic, or recurrent dermatosis of the fingers, palms, and soles, characterized by a sudden onset of many deep-seated pruritic, clear vesicles; later, scaling, fissures and lichenification occur.”

Apparently this particular form is known as “dish pan hands” around the net, as well. Having this ailment is like being allergic to water. Water actually AGGRAVATES your hands into an outbreak. Luckily for me, I married Aquaman so that he can handle and control the water for me 🙂

  • Blisters may itch, cause pain, or produce no symptoms at all. They worsen after contact with soap, water, or irritating substances.

Aaron has been incredible. I repeat: INCREDIBLE during the healing process. He has stepped in to handle all of the household dishes, laundry and cleaning. Drool worthy, eh ladies?

I am convinced more and more each day that Aaron is my soulmate. He and I are so right for each other…it is a connection beyond this world. We were meant to meet (while playing pool in a bar). Our commonalities have always tipped the attraction meter. As a matter of fact, as soon as he and I spoke to each other the first time, a U2 song played on the bar jukebox. Neither one of us had selected this song. Shortly after the song started playing, he showed me his U2 tattoo 🙂 Our compatibility only grew from there. I love my husband. Want me to carry on with the mushy? I totally could. LOVE HIM! (for more reasons than the fact that he can hammer out some dishes and laundry, of course). I love him more and more each day, in a new way, through a new lens, in a different colored light.

On my “take ‘er easy” break, (thanks to Aaron), Slowly my hands began to heal. I sat on the couch like a princess with my hands doused in a creme the ladies at the front counter of the doctors office had recommend (Elta Tar). I watched as he HANDLED the task of being…well, pretty much a single Dad for about a week. (love him).  I watched as my hands began to heal.

There are many different factors that may trigger the outbreak of dyshidrosis such as allergens, physical and/or mental stress, or seasonal changes. “

During the healing process, I took a trip to a nurse practitioner. She, of course, tried to prescribe me corticosteroids. I am allergic to Cortisone, so it is a lose/lose battle for me to play that skin thinning game (skin thinning, being a side effect of long term use of corticosteroids). She tried to get me to accept a prescription for Prednisone. I denied it.

Aaron and I are convinced that stress (via many changes in our life at once) was the major cause of the outbreak. Mix this with chemical allergies, and you’ve got meat grinder hands. To avoid chronic outbreaks, I’ve been trying my best to keep my “mind right” and stay calm. I often tell myself to “Slow Down” and “Relax.” Practicing these methods of self control/calming have helped tremendously, but credit should also be lathered upon Aaron (again) for taking the majority of the stress away in the form of household duties. He also helped relieve lots of my stress in ahem other ways 😉 I’ve also begun a regimented process of using Cetaphil Lotion to wash my hands. I later up my hands with Cetaphil and then pat them dry on a hand towel. I do not wash my hands with water.  I wash them with Cetaphil. It has been working! (so far). These things, mixed with nighttime dips in Elta Tar and NO SCRATCHING has seemed to tame the beast.

All in all…I’m still pretty angry at the lack of quality, natural products our culture has to offer us. Why can’t I just use a SOAP to wash my hands, for cryin’ out loud!?!?! Why should I have to read the ingredients of EVERY beauty product I purchase? Why can’t soap be soap? *SIGH*.

We live in a toxic world!

On Monday of this week, I went to the allergist. I told him that I feared I may have a food allergy that was coming out in the form of eczema. I let him know that I believed I had dyshidrotic eczema. I showed him the Wiki article I had printed out and told him about how I had read that nickel, oatmeal and chocolate were suspected causes of the disorder. I asked him to test for every possible food allergy he could. He agreed to run a full panel on me.

I was pricked sixty times on my back.

Some of the pricks, I could immediately tell I was reactive to. I could feel an instant itch, almost like a mosquito bite. Others took awhile, but soon I could feel itching all across my back.

“Uh oh” I thought.

Uh oh was right. I was allergic to 19 out of 60 of the items included in the testing, including Milk, peanut, egg whites, Oat and dust mites….all listed in Wikipedia articles I’d read about eczema and dyshidrosis.


Allergic reactions of various kinds, including allergies to nickel which is present in many foods and vitamins (i.e. oatmeal, canned foods).[3] A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study by the University Medical Center Groningen reported that dyshidrosis outbreaks on the hands increased significantly among those allergic to house dust mites, following inhalation of house dust mite allergen.[4]

  • Ingestion of alcohol; the dehydrating effects of alcohol may exacerbate the severity of the fissures and cracking.

  • Inherited, not contagious. Often, patients will present with other types of dermatitis, such as Seborrhoeic dermatitis or atopic eczema. For this reason, among others, dyshidrosis is often dismissed as atopic eczema or contact dermatitis.

This Wednesday, I also took a trip to the dermatologist.  She was not open to discuss an answer to my question about a possible link between breastfeeding mothers and dyshidrosis.   She was methodical and impersonal and wrote me a script and was out the door. I was more or less DISMISSED.  I later learned, after having a conversation with her nurse, that eczema was the number one ailment of all of the patients who came into their practice for treatment.  I asked if she had noticed an increase in eczema sufferers in the past few years.  She agreed that yes, she had noticed more patients with eczema.

Dismissed by the ministry of health, and given option A vs. B, I’ve thankfully been able to discuss my thoughts, feelings and theories about dyshidrosis with a close friend of mine, who also suffered a debilitating bout about a year ago. She also had a newborn at the time. She had breastfeeding issues. She also rejected corticosteroids and attempted to walk the natural path.

I have battled the eczema swale in a paddle boat.

Here’s to hoping that I’m through the worst of the storm in this toxic world. I’ll keep paddling until some of my questions and theories are answered. It’s all I can do.

I took the following photos today, after moving mulch “earth” with Aaron. It had just begun raining. I often study my hands.  In today’s hand study, I noticed mica scattered all over my coal hands…sparkling in the new rain like diamonds.

IMG_2475IMG_2480 IMG_2482

These hands may still appear unhealthy to you.  You may be wondering why I feel as if the end of the healing process is near when I carry these hands.  Let this speak to you.  The hands you see in this photo are so much better now than they were before…enough so, in fact, that I’m happy to show them off.  I know they still aren’t picturesque or “normal”, but I also know that it is a relief to look down at these hands and not see something like they were before.  Below are a few images I pulled from the internet that are similar to what my hands looked like. The last, of which, is a pretty similar picture of how they were toward the end. Meat grinder hands.


I am also happy to report that my magical gypsy eye no longer looks something like this:

gypsy eye

(I did take photos of my hands and eye during the healing process.  They have been misplaced. Probably a good thing for you, the viewer.  I only hope that my description of them can create an even better visual picture.)


If you also suffer from this ailment…godspeed, my friend.  I recommend you visit an allergist.  After much trouble shooting, as an October update to the above writing, we’re fairly certain that dairy and peanuts are the main cause of my troubles.  I’ve unwillingly removed cheese, milk, sour cream, whey, (etc in the dairy products list) from my diet.  My hands are much happier about this.

A few times, I’ve eaten peanuts and have seen the ooze re-appear.

I still wonder if having a carpeted house has caused my dust mite allergy to erupt through my hands.

Is it a combination of my topical allergies and my diet?  I’m still on the road to discovery about that theory.  It is going to be a long, winding journey to get this ailment under control.  But at least, at this point, I can use my hands to type my story.


I ran across these images today on one of our external hard drives.  These were my hands toward the end of the healing process (not at their worst). Notice the pitting of the fingernails.  One of the evil endings to dealing with constantly itching fingers are pitted fingernails.  The dermatologist told me that fingernails such as these are common with eczema patients.  Notice also, the lack of cuticles and receeded nail beds.  That’s also a part of this beast.  Also:  when your fingernails begin to grow out, you can bet your ass that you’ll be without about half of your fingernail toward the middle of the process, because they’ll fall off or you’ll need to cut them off so that they don’t snag on your clothing, etc.  Such a horrible thing to endure.  Hopefully I’m well on my way to understanding this.

IMG_3248 IMG_3247 IMG_3245 IMG_3244 IMG_3243 IMG_3242 IMG_3241 IMG_3240 IMG_3239












And here’s what the stress of Christmas 2013 did to my fingers:
(Note: the fingertips are orange because I’d placed Tumeric on them. Tumeric is supposed to be a “pulling” agent. Pulling out toxins from your body. Look at the ooze it “pulled” out of me!













UPDATE 12/2/17:

I no longer believe that I am allergic to peanuts and dairy or dust mites.  I have eliminated NO foods from my diet.  I have, however, stopped drinking alcohol, and this has helped my hands tremendously.  I have also began taking hemp oil, and this has been the greatest medicine of all, so far.  My hands are the best they have been in over five years.  I also attribute the fact that my youngest son has grown past his infancy and toddlerhood as a reason for relief and calm hands.  I am still not completely free of this ailment, however. I still have to use the dreaded corticosteroids from time to time.  My nails have suffered massive damage from coming into contact with these corticosteroids over the years.  Just take a look at this image of my hands before I began ingesting hemp oil.

These are my nails and fingertips after a month of taking hemp oil.  You’ll notice that the fingertips and cuticles are no longer swollen, although nails have suffered, tremendously.  They are brittle and wavy and receding.  In the photos, there are still specks of glitter left on some of the nails from a nail polish I couldn’t completely remove.   In case you’re wondering, I have been taking Biotin and Hair/Skin/Nail Vitamins for about two years (with few results). Truthful Disclaimer:  Nails that are unhealthy, thin and brittle are very hard to clean and maintain. 








My most recent trip to the dermatologist (Last Month 10/2017) brought me a diagnosis of nail psoriasis.  The Dermatologist prescribed me Methotrexate.  “We need to treat this aggressively”, he said. After reading more about this drug, and having to give blood to make sure my liver was healthy enough to handle the drug, I did not fill the prescription.  I think I’d like to keep my vital organs healthy instead of having pretty nails.  I now wear fake press on nails (the kind without glue) for two reasons:  A.)  Because they hide the wrecked nail beds I have left and B.) Because they protect my nail beds from coming into accidental contact with any further corticosteroid. I’m fairly certain that I do not have psoriasis nails, because I don’t have psoriasis, but maybe I’m wrong.  After all, I am no doctor…but I am also not going to poison my body with Methotrexate.  I’ll buy about $12 worth of fake nails per month instead.  I’ll share more updates as they (and my time) comes available.

Please share your story here with others.  It helps us all!



471 responses »

  1. My son had eczema for years & lived with it, treating it w/topical ointments. The condition spread to his right hand and became more intense and much more debilitating. Turns out, the condition on his hand has a name: dermatitis herptaforma (SP?). And if you have DH, you have Celiac Disease. He’s been gluten-free for a number of years now and his eczema and DH are gone.


    • Thank you for writing this and sharing your story. I am also convinced there is a link between breastfeeding and eczema. I developed this affliction after I had my daughter I believe there is something linked to breast feeding. My best friend recently told me she had eczema all over her hands for the duration of time she breastfed and it only ceased when she stopped altogether.
      I wish there were more resources on this topic. Hope you are feeling better~!


      • I have this and I have been breastfeeding for 2.5 years. I’m suffering from it now but no where near like yours.


      • I have this bad on 4 of my fingers since a few months after my baby. I sticlty breastfeed. My gf who’s baby girl is 2 days older than mine, also has this. She does not beeastfeed. So I believe it is not a correlation with breastfeeding, but probably more the hormonal changes we go through after childbirth. My older sister also has it, she lives in China, her baby is 5 mo ths older than mine.
        Thanks to this article, I am going to stop the many cortisone creams the many doctors keep giving me, and try reluctantly cutting out certain foods to see if it helps. Us poor mothers 😦


    • Hi, i got rid of the dyshidrotic ekzema by taking in ghee every day and totally avoiding proteine or egg white. I had it for 10 years on my right foot. It was horrible. Same as your pictures. I tried everything, spending 1000… euros but nothing helped. it was mostly treated by doctors as fungi but it never was Fungi. So i can only recommend take 1 teaspoon of ghee (spread it on your bread, in porridge or any other way…) and make a pancreas test (stool or blood test) maybe your pancreas doesnt produce enough enzymes too to break down the food especially proteine/eggwhite
      I hope it helps you too.


      • This is very interesting. Ihave exactly what you all have! I couldn’t figure out why it was on my hands and fingers and chest! I have never had children and am 63 years old! Do you think it’s the progesterone cream I’m using? I am stumped. I haven’tgiven up gluten totally, but maybe I’m allergic toeggs too? I love eggs! I’m working on dairy first. I can’t take the flu shot. . .maybe I am allergic.


      • I have also been suffering with this since becoming pregnant with my second daughter (I finished nursing my older daughter right before coming pregnant with the second). I did have some very very slight eczema issues (a very small dry patch on my outer wrist that came and went during winter for a few years, another patch on my eyelid that also came and went with winter/spring allergies for a few years), but nothing of any concern aside from a small dab of steroid or Elidel for a few weeks once a year. My mom does have severe eczema, so there is definitely a hereditary/genetic factor, but there must be some link with hormones and pregnancy exacerbating the eczema. Since eczema, allergies and other autoimmune syndromes are far more common in women, there is undeniably some relationship between female hormones and autoimmune conditions, but I really wish that science would hurry up and figure out what that is, and how to prevent or at least treat it. Throwing corticosteroids and petroleum jelly at the problem does nothing, and every dermatologist I’ve seen has no solution. Thank you so much for your blog and sharing your story.


    • I have exactly the same problems. I hope I can show the picture of my hands here. You are allergic to nickel in food like I am. It is not about soap, cleaning supply, ointment, shampoo. I saw doctors after doctors and finally they concluded that I have to be on a nickel free diet. i am doing much better although I have a break out once in a while as I sometime eat something I should avoid without knowing that it is in my food. http://athenaallergy.com/pages/the-nickel-allergy-diet


      • Thanks very much for this! I have had some eczema on my wrists that started after a root canal came loose. I then happened to read about it and luckily it was right at the back so I had it removed. It then came and went and I fell pregnant and then post partum it got worse and spread to my hands. I have since gone completely organic even with cleaning materials in the house. I was gluten free but was concerned that there was cross-reaction. I was about to do the Paleo Auto-immune Protocol but was tested to be fine with legumes and nightshades. But was tested to not be able to eat eggs unfortunately so I am on a sort of Primal SCD or banting minus eggs, banannas, peanuts and pecans. It improved dramatically and then have had some flare-ups after being unwittingly glutened.
        This Nickel diet sounds so spot on – I was given a nickel watch as a child and my wrist got all inflamed and loocked like I had been chained up or something. It cleared up after about a week of removing the watch. Here’s hoping this handles it! Thanks again and all the best to you too!


    • I can not thank you enough for your post. I felt like I was loosing my mind. No one could tell me what I had. I saw a PA today & she thinks it’s eczema herpecticum bc of the clustering if blisters. I do unfortunately carry the herpes virus which I disclosed to her, but I knew that’s not what this is. I had a doctor years ago, when I had a few of these DE blisters show up on the soles of my feet diagnose it as eczema; but there was nothing to do for it, and this btw was way before ever being diagnosed with herpes. I told her this but she dismissed it anyhow, assigning topical steroids and a script of valtrex. I knew corticosteroids were bad but had no idea how much so. I filled the script but I’m going to pitch it and try the epsom salt route, have my husband start bathing our toddler and do dishes. I got a referral to a derm but I think I’ll go see an Allergist instead. I have long thought I have some food allergies anyhow and have also suffered from seasonal allergies for years and think that could also have some link to overall gut health and food allergies too. Thanks again!!


      • Thank you for your comment, Allison! I’m glad these words have helped so many. This was my intention… to let others know they are not alone, and to tell my story…because I KNEW there MUST BE others who could relate. I hope you are feeling better 🙂


  2. Thank you for your comment, Barbara. Before I visited the allergist, we thought that a gluten allergy might be the culprit. I was gluten free for about three weeks and saw no improvement. I have read that it can take a couple of months for the gluten to leave your body entirely, so I figured I might just be in the “it gets worse before it gets better” stage.

    Turns out, dairy and peanuts are more the cause in my case. I’m convinced that eczema is caused by an allergy to one or more foods. I hope it is that simple… it could save a lot of people some extreme heartache and help with many, many of the unanswered questions surrounding the cause of eczema. Determining exactly which foods cause it, though (especially with multiple allergies) is the hard part.

    Doesn’t Celiac Disease usually come with stomach issues as well? I don’t have stomach issues, so I’m wondering. I have a friend with Celiac Disease and she has major stomach issues. Is it the same case for everyone with CD? Did your son have stomach pains, trouble with bowel movements, etc. before he went gluten free? Also, was there a period of healing where he got worse before he got better once he began to remove the gluten? Hope you don’t mind sharing. I am genuinely interested.


    • table SALT SCRUB affected area = best treatment.

      I’ve recently developed dyshidrotic eczma on my right foot and then my hands. I don’t have any food allergies that I know of but I have been under a lot stress recently. I don’t know the cause yet.
      When I went to see the dermatologist he wasn’t very helpful. Tried various creams, iodine soaks etc didn’t work and didn’t help with the itch and the pain. I went to see my GP and she gave a cephalexin (antibiotic) to relieve my secondary infection. when I took the antibiotics for 2 weeks i noticed that the blisters turned yellow by the end of 2 weeks most of then turned hard like scabs. Eventually, they became scaly and I picked them off. I was clean for 3 or 4 month. Then, i noticed another pop up on my right foot again.
      I knew taking antibiotics wasn’t the solution as that could really screw up my immune system in large dose. So I decided to use table salt to scrub the affected area twice a day for 3-5 min.
      I used salt because I personally think the “Eczma” is actually fungus of some sort, a variation of athlete’s foot. After 2/3 days i noticed they started to change in color to yellow, and dried up and became hard.(I did for a week) the salt scrub stops the spread! and killed the existing blisters.

      I know it may not be cure the root source but it certainly helped me a lot.

      I searched journals and one of the publication reported that cephalexin does help in treating Dyschidrotic eczema. But if you ask me salt is the way to go.

      If salt works for you please share.


      • my dermatologist reccommend salt for my eczema butwith warm water and i put cream after


      • I accidentally found the fix for my Dyshidrotic Eczema when I fell in the garage and got a nasty gash on my forearm from it. When the gash started to become infected I made an epsom salt bath 3 times daily and soaked my arm (my DE hand was connected to that arm and was submerged each time as well) , miraculously, by the time my gash was clear and healing my DE on my hand was completely gone as well. Now, every time I feel or see one tiny blister, I mix a half cup of epsom salts with luke warm water and soak 3 times daily. I wanted to weigh in about the breast feeding connection too. Having had 4 breast fed children and having an outbreak with every baby i was nursing, I was shocked when a newborn foster baby was placed in our home and my DE returned like clockwork. I was not nursing this baby, it was the constant wetness from diaper changing that was bringing it on, not the hormonal changes or nursing. For me, that is. That’s not to say that is true for all. Thanks for your information and God bless all who suffer.


      • I developed dyshidrotic immediaely after giving birth to my daughter 19 years ago, so postpartum hormones or breasfeeding….I believe there’s a link. I got the idea in my head that since saltwater rinse is good for drying out canker sores in the mouth, that maybe salt on my eczema would work. I used it as a scrub and it stung to high heaven, but seemed to dry out the blisters and promote healing. The itchiness was resolved almost immediately. Not a cure but a good tool to cope.


      • As I have browsed through the internet forums and articles discussing DE, I have seen many people mention that Epson Salt soaks worked well for them. I tried them once, long ago and didn’t have any success. Anyhow, I just wanted to throw it out there that Epson Salts (salt) seems to be a common “at home” treatment.


      • Thank you for your comment, Alexa. I jump around with different diagnoses for myself. I eliminated dairy from my diet and then reintroduced it and did not have an outbreak for two months afterward. It led me to believe that my allergy to cow’s milk was not the culprit. I’m currently wondering if I just had a delayed reaction to the reintroduction. Do you know if that is possible? Careful, Doctor 🙂 You might get a lot of us asking questions! 🙂 LOL!

        I have also been pondering Celiac Disease for myself…

        But then again, this ailment makes you question a lot about your life, doesn’t it?


  3. I have dealt with eczema my entire life. I was afflicted by spinal meningitis of the bacterial or viral kind (my poor Mom doesn’t even like talking about it so I’m not sure which one I had but….) at the awesome age of 9 months old (late 1984). After multiple spinal taps, my spinal fluid was described as “pudding”. Dr. Tribble, my family’s doctor FOREVER after this, pretty much said to my parents, ” I dont believe in God but I’m praying for this little not because there is NOTHING our modern medicine can do for him”. Long story sorts short, I lives. But I developed the worst case of full body eczema that the University of California Davis medical center had ever seen or heard of. I was a research patient in the early ’90s cuz my parents weren’t rich and California medicaid or whatever it was called wouldn’t cover my multiple, necessary treatments. I went to the ER twice for blood loss because I couldn’t control ripping my skin apart. Anyway, I feel your pain. It got better after about 13 and then got almost as bad at about 20. My email in JohnJhubbard84@gmail.com and I am finally comfortable sharing pictures of my dermatological nemesis now to all others who have suffered. Please email me if you would, I guess “like” isn’t the right word, but, maybe curious to see what this disease can do to you.


  4. Thank you for your comment, Jay. Your story is an interesting one.

    I’ve been contemplating lately whether or not severe eczema afflicts those who have suffered a psychological trauma. Your survival story qualifies, for sure. I have a friend who suffered a miscarriage. Shortly afterward, she developed hand eczema so bad that she couldn’t shower herself. My case of eczema arose after I had to give up breast feeding our second son. I was devastated.

    I wonder if there is anything to this theory.

    I’d encourage you to write up a blog, sharing your story. I think a story like yours needs to be told!


    • That seems to fit with the theme of hormonal changes with childbirth and child loss rather than psychological trauma. I too developed DE after having my daughter 3.5 years ago. I breastfed for 16months.


  5. Thanks so much for your blog and the photos – I have the utmost empathy for you as I am currently “under attack” as it were. I will spend a few diligent weeks applying dermatologist recommended moisturisers, mega strength steroid creams and wet cotton gloves twice a day. All will feel like it is starting to “calm down” when I spot a few small blisters and the cycle begins again. As a child I had eczema mostly on my limbs and torso, as an adult it seems to be confined to my hands. I also suffer greatly from hayfever during the Spring months. Unsightly hands do not concern so much as the undescribable urge to scratch when the blisters appear. I’m going to try a short diet detox and daily green juices to see if that has an affect.

    Wish you all the best with your “battle” as I know exactly what you’re going through.



    • The urge to scratch is truly the hardest part. During my last battle, I got into the shower to try to take my mind off of the itch. I broke down while in there and put on a pair of bathing gloves and had a scratch fest. It was the most relief I’ve ever felt in my life, but I knew it would have consequences. It did. My hands were so damaged that my EMT husband had to wrap them up in petroleum jelly and bandages. After that, my will power not to scratch was much stronger, because I had seen the outcome of what I could do to myself. In some twisted way, this is what helped me to get back to a substandard normal again.

      You have my empathy as well, Anne. This ailment is so hard to describe to anyone who has never been through it. I wish you the best through your healing process.

      As an update, I have been taking an herbal medicine class and have begun using plantain to help heal my hands. It is working. I’m also eating Hemp Seed Hearts, which are also somehow calming the pain, itch and stress.

      Stress, I fear, is the number one cause. Getting your mind right, regretfully, cannot be battled with a creme.


  6. I started to develop this at the age of 30. Five years later I still have it. Mostly it stays to the palms of both hands. It’s also on both feet pretty bad. When I first got it, I thought it was warts so I lathered my hands with wart remover and antibacterial gel. That was probably the worst thing I could have done.
    Now, I use a strong topical steroid when it gets too itchy or hurts. I have a patch on my right palm that hasn’t healed in months. I guess I will have to go back to the dermotologist for that. Im not sure I could do without cheese, though. Its in many of the meals I eat.

    I was wanting to try theraputic light to see if it helps. I’ve heard that exposing dyshidrotic eczema striken hands and feet to sunlight works wonders, but I don’t want to burn. I think some tanning salons have the theraputic red lights, and I know many dermatologists do.


    • Hi Marian,

      I too suffer very badly on my hands and feet. Long story short I have tried every means except for immuno suppressants from the dermatologists. This includes the uv treatments. Because I have been on the steroid creams ( apparently the highest I can get) my skin is less than paper thin, after only a few treatments of the uv I was left with red roar skin that I couldn’t touch for weeks. This treatment includes the use of more toxic ointments that are lathered on before the uv treatment. I have by no means “cured” myself but after thousands of dollars with dermatologists and seeing nothing but my skin getting worse, I gave up on medicine. I have found a naturopath, she specializes in biochemistry. She has treated my immune system and within weeks I saw a change. Within a few more weeks for the first time in 2 years I was pain free. I still get break outs but they are less painful and the steroid cream works because I now use it less. See a naturopath, treat the problem and not just the systems. The naturopath also tested my reaction to foods through a hair sample, the results very interesting and have helped. After reading this ladies blog I will now also see an allergist hopefully this will help me also


    • So I was suffering from this excruciatingly disturbing condition for a month and half until I visited this miraculous doctor last month. She prescribed the following to me that showed ten on ten results in just 4 days! She asked me to follow this regime for a month. Today is only the tenth day and my hand skin is new, healthy, soft and shiny. All the red, painful, itchy patches and bumps vanished. I guarantee that you will thank me later. I obviously googled the condition and carried out an extensive research including all the blogs and everybody had been prescribed some steroid creams, etc. by their docs. So I specifically enquired with my doc if her prescription contained steroids. And they don’t! So the results remain permanent with very slight scope for relapse which may be treated with this again. So here goes:

      Arovit (chewable vitamin A tablet)- 1 after breakfast and 1 after dinner.

      Simrose 1gm- 1 after breakfast.

      Zyrtec 10mg- 1 after dinner.

      Uprise D3 60,000 IU- once in a week, choose any one day.

      Cetaphil DAM cream- Moisturiser in the day time.

      Pasitrex-C ointment- Apply before bed.

      Cetaphil bar soap- To wash your hands.


      • You are right mebiki. Another dermat told me that pasitrex is a steroid cream. So i stopped using it.

        The new solution I tried is NEEM OIL. Before bed, put 3-4 drops of it in your navel (bellybutton) with a dropper. It won’t sink in and vanish immediately. So put in a small cotton ball. And then tape it with doctor’s tape overnight.

        I started this about a year ago. It disappeared in like ten days and has not returned yet. Hope this helps.


  7. Your post is so familiar – I struggle with this too. It runs in my family – my mom and brother have it too. I have had it on and off for about 12 years (I am 34 now). However, since last February, when I had my daughter, it really has been impacting my life. I have it on my fingertips mostly. There are also times when it is really hard to hold my baby, not to mention change her or give her a bath. Hell – I gave her a bath by myself only once, and she is 9 months old… I do everything around the house wearing vinyl gloves on the top of cotton gloves on the top of mountains of theraplex or vaseline… I even gave up my shampoo and conditioner and I use this awful “free and clear” which does nothing for my hair.

    I have a big outbreak every two weeks with a constant underlying outbreak of new blisters every day.

    I had patch testing done – revealed nothing.

    I am dairy free for 2 months now.

    Stress theory – my family swears it is that. I had traumatic labor, baby in NICU, now I am sleep deprived and stressed with work.

    So I am doing UVB light therapy now. I am about 6 weeks in – they told me that the results will be visible after about 3 months. It makes me feel a bit better though – the weeping & crusting is less and I only used the topical steroid once for 2 days (2 applications per day) since I started light therapy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry to hear of your struggle, Kate, but am glad that you’ve found my post to let you know you’re not alone with this ailment. The stress theory seems to be the fitting piece in the puzzle of eczema in my world.

      I recently had a discussion with some great friends of mine who are a Mother and daughter. They both suffer from eczema. We were all standing around in the kitchen just before Thanksgiving, comparing citrus to kryptonite, when we started on the topic of stress as a cause of our outbreaks.

      I mentioned that in my case, it was as if all of the stress that I couldn’t handle internally was coming out of my fingertips externally. Like I had some sort of clogged “chi”, if you can entertain that idea… I know next to nothing about blocked internal negative energy… but maybe there is something to not being able to release it? If anyone out there in internet land has done any research on chi and eczema, I’d be interested to hear it.

      I also hold tight to my own personal theory that I have a dairy allergy. I’m still struggling with remembering to check my food’s ingredients for dairy when I go out to eat (which is rare). A few days ago, I ordered a burger at my favorite guilty pleasure- local, hometown fast food joint. It had cheese on it. I was so involved with conversation and interaction of those around me that I failed to notice the cheese until it was too late. I just went ahead and ate the burger instead of attempting to pick off the cheese. The result of my decision and mistake? The corners of my mouth are now cracking and crusty. It is as if my mouth is telling me that it was attacked by the dairy. Three of my fingertips are also borderline unusable at this point. The itching, cracking and blisters are back.

      I will never give up the search for answers to this awful skin issue. Hopefully, I won’t have to continue searching for my entire life. All that I can do is try to learn how my body responds through trial and error.

      I have been interested in trying out the UVB light therapy. My friend (from the Thanksgiving story) used UVB and was very pleased with the results. I wish you the best of luck on your journey, Kate.


      • I did a little bit of internet research about the “chi” theory. These links are interesting regarding that idea:

        P.S.- when I originally began my eczema battle, I had my blood work tested to check on my liver. All systems were go…and everything was fine. This was a surprise to me since I had read so many articles about eczema being related to poor liver health.

        Some of these practices are worth a shot, right fellow eczema sufferers? 🙂


      • I hope that it is dairy for you, Butterchurn! I do not know if dairy makes a difference for my eczema, but my gut definitely feels better since I am dairy free.

        As for the chi – I do not know much of the theory, but I have been seeing a TCM guy for a while now. I have only been doing acupuncture, which I find extremely relaxing. No wonder if it makes a difference in my DE. The TCM guy wants me to try chinese herbs after I stop nursing. He claims he had some good results treating patients with DE. I will first see if UVB works – the herbs are quite pricey.

        I also hope that this will just go away one day – my brother has not had it in years and he had it bad for a while. For my mom it comes and goes, but it is never as bad as mine.

        Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!


      • I’d be interested to know which herbs your TCM guy recommends, for sure! I’d much rather go the all natural route when it comes to medication.

        Thank you for your kind words, Kate. I hope it is just a dairy issue as well. We shall see!

        I wish there was a simple, universal cure for all of us who suffer from Eczema.


  8. My hands have, at various points, looked almost exactly like yours. It’s interesting to hear echoes of my own thoughts in your writing. Much of what you’ve written I really identify with. That you mentioned dairy compels me to comment as I suspect dairy is a big part of my own hand ailment. Do you get an upset stomach at all when you have dairy? For me, small amounts of dairy is not a gastronomy problem but if I were to eat say 8oz of yogurt then I get stomach cramps, and a strong urge to use the toilet. What doesn’t make sense to me, if dairy is the culprit, is how the condition is so localized.

    There’s a newish treatment option called toctino that I’m considering trying. It’s a pill you take once a day available in Canada but not in the USA IIRC. There are many accounts from people on the web where nothing but toctino works for them… here’s an excerpt from the research paper

    This study investigated the use of alitretinoin to treat chronic hand eczema under daily “real life” medical practice conditions in Germany. Patients were prescribed and treated with alitretinoin. In total, 56.7% of patients achieved a Physician Global Assessment rating of “clear” or “almost clear” hands, with only small differences in patients with different morphological forms: hyperkeratotic-rhagadiform (59.2%), fingertip (52.2%) and vesicular (47.9%).



    • I spoke to two doctors in the US regarding Toctino. They said that he would not recommend this type of treatment for fear of side effects, especially on the liver.


    • My apologies for the late response. I’m saddened to hear that you’re also suffering from this condition, John.

      I do not get an upset stomach when I do (accidentally) ingest dairy. I DO however, get an increased amount of gas, much to the dismay of my husband 🙂

      Yogurt is something I miss terribly. There are so many good probiotics in yogurt. Important stuff for your gut health. Fermented products are now an important part of our diet because of my inability to have usable hands after eating dairy/yogurt. We eat fermented hot sauce from our garden peppers. We’ve also made kimchi and sauerkraut. Kombucha is my new favorite.

      It almost sounds as if your ailment may be one of lactose intolerance? Have you been checked out for this or have you experimented this theory on yourself?

      I also agree with your question about HOW my body’s response to dairy could come out through ONLY my hands. It doesn’t make much sense…but I can tell you that ever since I stopped eating dairy (I could TEAR UP some cheese…) my hands have been much happier. I’m fairly convinced that dairy is the main culprit in my case…because if I have even a small amount (ex: cheese on a burger), my hands erupt again.

      As Maya has mentioned in her comment, dust mites are also something I’ve been trying to avoid as much as possible…in a CARPETED house. It ain’t easy. I was tested for allergens during the healing/discovery process and was found to be allergic to all forms of dust mites. Might be something to that theory…
      Are we SO allergic to dust mites that it causes this condition? It sort of makes sense, because our hands are our physical contact to our worlds: Touch.

      Oddly enough…my FINGERS are no longer afflicted these days…my eczema has moved to centralize to only my fingertips. I do, however, continue to have outbreaks in the creases of the inside of my elbows…especially when I come into contact with pet dander.

      I have not heard or read much about toctino. I did check out your article.

      I’m sort of an “Earth Mama” and DO NOT like to take any form of prescription medication unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. Truthfully, taking a daily pill for this ailment is scarier than dealing with it… but I can say that now that both of my hands are not completely covered in ooze.

      ALSO… I’ve read through numerous sources to avoid the touchpad on your laptop, if you use one. Eczema sufferers should always use a mouse instead. Apparently there is a link to the touchpads and Nickel– which aggravates eczema. Search online for “Computer mouse dermatitis” and see what you think. EMS (electro-magnetic sensitivity) is another thing to consider, too. I’m currently looking into each of these for myself.


  9. Hi, I am a South African citizen, breastfeeding mother to a 6 month old baby girl, I developed the exact same thing u’ve described in ur blog, ugly, itchy, burning, oozing, cracking, bleeding 😦 I’ve neva had eczema before until now, no1 in my family has eczema in my family either.. In fact my husband’s family are the ones with eczema. As u’ve stated it’s so difficult to care for ur baby with this beast, I knw its not contageous bt how on earth can u bath and moisturise baby, sterilise her bottles & untensils, prepare her meals, as typing this response I’m holding back tears, I’ve had this problem for 4 months now. My Dr was treating me for an allergic reaction then fungus, half the meds “I needed” couldn’t be taken coz I’m breastfeeding & I don’t want to stop breastfeeding my baby 😦 I’m convinced that it’s due to a lack of a certain something in our body due to breastfeeding and chemicals, hot water, summer, diet, stress & dustmites aggrivate it. I don’t care if my skin thins, I just want a cure, I don’t have to explain to u how terrible this condition is & the emotions that it evokes. Plz, plz, plz tell me u have found a cure, I can’t go on like this :((( PLZ HELP!!!


    • Maya…by NO means am I a medical professional…but I can tell you what I did to overcome the extreme case I had while breastfeeding our second son. I doubt you’ll want to hear this, but I eventually had to cease breast feeding. I tried and tried and TRIED AND TRIED to make it work. However, like you’ve said in your comment, near the end of it I came to the same realization that my body COULDN’T continue to breast feed.

      In the end, I justified that decision by realizing that having a mentally stable, healthy Mommy was more important than continuing to push my body to breast feed. Near the end of my journey, I was prescribed “Domperidone” to increase my milk supply. It worked, but my eczema became worse….that’s when I put it together that my body must have been giving all of my spare nutrients to my son through breast milk. It seemed as if I was injuring myself by continuing to breast feed him. At that point, I was pumping every 3 hours, only to gain around 5 or 6 oz. per bottle.

      I also had severe side effects from the Domperidone. I had HOT FLASHES to the point to where I thought I was beginning menopause at an early age. It also increased my stress level because it caused me to have severe anxiety…which we know is NOT good for an eczema sufferer.

      As I said before, I doubt you’ll be comforted by my response…but it was the only thing that I could do. Once I stopped breast feeding, my hands began to heal. I covered them each night in Elta Tar and cotton gloves. I STILL do this at night, as every now and then my fingertips will split open or ooze. I recommend purchasing this coal tar solution, for sure. When my hands were at their worst, the Elta Tar actually DRIED OUT those little clear blisters that first appear just under the skin. The Elta Tar seemed to stop the process…as you know… once those blisters appear under the skin, they then get larger and larger and more filled with clear fluid until they burst (especially if you scratch) and you’re left with an open, oozing wound that is easily prone to infection. Elta Tar saved me from that process many times in my past and continues to do so in the present.

      My son is now 7 months old. My hands were at their worst when he was 4 months old. Rest easy…you will heal.

      But I DO know that it is a HARD HARD HARD psychological process to heal while trying to take care of a new infant. Hang in there, Mama. Ask for help. Rest your hands. Keep them doused in non-petroleum jelly or Neosporin and DO NOT SCRATCH. Dear reader…believe me, I know how hard this is.

      I doused my hands in these treatments and then wrapped each individual finger with gauze. I then wrapped them in fabric medical tape. It looks ridiculous. Just make jokes about having mummy hands and try to get through it as mentally sound as possible. You’ll make it.

      I hope my suggestions will work well for you.



    • Maya, I would really like to hear an update from you, if you’re willing. I feel pretty bad about telling you about having to cease breast feeding on my end. I feel as if it may be interpreted that I was suggesting that you do the same. I hope that it wasn’t seen or taken this way.
      I do see how it could have been, though. For that, I am sorry to you and all readers involved.


    • I cured mine by eliminating all tomatoes, peppers, and citrus food and drink from preparation and eating. I use 100% shea butter every day, several times a day, not for curative but it protects your skin and helps it heal. I developed it after giving birth 9 years ago. I also use ivory soap to wash my hands, avoid all artificial ingredients, cotton gloves with shea butter when folding laundry, non latex gloves when preparing food, basically putting a protective layer between you and any chemical or acid. I found your post because I had pineapple today and developed my first flair up in nearly a year and wondered if others had the same citrus connection to Dyshidrosis or Pompholyx. If you have not gotten help yet, it may be worth a try. If I eat peppers of any kind (even cayenne and paprika) or tomatoes, I get a flare up within 2 days. Also have a nickel allergy, which is in a lot of things, that is common in this condition. Good luck and may God bless you.


      • Danee-

        Have you looked into Histamine Intolerance? This may be your issue, if you say by avoiding tomatoes, peppers, and citrus is helpful.


  10. Wow, this is brilliant. I’m suffering with the same condition and have been on so many creams it’s crazy. I had the infection too but luckily the antibiotics I was prescribed ‘cured’ it. I’m on Clobaderm now which is not ideal as it is steroidal and I’m on steroids already for a transplant…and I’m diabetic too.

    I did visit a dermatologist and she prescribed ‘Protopic’ which didn’t work. Mind you she didn’t even look at my hand, not once !! Unbelievable, maybe she was a psychic! I was also told to use Dermol and Eucerin but they are rubbish too – I’m sure I’m allergic to Eucerin.

    I think I’ll try to abstain from all my lotions and potions (as in the link above) and see what happens. Strangely I see caffeine is no good which seems to be the reason my fingers have got better since I ran out of my caffeine shampoo.

    I have some eczema on my wrist/arm too which I do scratch but I’ll have to use will-power to resist. I too was of the same idea that water was bad for my skin. It’s also weird that products which purport to be for babies or are ultra-sensitive have so many chemicals which are bad for you – not good at all.

    A lot of research needs to be done and this goes for all products including toothpastes which have SLS and parabens which are notoriously bad for you…as is fluoride. Beware what you put on/in your body.


    • Eucerin made me worse too. I recently discovered Theraplex Barrier Cream and it does pretty good job at moisturizing. Also, if I have any irritated spots, it does not make them sting like Eucerin or other creams do.


      • Thanks Kate. I just bought the Dessert Essence cream for my hands and the shampoo – here’s hoping. My GP also said that when I get the lesions on my fingers I should apply some Bostik glue to them ! I’m going to try that and see if it helps :).


      • Before I went “Pooless” (I only use coconut oil and water in my hair), I used the Desert Essence Shampoo. It was great! It is one of the only shampoos I found whose ingredients I felt comfortable touching with my sensitive hands.

        Overall, there is a theme of “the more natural the better” when it comes to healing.


      • Commentors, my husband I were just discussing the possibility of dyshydrotic ezcema being a form of psychological distress. I wrote about it in this blog, but wanted to specifically discuss with anyone interested in sharing what you think/feel about this idea?

        My husband and I are pretty convinced that my overall problem is that when I can’t contain my stress level, it pours from my hands. Tonight we also discussed that “level” might also be one of Energy. Also a topic I’d love to hear your pondering minds walk over?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Butterchurn,
        My mom and my brother would totally agree with you and your husband as to the theory about stress levels causing this. They both claim that it is what causes their symptoms (they both have it too). They never explored any other possibilities though – never changed their cosmetics, diet, etc. I just watched my mom get an outbreak on her hands over Christmas…

        Myself, I think it is a combination of factors. So far, I had a really bad outbreak three times in my life.

        First time, in college, I was hospitalized for 10 days with really bad food poisoning. I lost 20 pounds and eating sucked for a while – I could not eat any meat, anything with fat in it would make me sick. I had an outbreak for several months.

        Next time, 8 years later, I had a really stressful job that I truly hated and at the same time was suffering from an unexplained eye allergy. I had red, sore eyes for several months and doctors could not figure out what was causing it. I got laid off and next week I got an outbreak. It only lasted about a month. Interestingly, my eye allergy went away with that job – possible sick building syndrome?

        This time I got it while pregnant (at the end of pregnancy) on one finger and it really flared up after birth on several fingers. I had a truly traumatic birth with a lot of damage to my body and baby in NICU for a few days. It has been over a year now since this outbreak started.

        Now, since I stopped nursing last month I seem a bit better.

        Anyway, I think that compromised immune system+stress=outbreak for me.


  11. I’m with you on this – still searching for a cure! My little nursingling is 14 months old and I haven’t wanted to stop nursing him, so I plug on and do what I can for now. Once he is weaned, I will do a long water fast as my last ditch effort. I’ve tried a LOT of things with minimal success so far.


    • I asked my new dermatologist (with whom I was very disappointed in) “Have you noticed, in your profession, a correlation of cases in which a breast feeding mother comes to you with a severe case of dyshydrotic eczema?”

      Much to my misfortune, she was being followed by a couple of interns that day. She avoided the question.


    • Christina, I’d love to hear your thoughts on a theory that I’ve been pondering over… Do you feel as if you have been through a period of psychological distress while you’ve been breastfeeding your child? Have you wondered whether or not your hands may have been breaking out due to the stress involved with it?

      That’s pretty personal– so no pressure to respond. I just feel as if some doctor needs to pick up on this theory if it is one that needs to be followed. I wish someone with a title would do some research on this theory. I wish that so much.


      • I just entered this world of hand eczema and the breast-feeding combo is very interesting cause I currently BF my 14 month old. I would like to answer your question.


  12. I have suffered from this for 4 years now. I was Dxed with breast cancer about a year after the lesions first appeared. I know your immune system has a lot to do with it. I am also a hairstylist, and must ALWAYS wear gloves while shampooing clients. I have tried EVERYTHING. the Nutragena eczema relief is the only thing that seems to help my itching and blisters. I prefer that over the stinky steroid ointment the dr prescribed. I also discovered through this process, I am highly allergic to baby wipes! Just an FYI to all of you new moms.


    • Thank you for your comment, Julie. I am saddened to hear of your cancer diagnosis. I hope that there is not a correlation between cancer and eczema, but as you’ve stated, the immune system definitely has something to do with each.

      I found one brand of disposable baby wipe that I could use with our second son: BabyGanics. Otherwise, we fully switched over to cloth wipes and essential oils. That helped out a lot!


  13. I agree with stress being a big factor in this. I have a lot of stress and my skin shows the effect. Also, my immune system is compromised (due to immunosupresants) so it’s a whole set of causes – as my GP said ‘it’s complicated’ . My hand is better now and I am also trying to avoid using the touch-pad on my laptop as that finger is the worst – the others are really good. I wear a cotton glove too and use a mouse.

    I tend to keep my fingernails long too as I think it protects my fingertips – though that could be just me. I’ll do (try) anything to help it.


    • I have to keep my fingernails short so that I don’t scratch!!! I understand exactly why you would think to keep your nails long to protect the fingertips. It does seem that every time I cut my nails, my fingertips get worse. Probably because I’m using my hands, which of course causes me to bump my fingertips into whatever I come into contact with.

      A compromised immune system does seem to be a consistent factor to a few of the people commenting here.


      • I had been suffered from dry eczema for a couple of months and I have done everything to relieve. I have Ulcerative Colitis and am using Imuran which affects the immune system.
        But I finally found the reason to my problem and how to resolve it in short and long term:
        1- The problem was because of allergy to either paper or ink (I figured out that the problem happened when I dealt with hundreds of pages of print in a week).
        2- I could keep it almost in the same condition (or slightly better) by keeping it wet using ointment or skin creams. But “Betaderm” ointment (needs prescription) had better results (used it for 2-3 weeks). Especially the ointment works well after bathroom when the skin is fresh.
        3- I didn’t know this is because of paper/ink (I thought of mouse, notebook touchpad, latex gloves, etc.) so thanks to a pharmacist in Edmonton who advised to use cotton gloves, I avoided touching almost everything at work.


  14. I also have this condition with recurrent flare ups, though not as severe as yours. Mine started approximately 3 years ago and at that time was the worst it has been with symptoms as you have described thus requiring lots of cream and white gloves. I have since self diagnosed as my GP was clueless as to what this was. I also get it on the soles of my feet and toes. The reason I write is to ask if you believe this can be infectious in any way as my partner had an outbreak on his feet approximately 12 months after my severe outbreak on my hands, then my Dad and now my seven year old son, what are your thoughts on this? I am heartbroken that my son now has it as he is a gymnast and his feet at present are very unsightly and people think that it is athletes foot and that they will catch it. The GP has tested and has clarified it is nothing of the sought.


    • Hi Clare,

      Thank you for your comment. I do not believe that dyshydrotic eczema is infectious. Try not to worry that it “might be.” That worry is causing you stress. I feel for you, having to witness your son suffer through this ailment. I’m sure that he is already doing it, but I would suggest that your son communicate with his peers that they can not catch his eczema. I feel that he should also consider relaying to them that there is little that he can do about it (unfortunately) when it attacks him.

      The more I research this topic on my own, the more I am convinced that the number one cause is STRESS. I also believe that a sensitivity to the massive amounts of chemicals that we come into contact with on a daily basis (in our food, in our soaps and shampoos, etc) is also to blame.

      I’m currently beginning to delve into the consideration that dyshydrotic eczema outbreaks occur mainly on the hands and feet because of the energy centers in each. More on this later, if I find anything that I can connect and share with you guys.

      More advice from a friend who suffered worse than I: Do not resent your hands. Send them love and positive energy. This particular friend had to give up two separate jobs (massage therapist and yoga instructor) because of her outbreaks.


      • It has to be contagious ….. I’ve had DE for about a year now, on one hand. It has spread to my other hand, from a few little spots on the inside of my left ring finger to slowly covering the whole side of the finger. In less than a month. 😥 I’m a Breastfeeding mama to a 4.5 month old baby. Much to my complete and agonising dismay, I have discovered the beastly, hellish bumps forming on her sweet, little thumb. Why, God, why. ;'( I’m so drained and at my wits end. And have just found your blog post after sitting down to do more Internet research. It just has to be contagious – how on earth would a 4.5month contract it?! She has not been alive long enough, seriously. :'(((


    • Hi Clare,
      I would see a good specialist if I were you to confirm your diagnosis. DE is not contagious, but you want to make sure it is what you have.

      My mom, my brother and I had our initial outbreaks within a year of one another. Interestingly, my dad and his brother also had minor outbreaks over the years. I suppose more people is affected with this unfortunate condition than the statistic show (1 in 5000).


    • Emve, that’s the worst! I’m so sorry, and I hope your baby is all better. I’m on week 12 of my outbreak, and a couple days ago my husband and I noticed the bumps on a couple of our 5 year old’s fingers. I feel completely sick over it. Though our pain is difficult, seeing our children in pain takes it to a whole new level. My husband keeps telling our daughter it’s “just dry skin” – and saying so to reassure me, too, since supposedly DE can’t spread. But “just dry skin” doesn’t involve specific fingers being covered with tiny, itchy, fluid-filled blisters.


  15. I nearly cried reading this article. It’s like you were able to put into words what I have been feeling for over a year. My eczema had been driving me crazy for over a year – I have not been able to get any support from my doctor and he dismisses everything I say- this is debilitating to the point I was beginning to wonder if amputating would solve the problem as my hands were useless to me in any event. I can’t cuddle my kids without fear of slathering them in corticosteroid creams or antibiotic creams. I walk around the house with socks on my hands all the time as I run out of the white gloves. I’ve been offered no alternative to the awful creams – which is just a band aid. It doesn’t address the root of the problem. The medical community is fixated on creams – the doctor dismissed any suggestion that it was food related. Meanwhile as I am breastfeeding and the baby seems allergic to dairy, wheat and nuts. I’ve been eating tons of oatmeal and other high nickel foods. I will be trying your course of action and feel so thankful you shared your story. I wish you a good recovery.


    • I’m glad that my words helped you to see that you are not alone. I hate that you’re experiencing this. I also had a vision of amputation while I was in the thick of it. A thought like that may seem like an excessive reaction to eczema…for those who have never lived with it.

      I remember one afternoon, while my hands were in their cracking and bleeding stage… I was in the kitchen using a peeler on a whole carrot. I watched as the peeler scraped off the dry, outer layer of the carrot and cried. There I was, standing at my cutting board, crying while peeling carrots. Why? I wished I could just peel away the top layer of my fingers to make them fresh and healthy looking again. I wished it could just be that easy.

      A speedy recovery to you as well, Francine.


    • Hi Francine,
      I totally understand what you are going through. I suggest that you find a new doctor. I went to see five dermatologists last year and the doctor #5 finally had more answers for me. He actually did not dismiss either possibility of it being a dietary problem, or a hormonal problem connected to pregnancy and breastfeeding. He also thinks that creams are not the answer and that they in fact make matters worse for us.

      He prescribed photo therapy for me and I experienced tremendous relief in the past two months. However, photo therapy can be a pain – I have appointments three times a week and they are not cheap – but at this point, I would do anything!

      I cried many times because of this – not being able to change or bathe the baby, being in gloves all the time, being in pain all the time. Hell, I was not able to type! A few days ago I cried because I actually WAS ABLE to peel an apple without gloves and I realized how bad it was a couple of months ago, and how much better I am doing now.


    • Dear Francine,
      I really feel your pain. I had a very bad bout of dyshydrotic eczema last year. My hands could not touch a thing. Everything I put on it, even steroids and moisturizer made it worst, I even had it on my feet. I went to two dermatologists. The second one put me on oral steroids for a month in the end to stop the spread as it was spreading. I took oral antihistamines round the clock for months. I felt like I had gone mad. I quit my job. Prayed every hour for God to help me. Went ‘poo’ less and the only moisturizer my hands could take was my tears and my own natural hair oil. It was hell. I have recovered but am taking precautions as it was my first bout. To be honest, I am still in depression as I am struggling to pick up the pieces of my life now. And every time I see my hand’s skin tear or go red, I reach for the antihistamine although I think I need to find a proper moisturizer now. My immune is not strong now so I am battling warts. There must be a balance somewhere which I haven’t quite found. I want to send my love to you to encourage you, hang in there. I wish you a good recovery.


  16. Pingback: Homemade bread and a dying infrastructure | The Butterchurn

  17. Thank you for sharing. I too am going through this. Bad case on 1 finger that co workers are now commenting on. I feel so embarrassed. I’m a music teacher so I def. need to be able to use alllll parts of my hand but especially my fingertips.


    • I understand how it feels to have coworkers comment about your hands/fingers. I work as a photographer, and at one point in my career my hands were so bad that I had to wrap up each finger individually so that ooze wouldn’t get onto my camera while I was shooting. People were definitely confused about my condition. A few of them asked about it, but mostly, I received stares and quick glances.


  18. Thank you for writing this… I really thought I was the only person in the world who’s hands look like the pictures you shared. My eczema started shortly after my step son died suddenly in my arms 3 years ago… I’ve had varying degrees of severity until recently it’s become nearly unbearable! My favorite hobby is knitting and crochet and that’s become impossible. I live in cotton gloves but they don’t hold the moisture in so I put latex free gloves over the cotton ones. I wake up at night from the pain of my skin tearing… It’s like some evil elf giving me paper cuts while I’m sleeping. I’m determined to get my hands back somehow. Thank you again for sharing this.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Your description of paper cuts while sleeping is spot on. Not a very pleasant description, but as we know: that’s often exactly how this feels!!!

      I used to wake up itching. That was the worst. Trying to fall back asleep while my fingers were bursting from the inside out…geez. Makes you want to cuss 🙂

      I enjoy all things crafty, so I can relate to you not being able to knit and crochet.

      Hold on to the idea that one day…one GLORIOUS DAY, they will heal!!!

      I hope you will find the path to healing very soon.

      I am also heavily sympathetic to you and the tragedy and loss of your step son. This tragedy, however, does seem to fit into my theory that this condition erupts in a time of psychological distress.

      I’d recommend freeing yourself of those latex gloves if you can, however…your hands do need to “breathe” so they can heal!!! (that’s my opinion, of course). Keeping them moist all of the time can actually feed the illness. That’s been my experience, anyhow. Especially if your hands are confined and begin to sweat. You definitely don’t want them to sweat!!!


  19. Pingback: Homemade bread and a dying infrastructure | SUN

  20. As I was reading this I had tears in my eyes. I have been struggling with this for about 6 months now and nothing has helped but wrapping my fingers (my middle and ring fingers ares affected) DAILY so stop me from itching. It got so bad at one point i couldn’t bend my fingers due to the skin being so dry and scabbed. I am so thankful you put this out there because it’s impossible to describe the cycle of itching then pain then cracking.

    THANK YOU for the support!


    • Phoebe,

      I can say with confidence that I know how you feel. My fingers…geez…I also couldn’t bend them because of the same reasons you described. If I did, I could feel them ripping apart on the knuckles and the creases on the underside of each finger. MISERY. I described this stage as the “Mannequin hands”.

      Hang in there. It will end, eventually. It will! Have you visited an allergist for your case?


      • Yes!!! i have never felt pain like that before. It’s amazing. I find that the more I cover it with a sticky bandage type stuff the better it gets. Although it probably isn’t the best for my skin (it always stinks when I take if off) it’s kinda worth it for the fact my fingers aren’t all cracked and scabbed. I sometimes itch over the bandages but because I’m not scratching the skin it doesn’t get worse (although last night the itching got so much i ended up taking the bandages off and lost all itching willpower!).

        I haven’t seen an allergist for it, would you recommend it? I saw my doctor months ago about it but he just gave me steroid cream and anti fungal. They worked for the first week and then lost all power.
        I have been scared to go back to the doctor because it has gotten so much worse and i don’t want him to think i didn’t bother with the cream.

        Do you ever have periods without it? I haven’t had one in a fair few months and am getting worried.



      • I entered into a period without it, which lasted for about three months. Now I have a few of the clear blisters popping up under the surface of the skin… but I do my best to NOT scratch. If I don’t scratch them open, one of two things will happen:
        1. They will burst on their own and create an open sore.
        2. They will be full of liquid one day, and then dry up the next day– leaving a hard little circle–then that circle will disappear later.

        I DID visit an allergist and learned that I was allergic to a laundry list of things. I stopped eating all of them at once and then re-introduced each one at a time, giving my body time for an eczema response. The only one that caused the reappearance of DE was my allergy to Cow’s Milk.

        No cheese or Dairy for me! Sometimes I will have a small outbreak when I attend parties and eat food that others prepare. Often times I’ll ask if their food has dairy in it. A few times they thought it didn’t…but couldn’t remember the store bought ingredients on the label of the food they had scooped from a plastic container.

        I’ve found that eating at HOME has really helped with that allergy. I can control what is in my food much better that way 😉


      • Also– given my experience, I’d say it sounds like you’re close to the end of your journey 😉

        Hang in there!

        My hands cleared up just after they were mannequin hands. Like somehow that was the end stage…

        I’d be curious to hear what other sufferers have to say about this theory. Have any of you other folks found that just after the stage Phoebe is describing, your eczema backed off/cleared up?


      • Yes, it seems mine is slowly fading. and i mean slowly. I am just worried because I have my wedding in Nov an i don’t want red fingers in my photos :S

        The whole allergist thing scares me because i love dairy and such so i would want to be allergic to anything 😦

        I went and got moisturising gloves today so fingers crossed (not my sore ones haha) that these can bring me a little relief! I find coconut oil good at night purely because its amazing moisturising properties and i used some paw paw today because it was thicker and i found that was really good too during they day.

        At “the body shop” today the assistant told me her son had something similar on his foot and someone suggested he put lemon tea tree oil on it and she said it vanished quite quickly. have you heard of this before?


      • Congratulations to you, Phoebe!!! 🙂 As a side note: I used to photograph a lot of weddings. I’m sure if you express your concern to your wedding photographer they can pose you in a way that could disguise your hands if need be. Be sure to let them know how you feel about your hands so that they can be conscious of your mindset and your needs while documenting your special event. Communication like that is so important with your wedding photographer– or really with anyone who is photographing you– your true essence, some believe. Be comfortable being you, as well. Don’t let your self consciousness overpower your beauty on your wedding day. Let that worry go, lady! You will heal. You will emerge like a phoenix 😉

        I didn’t want to go to the allergist either…because I was afraid I might be allergic to my favorite food: Cheese. My fear was ABSOLUTELY true. It is almost as if I caused it for myself! You know how sometimes you say “watch out for that…” or “I hope it’s not this”–sometimes I think you can create an event if you put too much energy into these thoughts.

        Coconut oil– I sing praises of this magical salve!!! 🙂 I fully support it’s use with eczema– but let’s not forget that I am NO doctor 😉 Just an Earth Mama.

        I never tried Lemon Tea Tree Oil. I will do some research on it.

        I DID use the spice tumeric on my fingers. It is “pulling” just like the plantain I used that also helped. I swear I could feel it pulling out toxins…but I am also guilty of putting too much thought into a willingness to heal.

        The best medicine I’ve found for this ailment came to me in two words “Slow Down.” I just wrote a new blog about it. 🙂


  21. Pingback: ~New to Two~ Be here Now~ Transitioning from being a Mother of One to a Mother of Two. | The Butterchurn

  22. I’ve pretty much had this all my life and it comes and goes. When I was very young, it was in my feet. I remember many a time going to bed with Vaseline, plastic bags and socks to keep the bags on my feet – just to keep things moisturized. The cracking in my heels was torture. Like most people here, now it tends to be on my hands but occasionally I get it on my toes but to a much less severe degree than my hands.

    I know that I’m sensitive to the seasonal changes and that tends to factor in my flare ups. Plus the stress factor! If I’m under a lot of stress or emotional upheaval, it shows in my hands. I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem as severe as you have had but there have been times when most of my fingers have been bad. Like you, I try to avoid using the cortisone cream but sometimes you have no choice! I haven’t had to resort to heavy cream and gloves – thank goodness! I find that I use Aveeno and that helps minor breakouts a lot. I use it every day whether I have a breakout or not and I find it helps keep it at bay to some degree. It won’t do a thing for the severe stuff though.

    Thank you for this though because now I have a name for the specific eczema that I suffer from. 🙂


    • What do you use for it when it is really bad?! I have it the worst I’ve ever had now on my right index finger. My fingernail has bubbled up and looks horrible. Thought it was getting better and today it took a turn for the worst. I’ve tried the cortisone cream but it doesn’t help much even. Ugh! I’ve had it bad since end of Nov. With no end in sight.


      • I have a prescription for some cortisone cream from the doctor. The worst part is that it doesn’t work very well if I’m PMS-ing. Nothing works in that situation. I just keep piling on the Aveeno or whatever hand cream I can find. I don’t know where you live but if you’re in the middle of this brutal winter, it may be that when spring comes it’ll start to get better. Vitamin D from the sun is a wonderful thing. I really hope it turns around for you soon. For some reason, I’ve been lucky this winter and haven’t had as many problems.


      • Bag Balm, you can find it at walgreens, it’s been very helpful on my hands, smells weird but I thing it worths a try 🙂


  23. I’m so glad I came across this blog! I am 7 months pregnant and am going through this exact problem right now. I’ve never had any type of eczema before in my life. About 4 or 5 months ago I noticed a couple of these tiny, extremely itchy bumps on just a couple of my fingers and thumbs. I didn’t think much of it at first, I just thought they were irritated from cold weather or something. My fingers progressively got worse, they began itching so bad that I would scratch them open and then they would crack and bleed and peel… It’s been awful! I figured out that water made them worse, a little to late! It seems to be a very painful cycle of severe itching, then oozing, cracking bleeding.. then I will put Bag Balm on them with cotton gloves and take some benadryl (I’ve only done this a couple times because I’m pregnant and I don’t like taking medicine) and I thought I had it healed.. But then just as my dried scabs are “healing” I see a couple little blisters.. And then it starts all over again and every time is so much worse! Right now they are the worst they have been since I’ve developed this eczema. I was thinking it was just due to pregnancy, but no one I know has had this happen to them. So after reading that you think this is some how linked to breastfeeding I’m afraid it won’t go away after I have her! Ugh! Well my OB gave me some cream which is not helping, so I’m going to see a dermatologist next week. We shall see.


    • Halana,

      I hate to hear of your struggle. Just know that you are not on your own. Others ARE suffering from this ailment. Just skim through the comments of others here for proof of that! 🙂

      I want to be very clear here to you and to everyone else reading this blog post and the comments that I have went through ALL TYPES of theories about what may be causing Dyshidrotic Eczema. I want to make sure that you know, Halana– and anyone else reading– that I am a HUGE promoter of breast feeding. I do not, in any way, wish to sway anyone away from this magical gift– this bond– between Mother and Child. I struggled with my worst outbreak just after my second son was born. As I continue to read the comments and stories of everyone who has posted here on the blog, I learn more and more about this ailment.

      After reading comments here and studying more about this over the internet, my theories have expanded. I do believe that most people who suffer with basic eczema are indeed Sensitive– possibly allergic– to most of the compounds found in our foods (if they are not whole foods) and also our health and beauty products (soaps, detergents, shampoos, etc.).

      Breastfeeding, in my case, had to be ceased because it physically HURT to hold my son. My first experience with breastfeeding was much different. I had no outbreaks with my first son– so I do NOT believe that it is directly related to breast feeding, so rest easy and please don’t let that seep into your mind too much. Breastfeeding is the absolute best thing that you can do for your daughter. Do not, I beg you, let my words train your mind into thinking that breastfeeding could be causing your fingers to erupt. I do NOT believe that is the case. When I first wrote this blog– I had considered it, but now I do not think it is true.

      I wonder if you would mind answering a question for me to expand upon some new ideas that I have that I plan to share here soon in an upcoming blog. Have you been through periods of grief in your life, recently? This seems to be a common connection that all of us who suffer from Dyshidrotic Eczema share. You don’t have to go into details if you don’t want to, and I don’t mean to prod into your personal life– just a simple yes or no would do. However, if you are willing to share, I would truly appreciate it.

      We have had commentors here who have lost loved ones, went through shocking events and more. Each of us share one thing: Grief. We have been through a time in our lives that has tested our mind. A period that has made us all stronger. A time that has changed us. I plan to share my story, in all details, in an upcoming blog.


      • Butterchurn,

        Thank you for your encouraging words! I’m definitely going to breastfeed whether or not this clears up by the time she is here 🙂 I would not let my itchy fingers stop me from that! I have not gone through any grief lately, luckily. I have undergone a lot of stress with finding out we were having a baby, making huge life style changes and renovating our home. Although these are happy stresses for the most part! I think maybe for me it has to do hormonal changes (I’m hoping) because I have never had any of this before pregnancy. Either way, thank you for your kind words and sharing your story 🙂 For now I will continue to use Aveeno and Bag Balm until I see my dermatologist.. And hope my fingers will heal after pregnancy!


      • Wonderful to see someone who can relate. Luckily, I have found what causes my blisters/vesicles/finger edema–soy mostly . I developed food allergies after my son’s birth.
        Through my 8 years and son’s multi allergies, I did the following:
        * Stopped Soy in food (commercial breads/butter/marg/fast foods soy flour/soy oil–hellow Rice/corn)
        * Stopped Soy in detergent (Hello free N Clear)
        * Still testing out my theory on TBQ/sulfite? preservatives and citric acid.
        *Use a towel pillow and launder 1X/week (dust mites)/wood floors
        *Stopped nickel jewelry exposure
        *stopped neosporin (50% time itchy–cannot explain this)
        * use a high protein diet to promote wound healing. beef works.
        * Vitamin B2 pills help daily
        * Testing out book the eczema diet by K.fischer–on my fatty liver. Flax seed tea every few days works to flush me out and help my liver/pancreas/gallbladder clean out my body.
        With stress, perhaps I ate more fast food/chocolate. Food has changed. My diet has become more whole foods/vegan.
        The itchy blisters are controlled, but not the fissures and nonhealing.


  24. Joining the party, if you will, here. I’m very intrigued by your rational approach to this. I too am dealing with it. Looking back, I’ve traced it to one of two things, or perhaps both. I was wearing a nickle-plated (nickle-plated under gold-plating) ring and it flared the worst on that hand/finger. I’ve had a metal sensitivity when it came to my ears, but have never noticed any other metal issue. Secondly, like many, stress. In the middle of a cold snap, our compressor went out. Unable to replace it, I ran on backup heat, aware my electric bill was going to be ginormous the next month. The resulting combination of worrying about the bill, knowing I couldn’t resolve the larger, on-going accruing of bills, and the double-time work to compensate for the expense I believe pushed me beyond my physical limits.

    In any case, first round steroid creams gave me hives. A short course of prednisone wiped it out completely, but as I began the decrease in dosage, it crept back in. More hand creams. Two days into hand creams I was completely free. I’d gone through the horrible mannequin hands and resulting peel and had new skin almost all over. A day and a half after not needing the cream (prescribed for usage on active lesions) it was back on my hands.

    Today, the cream has seemed to dry out the blisters for the most part. But good golly it stresses me out more to think of dealing with this for eternity. As you said, I’ve also had that moment of “Good grief, just cut them off! I can’t use them anyway!” I’m an editor and an author and my hands are my lifeblood–a lifetime of not typing, or typing in pain doesn’t really thrill me.

    And so I have a question. It seemed with my first round I had the hard little bumps THEN the vesicles and blisters. This time, I noticed that the vesicles were plain, the blisters much much smaller yet wider, and seemingly not as deep. Did/has anyone noticed that secondary or tertiary flare ups presented slightly different, and perhaps not as…severe as the original? (Do tell me there is hope. A day of small blisters I can deal with. Those mannequin hands rendered me useless.)


    • I hear ya completely! I thought I was coming into the clear and then we went car shopping last night. It seems I am a high stress person anyway, so I really think it’s stress. I don’t wear much jewelry so I know it’s not metal allergy.

      I am having an issue with my finger nail!!! It not only ate away cuticle, but I get the blisters under my nails. Now it has deformed my nail…completely bumpy with a Large bump towards bottom of my nail.

      Has anybody had anything like that? Creams do not seem to be helping that part at all.


      • Yes, my fingernails are ALL deformed. They’re thin and bumpy and recessed. Barely any cuticles left. My right thumb has transformed. The part of the fingernail that is supposed to be what you trim off while cutting your nails has moved all the way one side of my thumbnail to the cuticle.

        Ugly stuff.

        My allergist told me he thought it was fungal, but my dermatologist corrected his theory and told me it was all from eczema.


    • “pushed me beyond my physical limits” — now we’re talking. It think there’s really something to that. I’ve been theorizing lately that eczema is a physical response to mental distress= Stress overload.

      You’ll be happy to know that in my experience, my secondary flare ups DID present differently and were NOT as severe as the original mannequin hands.

      Don’t Scratch!

      Thank you for your comment!


  25. With everything being said, how are you (the Butterchurn), coping with stress? What kinds of de-stressing methods that are working for you while handling multiple children and keeping a home? I strongly believe you when you say that stress is one of the biggest culprit for this type of eczema. I’m currently typing with my index finger on my left hand and my middle finger on my right. I’ve been dealing with a really bad episode over the last couple of months and it seems to just linger as it creeps slowly from one finger to the next or one part of my palm to another. I have a three month old son, in addition to my two-year-old and five-year-old other boys. Not to mention my beloved husband who is very much still a boy and who I constantly pick up after.

    I’ve tried the perscribed topical creams, coconut oil, olive oil, Vaseline, lanolin, Aveeno eczema creams which were an utter waste of money, white cotton gloves, white latex gloves, Epsom salt, gluten free diets, dairy free diets, sugar free diets, whole food diets, etc. and I’m sad to say that none of them made any considerable difference to my condition. I pretty much just settle for riding this thing through every time I have a break out and try to do as much I can to minimize discomfort, oozing and bleeding.

    Nevertheless, the stress theory that you described struck a chord with me as this has been something that I’ve theorized myself as I’ve been pining my way to discovering a breakthrough for this problem over the last couple of years. It started with my first born, when I went through a traumatic birth experience where my son – being 10lbs. at birth – suffered a shoulder distosia and had to undergo physio therapy for the first three months of his life. All the while hoping his injury wouldn’t be permanent. I went through my second child’s sleeping problem which started when he was 4 months old. To this day he wakes up at least twice every single night with no fail. Our third baby was definitely not planned (or even desired) and is beyond what we can afford financially, emotionally, and perhaps even physically (referring to my hands). I cannot bath him, burp him, change him, and sometimes even carry him.

    Stress. Trauma. Emotional well-being or lack thereof. I see somewhat of a pattern.

    I’ve recently realized, after looking back on certain periods of “peace” in my life – by that I mean no battling with embarassingly oozing and bleeding hands – that it was at those times I’ve somehow – though I’ve no idea if it’s even possible – escaped away from this overpowering stress.

    We went away on a long vacation to the Philippines for a few weeks months after my second son was born. After the first three days I started to notice how my hands weren’t itchy anymore, then by the first week the eczema cleared out of my hands. One week after I came back home, blisters started forming again.

    Before I was devastated upon discovering that I was pregnant again, this time with my third child, I was getting back into shape and getting plenty of exercise. I ran every other day and I did not have a single break out.

    A month ago I had a really bad case of the flu which pretty much rendered me unable to take care of my children. I packed our suitcases and drove my family in a snow storm to my parents’ house an hour away. I made camp in one of their bedrooms and did not see my two children or my husband over the next couple of days. My baby nursed and slept beside me while I too slept my flu away. After two days my once throbbing hands were no longer itchy and oozing.

    Coincidence? Still, I see a pattern.

    I would love to conduct some test on myself regarding this theory although I somehow find it impossible to get away from the stress. Everywhere I go, everywhere I turn, every minute of everyday it follows me. Whether it’s all three kids crying in the back seat while I’m driving or I struggle to open a jar lid with my working thumbs and one other finger in each hand. Many times I wanted to cry, but my hands seem to want to do the crying instead.

    I wonder, do I need to spend thousands of dollars to fly somewhere and leave my stresses at home where they belong? Do I need to get the flu every time and be forced to rest so that I can have a little bit of relief?


    • My stress relief consists of the following:
      * Slowing down
      *Not getting myself into a rush (Panic=anxiety)
      *Putting my needs first every now and then (Not ALWAYS putting myself last)
      *Finding time for ME. My needs need to be met too, instead of me being the one to meet everyone else’s needs ALL the time. (avoidance of feeling overwhelmed)

      Make time for you!

      I have also found that it helps me if I can slow down enough to ask my oldest son to help me with things that I know will aggravate my hands. He loves to help.
      Ex: Scooping the laundry detergent, wringing out a washcloth in the sink, dishes he can wash, wiping the table clean– helping with chores he can comprehend. It is a win win for both of us. He learns how to feel responsible and helpful and my hands aren’t subjected to things that burn, sting and cause a problem for me.


      • I should also add that once I stopped using shampoo, my skin healed TREMENDOUSLY. I used coconut oil to get through the itchy period that comes with your scalp detoxing itself from the chemicals found in most shampoos. I now wash my hair only with water and condition it by running coconut oil through it with my fingers every now and then to tame the frizzies and whatnots.


    • Also… this really resonates with me: “Many times I wanted to cry, but my hands seem to want to do the crying instead.” Beautifully and painfully written. Poetic.

      Hang in there. They will heal if you allow your mind to heal. That’s my theory.


      • I agree with the impact of her words. I cried when I read them. It is exactly how I feel sometimes.


    • Hi there, I have this eczema plus other autoimmune conditions but found my cause was in fact gluten although it took many monthsto go away so just wondering whether you gave all those things such as a GFfree diet longenough to work as itcan up to six months for your immune system to die down after being triggered by whatever is triggering it. I now have nhs diagnosis of Ponpholyx secondary to gluten sensitivity. As with me, all of my conditions stabilise somewhat when I am pregnant or ill because your immune system changes in both cases, for example when you are ill, your immune system is distracted by illnesses as it has something better to do than attack you :o)


  26. Thank you. I have never really put too much thought on the idea of my oldest helping me out around the house more. I know he’s capable, smart, and perhaps even willing. I will think of a list of things for him tonight. I’ll try to think of things he can have fun doing as well.

    Please do write more about your journey. I’ve read some of your entries more than once and – though we may be complete strangers to one other – I feel a little bit of a connection. I didn’t realize until recently that there are people out there like myself suffering through this condition.


    • You are not alone 🙂 I thought I was a monster for ages, but I knew I was not the only one suffering through this and wanted to make sure that others who were suffering knew that this was a REAL thing that needs LOTS of medical research and help from the medical field. It is overlooked, I fear, quite often. Dismissed. Hidden in the shadows almost. I wish there were someone I could ask to FUND an experimental study on DE. I’d gladly be a participant and share my story…perhaps use myself as a test subject. Heck…I’ve already done it once in my own life.


  27. Wow, this is my life with dyshidrotic eczema, too! Thank you for the details of your experience. Aside from the new baby, I could have written much of this bc it resonates so clearly with me and my experience… Except my allergies are to mold and dust! I had eczema growing up, but not as an adult. About 3 years ago, moved into a house with mold, and got dyshidrotic eczema. After moving out, it has subsided, and only flares when I garden without gloves or spend too much time in water (allergy to water!). I self diagnosed my dyshidrosis with hours of research and reading and looking at blogs like yours and had to convince my dermatologist of what it was. She kept prescribing creams that simply relieved the itch but did nothing for the blistering and cracking. She kept insisting it was contact dermatitis. Finally, I tried corticosteroids and that helped. But I gained 40 lbs in a year (and I’m a daily runner, so that was bizarre!). And now I just control it by avoiding allergens. Not everyone who has this is allergic to the same things, but I’m convinced it’s the body’s way of dealing with certain allergens. I hope you continue to heal without needing corticosteroids.


    • PS. I think stress lowers our immune system, and since it is almost an autoimmune response, this is how or bodies react to allergens and stressors like pollen or dust mites or mold, so is definitely a contributing factor.


      • Am floored by recent discovery: argan oil and sea buckthorn seed oil have changed my hands! I massage the oil into my hands at night and they have been improving over the last few days. Today, no weeping cracks, only a few wrinkles and itchy blisters. But wow! Why couldn’t I have discovered this 3 years ago?!!! Has anyone else had success with this? I’m hoping it’s a long-term soliton because I’m so weary from the corticosteroid routine.


      • I am very interested to try this method, Ria. Thank you for sharing your insight!

        The more natural the better. Always! 🙂

        How Wonderful that you’ve had success with this treatment. Seriously! I am happy for you 🙂 Please update us of your journey. Is the argan oil and sea buckthorn seed oil still working?


      • I think this is an interesting theory. Pollen isn’t one of my allergens, luckily. Yesterday I harvested fresh dandelion flowers and made sure to grab each flower head with my right thumb, which is currently facing an outbreak. Each flower head left a thick coat of pollen on my thumb. Today I have seen no signs that the pollen placement was a bad idea. In fact, my thumb looks a bit better today…

        So confusing, this ailment.


      • Stress does effectively STRESS OUT the immune system. It makes it overworked. It lowers your immunity.

        This information came from the vault of my aspie partner’s mind, so it is abbreviated but on point.


  28. I have become really familiar with dyshidrosis it only started about 2 yrs ago when my body “switched illnesses”. really bizarre because i had worked as a union pipefitter for 3 yrs until i had been fired for the first time. note i had been drinking multiple diet mountain do 24 packs a week which i think doing for 3 years poisoned my body somehow as nowdays its a big trigger. my body freaked out in a two day period i broke out in hives, cholinergic urticaria (or psoriasis guttate) all over my entire body. it was so bad that heat even slightly raised in the room sent my whole body into a wildfire of stinging itching thought destroying mania, it was like heat rash that never healed. i couldn’t leave the house for 3 weeks after the firing not just because of the heat (AGONY) i would get these wheals that would bleed all over my bed sheets. i decided this was my sign to go back to college as manual labor was no longer possible ( i was a serious bodybuilder and NOT a couch potato, not being able to exercise crippled self esteem as i watched years of hard earned muscle disappear) after several years the “heat tingle frenzy” evolved into eczema somehow as now i can bear the heat again. but the stress happened during christmas finals last yr ago or so i noticed the blisters appearing on my hands and feet for the first time, all hell broke lose. the itching (so damn hard not to) and the cracking fissures are the worst!! i would file the hardened stuff down so it was more flexible and keep it moisturized. multiple bacteria infections (two foot infections saw me to the ER) and athletes foot augmentation made it even worse! raw cracked bleeding feet heckled my productivity to no end. i now have my “method” similar to what you mentioned with the gloves. steroid creams do nothing to address fungus or bacteria and my feet sweat A LOT. i now wear crocks and try to keep my feet aired out as much as i can (when not in the cracked phase, then theres difficulties). nitrile gloves (allergic to latex) are put on after i disinfect with bactine, i was prev using apple cider vinegar soaks (open wounds sting like hell, i have to stifle the yell its so excruciating when first applied but the lidocaine anesthetic sets in after the pain of application makes the cracks in my feet numb so i can walk!). disinfect, layer of steroid cream, petroleum jelly ( i use neosporin sparingly where theres open wounds only cause i i cant use a crapload like i do of the petro jelly). i soak hands and feet in diluted bleach bathwater 20 min a day to prevent infections. I honestly can say I FEEL YOU!!!!! I HATE THIS STUFF WITH A VENGENCE (as it does me lol). its time consuming and when i go running i cover the open wounds with lidocaine and then duct tape to act as a temporary barrier. same annoying ritual every day. i alternate steroid creams with antifungal because i got athletes on my hand with the barrier breach. HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS> anyways dyhidrosis is so rare when peeps at college think im a weirdo for wearing gloves all the time ( the compression dulls the itch i heard from some dermo dude on yutube, the work gloves i have cinch down and help avoid more itching). listen to me ramble, phah i never write this much on posts.

    lot of causes and posed culprits (leaky gut syndrome, gluten/yeast relationship, heavy metal presence, alkaloids (caffiene is a huge offender), no dairy.

    i know meats supply the body the building blocks to make histidine which is the precursor to histamine, i know when i stay away from processed stuff and eat mostly vegan (btw im a carnavore by nature and hate not being able to gorge on the usual foods) it limits production to a point where outbreaks are less severe. i now watch the bath water temp like a hawk and wear gloves anytime i do dishes cause the soaps always aggravate it. been on multiple prednisone cycles good lord (which at first i thought was cool cause it would help me bulk again, but corticosteroids arent anabolic and prednisone actually causes muscle wasting and obesity which is awesome lol)

    if there is a hell dyshidrosis is a preview of what hell is in my opinion. I FEEL YOU! GOOD GOD I FEEL YOU! (when i read your column about this condition i was like will ferrels buddy the elf when he hears santa works at the mall ” OOH OOH I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!”….only without the enthusiam. try seething disdain with an accompanied sense of utter helplessness and jilted rage. you feel like life has cheated you. literally. I can’t offer much help, only condolences and the comradarie that extends to brothers and sisters of the same curse. I’ll try to offer what i can trial and error…hearing all these other lifelong ailments is discouraging. my dad had it at my age so bad that when my sister was born he couldn’t even hold her it was heart wretching. it went away for him after the age of 26 (funny cause he had it fro age 14 to 26 and mine didnt start till i turned 24…not ready to board this decade long hell cruise). Anyways, again i know exactly where you are coming from and i know how dispairing it can be. Hope you find relief, permanent relief…if im as lucky as my dad i can only hope. one journey i do not want to embark upon hah!


    • I have DE on my feet soooo bad! I’m a mother of 3 kids and on most days it’s very hard for me to walk because of the pain on the bottom of my feet, so needless to say getting then to the bus in the mornings is like Hell. Not to mention just the light pressure I put on the gas pedal. I’m at my wit’s end… this stuff literally feels like it’s debilitating me! Any advice?


      • This condition IS debilitating. I believe that we should qualify for disability, actually. Because when you can’t use your hands or feet it is hard to do ANYTHING.

        Have you been to a dermatologist and allergist?


      • I’ve got an appointment with my family Dr this coming Friday and then an appointment with a dermatologist on Oct. 2nd, however I’m very hesitant. I refuse to use steroids of any type. My hands have almost completely cleared up after taking coconut oil pills, apple cider pills, as well as drinking acv… I also use gloves to do the dishes and use free and clear laundry soap. Nothing has worked for my feet though… this may sound gross, but one of my dogs love to lick my feet and that relieves some of the blisters and pain. I have no idea why. I’m so frustrated with all this pain! I agree with you about the disability, but i don’t foresee that ever being approved 😕


      • I have had DE for about 7-8 years now. I have tried many many “remedies” for it as well. I experienced significant relief with kenalog injections but nothing made it actually go away. Recently I have changed my diet to a clean, whole foods diet (doing the 21 Day Fix by Beachbody). After 21 days of eating clean, with very limited dairy and gluten, I can’t believe how much my feet have improved. I am still having gastric issues, but they are a lot better. My feet no longer keep me up at night itching, I don’t have to take my shoes off at work to cool my feet off, its amazing! This really leads me to agree with people who have called this a gut issue. Clean eating is easier and cheaper than I thought it would be, and 100% worth it for how good my body feels. Highly recommend it!!


  29. I used to think my DE was terrible, but I realize that I am incredibly lucky because mine is not as severe as most of the comments I have read. Even so, there are so many times where I have almost seriously considered scraping my feet across sand paper just to stop the itching. I do not have it on my hands (although for the past few days I have noticed a few little blisters hanging out on one of my fingertips, and I am terrified this monster is now going to affect my hands). My first outbreak was 5 or 6 years ago, and honestly I cannot remember if it was before or after my daughter was born (but I breastfed too, not sure if there is a connection). My feet would flare up for a few weeks, then it would go away and I even went as long as almost a year with no flare up at all. Currently I am flared up and have been for almost two years straight. Sometimes the itching wakes me up at night and I will scratch myself awake, then put my feet in cold water to calm it down. I can’t sleep with socks on, usually I can’t even sleep with blankets on my feet because the second my feet get a little too warm the itching goes crazy. Does anyone else notice a link between temperature and itch? If I put cold water on them, or walk barefoot across the cold tile in my bathroom, it really helps to calm it. I have to wear tennis shoes at work and usually my feet get too hot and thus itch like crazy. I can only wear cotton socks or my feet will sweat too much and then itch. I tried wearing flip flops in summer but it seems that the rubber straps (I have regular Old Navy flops) also irritate my DE. I have tried about every corticosteroid cream they make (feels like it anyway), I have had kenalog shots, and I have taken prednisone. They work for a while, then don’t. During all this crazy, I found out that I have some sort of liver issue (they still can’t figure it out and want to do a biopsy, which I am not very keen on). I also had a bought of guttate psoriasis after being sick, and a patch test revealed that I am allergic to nickel and gold salt (though gold has never bothered me before). Prior to my DE, I have never had eczema before in my life. I’m not sure if I have food allergies, because I am not sure of all the things they tested when they did my patch test (it was a sticker, not a series of shots, and I was allergic to the adhesive). Anyone found any secret sources of nickel that maybe I am overlooking? Or any other ideas? I definitely think there is a stress link, but I feel like my stress levels have seriously decreased and it hasn’t helped my feet.


    • “the second my feet get a little too warm the itching goes crazy” — yes ma’am! Although I have not had DE on my feet, I have felt the same intensity of itch after my hands changed temperature toward the top of the thermometer.

      Does anyone else notice a link between temperature and itch? ” — YES. If I am working and start sweating, the itching begins. Usually it starts for me on the inside of my left elbow, oddly enough.

      “a patch test revealed that I am allergic to nickel and gold salt” — an allergy to nickel is one I’m currently working on. I have a sock taped to the track pad on my laptop to see if it is causing my thumb and middle finger on my right hand to erupt. It seems a good theory that I may be allergic to the track pad’s heavy metals since my right thumb and right middle finger are both the most used fingers on the pad. Cell phones too, in my case, are used by those fingers. I am right handed.

      Check out this discussion: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3653740?start=15&tstart=0 These users are complaining of something that sounds MIGHTY familiar!!!


  30. Thank you for writing this and sharing. I have been dealing with this for 3+ years now. Its good to know that there are others out there dealing with the same thing as I am. Again… thanks!


    • Lots of new comments to reply to…I’ll catch up soon, folks 🙂

      I just wanted to add that I am currently re-introducing dairy into my diet to see if it truly is the culprit. I’m quite surprised to discover that, so far, there have been minor changes to the status of my hands. I have gorged myself on the wonderful tasty treat known as CHEESE and haven’t seen too much of a change. Because of this, I am even more convinced that DE is a physical response to mental distress (stress). The more I am able to maintain my stress levels, the more convinced of this I become. Whenever I get really irritated, feel out of control or angry, the little blisters pop up. They’re lurking just below the surface of multiple fingertips right now. The difference this time is that I am managing my stress much better and am also NOT scratching (as much as one can) or squeezing or picking at my fingers.

      I also want to share that if you MUST get some relief in the form of scratching, rubbing, etc. to relieve the itch…BANANA PEELS work like magic. They’re slippery and not abrasive, but they give you that feeling of relief via pressure. Just don’t squeeze too hard…and don’t go into hyperspeed with the itch. If you put too much pressure on your wounds, you’ll just aggravate the inflammation. Banana peels, I have also learned, are a known treatment for Eczema in general. I have tried this method each morning (which is when the itching tends to be the worst) and my hands have seemed to comply with this treatment. The clear blisters never burst at the surface of the skin and are now a dark yellow color. I am also still a big fan of ELTA TAR, which I can now apply to my hands every other night. The cotton gloves hold the Elta Tar to my skin all night and in the morning I can see a vast improvement to the status of the both of the open wounds and the blisters.

      So again…. and I will highlight these things in bold:
      BANANA PEELS to “itch” with
      ELTA TAR and cotton gloves at night
      Maintain your stress level

      So far these things have alleviated much pain and distress.

      I have much more stored away in the back of my mind to write about– all in good time and good health.

      Hang in there, fellow sufferers. You’re NOT alone!!! Many thanks to everyone who has commented with their stories and their specific treatment methods for the beast.


    • You are not alone. Hang in there. Get to know yourself and watch for situations that trigger the itching and outbreaks. Avoid them: be it foods, people, places, etc.

      and if you can’t avoid them, ask yourself why you itch when you’re around them.


  31. I thought that I will post an update. I am almost 6 months into photo therapy. The itching is almost gone. I still get minor outbreaks, but I can barely notice them now – no itching, weeping, no gloves all day… Skin is dry – so I moisturize a lot. I do not use any steroids. My hands appear a bit tanned, but at this point I do not care. I can take care of my baby and that is important to me. 6 months ago I could not even type without major pain.

    For anyone interested in photo therapy – it is pricey, but there are options, including getting a home unit. I am considering this, but I want to get 100% better before I buy one.

    All the best for everyone!


    • I wanted to add to this that I have a friend who also had great success with photo therapy. Overall, although I have not tried this method, I am a bit skeptical. It seems to me that having the free time to sit with your hands, not busy, under light for a series of time– may be stress relief in itself.


      • Does photo therapy relax me? I do not know, it does not take long enough time I guess – it is only a few minutes three times a week. I began at 30 seconds and now a session takes about 4 minutes. Maybe you imagine it is like a spa, it is not! And getting out of the house on time to make my appointment is actually stressful with the little one.

        I am extremely happy with the results. I was so miserable and in pain last year that if someone told me eating poop will help, I would eat it :-D.

        I have only minor breakouts now that go away really quickly and never week. And my life is stressful as hell – between caring for the little one, money concerns, writing a dissertation that my job will depend on – I am quite vulnerable now.


  32. One question. Does any of you experience prune-like fingertips? Like when you are in the water for too long (but without actually soaking them). I get that and I wonder if it is connected to DE.

    Actually, my fingertips are always little puffy in the morning, a bit swollen. When I had bad outbreaks, I would notice more vesicles in the morning – I break out overnight. Then during the day the fingertips become “pruney”, sometimes it even hurts because the creases are so deep.


  33. This was a very interesting read, thank you for sharing your story.

    My trigger seems to be these rubber cases for cell phones, cellphones themselves, and any other hot electronic device’s extended pressure to my skin.

    After having a phone in my hand destorying my skin for 7+ years, I am now happy to say I am phone free for almost 3 months now. My main holding finger is almost healed completely and I am figuring out how to live without these stupid devices..


    • YES, Carl…I do believe that sufferers of this ailment are VERY sensitive to track bars on laptops and cell phones/electronic devices (IPAD, etc).

      We are a generation that is tethered to these devices. My family does not have ONE cell phone capable of internet access on purpose. I do not own an “IMAGADGET” like most folks I know.

      Crucial. Pertinent. More on this later…time willing. Right on key, though.


      • So interesting! My big breakout (started Dec 2012 and almost clear now) totally coincided with my ipad purchase. I actually was convinced for a while that the device was causing it and put it in a drawer last summer, where it still resides.


  34. I have this too…hands and eyelids. Resorted to cortisone shot and prednisone pak TODAY after eyes swelled shut! I’ve had some aspect of rashes (asthma too ) my whole life, but not until today did I actually have a correct diagnosis. I feel I may be sensitive to gluten, but basically, when the rashes are this bad, I’m fearful of being allergic to EVERYTHING!


    • I also went through a stage of fear…fear that I was allergic to EVERYTHING, just as you have stated. I was positive that there was something I could change in my outer world…a detergent, a lotion, a soap, a dust mite. Overall, as I have written about in my most current blog, I really feel as if this ailment is of the mind. Since I have begun to handle my anxiety and have begun a process of self-realization, I have noticed a tremendous change in how I am able to control the “beast” when it tries to erupt onto my outer link to the world.

      I do, however, still feel as if I may have a sensitivity to the laptop I’m typing on…or maybe even the wireless mouse. The only fingers that regularly give me a problem, even after reintroducing dairy and eating EVERYTHING on my allergy list are my right thumb, (which hovers over my laptop touch pad) and my right middle finger, which I also use on the touchpad when I’m scrolling websites and do not have a mouse. I am currently testing out this theory of being allergic to the laptop touchpad (silver? Nickel? some heavy metal for sure?). I have taped a sock over it since it works from the heat off of your hands and fingers and use my wireless mouse as much as possible instead. Someone want to test that theory with me?


  35. First please let me say thank you for taking the time and writing this. I too am going through this. I had to quit my job after it continually got worse over 2 years. I nearly hospitalized myself. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with but I couldn’t imagine being a new mum with it. I too have an amazing partner who I couldn’t have done this without, I am only just starting to heal, and very slowly at that. It will take me a long time to try and fix this after it has ravaged my body, and unfortunately still does so. I know what it’s like to look down at your hands and see something you no longer recognize, and feel ashamed to show in public. I have lost all but one nail, completely. My toenails are not far off either. I wish you luck and the best for your family. thanks again for being so brave


  36. I too suffer from this horrible disease. First time I noticed was back in 2007 and it was on my feet only. I dug them till they bled of course not knowing what it was; I went as far as pouring pure bleach on the places after I tore the blisters. I went to the dermatologist and after scraping my foot they came back to tell me I had dyshidrotic eczema along with an infection. I used the steroid cream and it went away after a few months and I thought I was fine, then last year oh my. Last year along the end of April first week of May my hands broke out with it, it was the worst thing I think I have ever gone through.
    It got to the point I was like a lot of you, I couldn’t bend my fingers or hardly type. I am in the Human Resources field, so my embarrassment when I had to do an interview and all the people “What did you do to your hands?!” question every day. 2 trips to the doctor, I was crying and in so much pain and agony from the itching I couldn’t stand it.
    All they did was the steroid cream again…antibiotics because I had a secondary infection from scratching (which made me throw up) so had to get that changed. And told me to rub the steroids in my hands and wear neoprene gloves to bed all night. To me it didn’t help much. It seems to me the more moist they stay the worse they get…but I honestly don’t know. Last year when that happened it rained a lot where I live. This year we are in a bit of a deficit and they are blistered up now, nothing compared to last year, I can live with what I have now.
    So my findings are humidity and moisture makes it flare up. Stress will definitely make it flare up. No cream I have ever tried helps. I think if you can stand your hands being dry they heal quicker. I wear gloves for everything I do from cleaning, furniture polish, Lysol, scooping out the litter box, bathing the dogs – anything. No chemicals…and watch what is in your shampoo and body wash as I have blisters all over my arms today and I think it’s from my body wash…or tanning lotion, who knows, this is a trial and error self study I do believe. It does tend to go into remission so to speak when fall arrives and until spring comes. I just wish there was a fix but I have learned over the years it just depends on the person, and so sorry to all who have this.


  37. Thank you so much for sharing your experience…I’ve also been diagnosed with this grueling and very painful disease. I’ve often felt like if I could understand it better, I could heal. Your pain and agony is a reminder that I am not alone. The pictures of your hands look exactly like mine. I am so happy that you have such a wonderful and supportive husband. My husband helps me also especially through the tears, the anger and the frustration. Good luck to you, Princess. I feel for you and wish you peace.


  38. My GP told me to use Hibiscrub (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hibiscrub-HIBI500-HiBiSCRUB-500-ml/dp/B001AV4C20/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400066793&sr=8-1&keywords=hibiscrub) as a shower wash to prevent me getting infections due to diabetes. I use a couple of squirts mixed with a little water in a beaker. Much to my amazement I have found my DE almost gone, it’s very weird. I mean I still use Colbaderm but always had a breakout of eczema. Now, with the hibiscrub, the eczema is just SO much better and I can even wash-up with no gloves. Maybe worth a try for osme people.


  39. Pingback: A True Journey of Self Healing and Dyshidrotic Eczema: Honest Answers. | The Butterchurn

  40. I’m here because I started having dishydrotic eczema flaring up on my fingers again. I haven’t had them since my late 20s — and I’m now in my 40s. I’ve been majorly stressed out throughout my 20s and 30s and 40s, but never had outbreaks in my 30s. I assumed I outgrew whatever it was. I always associated the outbreaks with warm weather.

    I moved to the humid South 3 years ago and got acclimated to the change in temps with the change in seasons. It’s only in the past few weeks that my eczema has been acting up — and more aggravating than when I last had them 15+ years ago. Not stress for me. My diet hasn’t changed in terms of meat or dairy consumption.

    I don’t know if it’s location, but throughout the time I was dishydrotic eczema-free, I lived in one area. I just now realized that I never had it when I lived there. Guess I should hope that I move back there again to see if that solves my problem.


    • I live in New jersey and I noticed that when I went to Alaska and Montreal, it went away and within days of returning to NJ, it returned. So far all I have is this lose correlation that I cannot thoroughly test because I don’t have the time and money to keep on going on vacations. What area/state/country did you live in that you never had a DE outbreak? Was it a rural farm area, urban city, or somewhere in between?


  41. Did you ever determine anything about it being more common in breastfeeding moms of newborns? Mine started when my breastfeed girl was about 2 weeks old. I have the exact same condition!


    • I was never able to do any further research on that idea…but overall I think that it makes sense. In my case, I was going through a series of stressful life changes all at once. I was giving so much of my self to my newborn, my husband and my oldest son…that there was nothing left for me, it seemed. I had completely lost my sense of self in some ways…never finding time for me… always putting myself last. The conclusion I had come to about this was especially hard for me, being that we have NO ONE to help us watch our boys. I essentially had a talk with myself and saw that there was nothing that I could change about my situation other than finding time to be alone while my husband watched the boys AND realizing that I needed to be stronger, because this was what life was asking of me. I had no choice. I had to be strong for my family. I had to overcome. Weakness was not an option.


      • I’m also having this DH on my hands. I had it since I was 12 or 13 years old, and my sister had the same. At the very beginning of the disease our motger took us to an allergist and we were diagnosed with allergy to dust mits, to geese feathers, to cat’s and horse’s hair. We never had carpets/curtains/pillows feeled with feathers since (now i’m 28) but the DH never really disappeared. We moved through different countries since, it first gets better as we move, i think due to different water, but then relapsing. We both are corticosteroids users since it started, but in last years we used it somehow less. With time you get used to everything, even to DH 🙂
        I got pregnant on November 2012, and trough pregnancy i followed a very healthy diet and my hands were SO PRETTY!!! By now i just can’t believe it were MY hands, as shortly aftere my daughter was born, the DH came back (obviously, with water use). My pregnancy was a WONDERFUL time, we didn’t have any problem during the delivery, it breastfeeding with a great joy, and i’m not stressed at all and actually i only has two stressful periods in my life. First time on the first year of the University, then the eczema worstened and i managed it with Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs). Second time it worstened I discovered that I was extremely allergic to tea tree oil, that i was using in that period.

        I always used commercial hand creams, a lot of different oils and used gloves while using soaps/detergents since I was a child. Well, i got allergic to latex few years ago. So I strongly recommend you not to use it!
        I got to long, so to conclude i just want to thank you for gathering all this experience from all different people. I’m going to try to exclude most nickel containing foods, as i’m still breastfeeding and I don’t use any chemicals at all (not even herbs, they actually work on the same biochemical basis with drugs, the difference that a drug contains only one active principle, and an herb/oil contain dozens of them). I only use some oils (olive, sunflower, anyone i cook with) under cotton gloves at night to get the skin a bit more elastic. Well, i should admit it isn’t a solution. Hope the alimentary changes alone could make it better


  42. Your blog mirrors my experience so clearly. I am 35 and have had eczema since I was 16. I’ve seen countless doctors – dermatologists. urgent care for really bad outbreaks and finally an allergist and holistic dr. After 15 years of steroid use, I stopped. I dealt with a withdrawal that had my whole face beet red and sandpaper rough, but in time and with a strict diet it cleared. I have been dairy and gluten free nearly two years. If I eat any type of grains (corn, oats especially) I get a flare. I mostly use coconut oil on my skin and take epsom salt baths frequently. I still can’t kick it on my hands. I have three little kids and pets, plus I teach… so I am constantly washing my hands and applying things to their skin that irritate. During really bad times, it is hard not to cry. Simple tasks can bring so much pain. Itching and throbbing prevent sleep. It is a terrible thing to endure so long, isn’t it?


  43. No stress for me when it started. Quite the opposite actually. I would argue a weak immune system, hormones, or it’s contagious. Stress can cause compromised immune systems or altered hormone levels. But a lot of people here just had babies so were probably in hospitals for that. Maybe you were exposed to something there.


    • Rhonda, thank you for your comment. I just wanted to mention very quickly that although I was among those who had just had a baby after the DE got REALLY bad, I did not have my baby in a hospital, so I’d vote that theory out if I were given a ballot of potential causes. I understand your concern over being exposed to illnesses in a hospital, though. This was one consideration I muddled over when choosing to have a baby in a birthing center using a midwife.

      I am about 98% positive that in my case, after much time and experiments using myself as the subject…that STRESS or a Psychological response to the stress IS the cause of my DE. See my following blog about DE if you are interested in an update to my story. I’m not quite done writing about it, but I feel strongly about this conclusion.


    • I had it worst after the baby, but it started before giving birth, so I doubt it is the hospital.

      I am also leaning towards stress explanation and the lack of sleep. I noticed that if I do not get much sleep I get itchy.


  44. Wow, thank you for sharing your story. This really struck a chord with me since I’ve had dishydrotic eczema my whole life.The soles of my feet were so bad at times during high school that I could barely walk. I tried countless steroid creams and cortisone shots, PUVA light therapy, pills that inhibited sweating and special shoes and socks that made my feet sweat less. I would coat my feet with aquaphor then cotton socks before bed and wake up to find that the ooze stuck to my socks. Ripping them off was so awful as you know from your cotton gloves. The light therapy worked to heal my feet, but I still get recurring bouts on my hands and the tops of my feet that seem to coincide with my seasonal allergies. I think my body has a hard time fighting the eczema when it’s already under attack from pollen. I’ve found that eliminating dairy helps a little, but not 100% . I am also really allergic to mold and any cultured dairy like blue cheese or gorgonzola immediately affects my skin. There is definitely more to my eczema/food allergy correlation and you have inspired me to research this further. For the longest time, dermatologists refused to acknowledge that there was any link between diet and dishydrotic eczema. They told me I was born with it and it was worsened by sweating and kept prescribing “bandaid” fixes. I’m glad there is so much more information out now.


  45. I just want to thank you for sharing your experience. I have recently been experiencing this same thing for the past 2 years on and off gradually getting worse. I have thought it was many things only to find out it wasn’t. I have never had eczema in my life. My last child I had was 5 years ago so it wasn’t a pregnancy or breastfeeding issue. My youngest is 5 now thank God cause I don’t know how I would have made due having a baby around with this. My heart goes out to you for enduring and making due with your poor hands. Yes any time I get my hands wet its like they come alive. I have begun to resent water and soap. They constantly go through stages of blisters, dry then scale off, red skin, cracks, I have found that avocado oil to be the best natural oil that is best for dry cracked skin. I too am outraged about the chemicals in our society and how we are told(via advertisement) something is great to use and a better alternative but then upon deeper investigation it has ingredients that are toxic. I feel so blessed that mine has not come to the extent yours was. I once however was in bed a whole week as I could not use my hands at all(even using the bathroom was a night mare) and I feared they were contagious to my family… this was before I found out it was eczema. I got cold sores every few years and thought I had had herpes whitlow the first time my hands were attacked. Well praise God it wasn’t that cause I was afraid of touching my kids and husband and I missed out on any form of touch for a week during that time. Never realized how important touch and affection is till I was deprived of it for a whole week. My husband was scared to sleep in the same room even…cant say I blame him a bit. After researching more I found out the eczema is also a symptom of internal yeast and fungal infections (vaginal, or candida) which I have suffered from in the past. I guess yeast, fungus all feed on sugars and this is what cancer is. I eliminated gluten and most sugars (except natural ones found in fresh fruit) and I splurge once in a while with honey. I also avoid water on my hands whenever possible. My wonderful husband has been a great help as well as my oldest with taking over the kitchen. I miss baking bread. My hands got better pretty quickly after avoiding water and dropping gluten, dairy (except my farm fresh eggs). Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience.


  46. I’ve had this since my early 20’s, I’m 40 now and I don’t have children. I’ve learned to deal with it and as I’ve aged it seems that I’ve gotten better. Stress will cause a flare up and I’ve found foods that irritate me as well (I cannot touch a tomato plant, instant itch). I use steroid cream very sparingly when it flares up.

    But what made me post was that i’m so happy to hear that others understand how intensely those stupid blisters itch! People would say “don’t scratch” and it would make me so mad because they can’t understand. When I have a flare up it will take all most concentration not to focus on the itch…but I always give in.


  47. I am 26 years old, and I have had eczema on my hands, randomly, off & on, since I was in 4th grade- It was made worse by my decision to become a dog groomer in 2006, and after I suffered more medical issues from that profession, I decided to quit.
    I became a law enforcement and 911 operator in 2011 and hadn’t had a SINGLE problem since I switched. Not one, I thought I was free and rid of that issue- but I was severely mistaken.

    All of a sudden, on June 2 this year, I had a massive outbreak and am STILL dealing with it as I type.
    My hands are swollen, cracked in all the finger creases, bright red, bleeding, peeling, oozing fluid, very stiff and extremely painful. I have no desire to do anything, all I want is to sit with my hands in the air not moving or touching anything, but I have so much to do-

    I moved 6 hours away from the place I grew up on June 3 of this year, started a new job, and live with 2 other dudes for now, all to be with my significant other- I am sure the combination of stress and the fact that I had borax on my hands a couple days prior to my outbreak, along with the fact that my temporary living situation involves a cat, to which I am allergic, has aggravated this problem to the worst outbreak I’ve ever had in my life.. and it gets worse when the steroids from the urgent care center run out, so I’ve stopped taking them and tried to just deal with it….

    It makes me cry every day, tears of frustration and pain. I have tried everything you listed in your blog, and then some. My new insurance is giving me a hard time and taking forever to help me get in to see a new doctor, which is only adding to my stress.. Plus we move into our new place in 2 weeks, and how useful am I going to be?? Not useful at all.
    I just feel so overwhelmed and unhappy, and it seems impossible for me to relax or try to stay calm, as hard as I try…

    It’s probably an awful thing to say, but I am glad I’m not alone in this.
    My boyfriend doesn’t understand, albeit he is extremely sympathetic and supportive- but my family on my mom’s side has psoriasis and eczema in many forms, and unfortunately it was passed down to me.

    I only hope in the coming years they are able to, if not find a cure, at least offer gentler solutions for relief and treatment, so that even though we have to deal with this horribly painful problem, we can have some measure of peace.

    Thank you for sharing =)


  48. An overwhelming, blistering first began to cover my hands during a very stressful summer of making difficult and painful decisions in my community. I’m a female—it does seem to favor us a little! At the time I was 30yrs old with young children.
    In the course of researching and experimenting, I found the following things to be true for me and my skin:

    1. It only happens while I’m under stress. (Which is pretty common!)
    2. I must avoid all dairy, bleached flour, chocolate, excess sugar, wood smoke, artificial colors/flavors/preservatives and polyester fabric while under stress. This includes bath and cleaning products. The more of these foods I eat, the uglier it gets.
    3. If I’m not under stress, I can get away with eating moderate servings of these foods. (Unfortunately, this duality made it difficult to isolate which foods exacerbated the blistering)
    4. When I do have a breakout, my favorite cream is California Baby: Therapeutic Relief Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream. It has a unique way of drying the blisters without drying-out my hands. It both heals quickly and prevents infection. Also, I find that lotions (not creams) really inflame the blisters.

    Thank you Butterchurn for keeping this blog. It’s the first really good discussion I’ve found about DE!


    • I came across the term “Dishpan hands” while researching DE. Females, especially mothers, seem to most certainly suffer from this the most.
      I will note that I am jealous that you feel as if you have a “Community.” I long for that…

      I have also found that lotions set my hands on “fire” more than creams. Thank you for sharing your particular brand of choice. I hope it will help others.

      Interesting that you have put it together that if you are not under stress you can eat moderate servings of the foods. That is a theory I will store away for future reference, for sure! I’m still wishy washy about believing that this ailment is caused by foods. I have not before pondered the idea that Stress COMBINED with trigger foods could be the cause… not just the foods themselves.

      Polyester fabrics… really? 🙂 You are certainly hyper aware to notice that one. Do you avoid touching it at all while under stress? I’m guessing that you try to avoid wearing it, mostly?

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂


      • Ive been reading these comments for the last two days and something just clicked, dishpan hands. You mentioned its common in women, well I’m a guy but I do all the cooking and dish cleaning. I recall that my condition always improves when I go on vacation. You know what I don’t do on vacation? Dishes! I just checked out the ingredient list for dawn dish soap, the supposed gentle one, and its full of stuff that are suspected offenders for dishydrosis. I seldom wear gloves while washing the dishes cus I figure “its dawn, its supposed to be ok for my hands”. Well, this is something to add to my list of things to wear gloves for. I already switched from shampoo and bodywash to the simplest soap I can find.

        A little background is I’m a 34 year old white male. First bout of DE showed up 3 days after I used a tanning bed for the first time in April 2010. Over the years I have noticed triggers include alcohol, poor sleep, strenuous exercise or physical activity, psychological stress. And the effect for me is always delayed by 2-3 days, so if I undergo any of those triggers, all of which create some sort of oxidative stress on your body, it sets me off. I cut out alcohol 1 year ago, almost to the day and my outbreaks have reduced by about 80% in their severity, but they still persist. God forbid I decide to really push myself at the gym on the weights, that’s like a guaranteed DE outbreak (cardio less so). I cut out dairy just 3 days ago and noticed that my hands stopped itching almost overnight. The next day I thought, might as well test my theory, went to the gym, gave it my all… its not thursdsday, 2 days later, and I have DE breaking out on my hands. Perhaps I need to wait a little longer on the dairy reduction before I test myself.

        And like everyone else here I have been to dozens of specialists and received nothing but steroid creams and antibiotics (none helped). An ENT wanted to remove my tonsils and lymph nodes thinking it might help, I said no thanks. The list of specialists and their suggestions (all covered above) goes on. I have given up on doctors and have been turning to blogs and forums such as these for the past year and I am slowly getting relief, but never a cure. I refuse to use a steroid or an immune suppressant. Oh, and another common these that keeps popping up, liver problems. I have an elevated ALT liver enzyme, a fatty liver, and a bunch of Coproporphyrins in my urine and a touch of Heptacarboprophryin (so at one point I thought I had Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, but despite the blood tests matching up and me tying sunlight to the cause, the blisters never matched where as the pictures of dishydrotic eczema are like looking at my own hands). Ive also got a touch of hypothyroidism, runs in my family. And though this probably doesn’t resonate with most of the ladies here, I have the low testosterone of a 75 year old man, but none of the outward symptoms. My IGe is normal, My allergen test says tree pollen and cats but I have two cats and I have no allergy symptoms. Though my nose leaks like a sieve every spring, gets worse every year (just like my DE, HAHA! gotta laugh right?!).

        If any of these numbers/story/data rings a bell for anyone, please share. I’m doing all I can to connect the dots.


  49. For your carpet I think they make a cleaning tool that sanitizes with steam (not a rinse & vac) that may get rid of dust mites. I have been meaning to see an allergist because mine does get worse with stress but I tend to eat when stressed.. but I better not be allergic to gluten (I know they cant test for that)! I love freshly baked bread slathered in butter.


    • I hope you aren’t allergic to gluten for sure, Maureen! 🙂 I share your love of homemade bread and all things carb 🙂
      My extreme hope is that this ailment is not from a particular type of food. I really hope that is true. I do not want to have to deprive myself of the pleasures of food!!! 🙂 I do not want to be afraid of eating, really. That is what happens when you go out to a restaurant to eat after you discover an allergy… you question everything (What do you cook your veggies in?) and just under the surface, no matter what your server tells you, you fear that you are somehow STILL ingesting that allergen…


  50. I too suffer from severe dyshydrotic eczema or dermatitis herpetiformis(celiac rash). The doctor says I have one of them. I will never eat gluten again to ever have the testing done, that’s how severe my first outbreak was. When I quit gluten I did become drastically better, only to ebb and flow and ebb and flow. It has never been as bad as that first attack. I definately have this eczema on my hands, but I also have rashes elsewhere on my body. Everything is always symmetrical which insinuates an auto-immune disorder. If it is dermatitis herpetiformis than it takes up to 10 years for the gluten to get out of the skin. I have read lots of articles on chlorine,anti-bacterials, pesticides and herbicides causing all sorts of allergy issues. The incidence of occurence has tripled in past few decades. My allergy happens to express itself in my skin. Strangely I am in the plant and floral biz and exposed to excessive water (chlorine) and god only knows what chemicals. Which would be primetime for the rise in food allergy/chlorine, etc theory. You can google current articles on the issue. I too have thought I am allergic to everything under the sun. If it is the celiac rash, then no…..it’s just gonna take some time and nothing new is causing the itch attacks. Most people who get the celiac rash, never have a stomach issue in their life. As a precautionary, I now eat gluten, corn and dairy free. I’m all organic and dechlorinate all my water incl my bathwater. I wash my hands with cotton balls w a mix of witchhazel, aloe and rosewater instead of tap water. If it is celiac rash, iodine in salt flares it up big time too. I’ve switched to natural salt and use it very sparingly. I have now had the rash on my body for 13 mos and the pompholyx eczema for 10 mos. I research both the celiac and eczema. On the dermatitis herpetiformis support groups there are people dealing with the rash for years and years. Some of them it is their hands and feet and they were misdiagnosed with the eczema and tested positive on the skin biopsy for celiac. Thank you so much for your blog and all the comments people have made are great.


    • Karissa, thank you for your comment!
      It seems as if you are also on a mission of finding a cure for yourself! I believe that everyone has a different cause. I wish we could each be tested and handed a list of things to avoid to stay breakout free. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
      My struggle is in the NOT knowing. Why should I deprive myself of dairy if I am not positive that it is my trigger? It just makes life one big precaution. It really SUCKS to have to be so vigilant and hyper aware of everything that your body comes into contact with, ingests, etc.

      I almost want to form an uprising against “the beast!”

      How ’bout all of us sufferers planning a protest march? 🙂 “WE DEMAND THAT THE SCIENTISTS AND DOCTORS GIVE THIS AILMENT A NEW STUDY! HELP US!!!!” We’ll cry… and then we’ll try not to scratch.

      There are, of course, worse things to have wrong with your body. I’m sure you and all of the commenters here understand that, it is just so hard to keep things in perspective at times…


  51. I am curious to know if any of all your experiences have lead you to explore the humble ‘hay fever’ as a cause? Where you notice period of improvement away from your home? or at the coast etc?


    • I have paid attention to my outbreaks while on trips for sure, Dan. That’s a good question.
      I have not noticed any periods of improvement away from home, unfortunately. It really just stays the same wherever I go, which leads me to believe that the cause is not entirely my location of living.

      Thanks for your comment!


  52. I’m currently going through this nightmare. Last week I started to see the little boils appearing on my fingers and palms. I’ve gone through this many times in my 39 years. But this year has been the worst.
    Both hands feel puffy and the numerous little pustules feels like I have grains of sand in between my fingers, and they itch. Interestingly, the week before this latest outbreak, I started feeling a hot sensation running down my lower right leg.
    I’ve been to a dermatologist when I was a child and they gave me some expensive topical ointment that came in very tiny containers. I have not been to a dermatologist since, because I know they will misdiagnose me or give me medications that will give me other problems.
    My guess is that my recent outbreak of this crap is the result of the extreme hot weather where I live and dust mite allergens.
    I don’t own a car, so I bike to work everyday. I’ve been so busy with other stuff that I haven’t been vacuuming/dusting my place for a few months. My diet has stayed the same as I eat everything. As for stress, nothing significant has happened to make me worry too much.
    One other theory I am looking into is the use of GMOs in our food. Corn and soy that have been genetically modified is pretty much in all the things we buy at the grocery store.


    • I’m with ya on your theory of GMOs, Raul. Very much so. How can we lowly non-scientists prove that theory, though? 😦
      Your thoughts about dermatologists? I completely agree after my own personal experiences.
      I also agree with the hot weather theory. I live in the deep south. It can get very humid here. My inner elbow often swells and itches if I spend a lot of time outside…which sucks, because if it were up to me I’d be outside the majority of the time.

      I hope this bout of the beast speeds through quickly for you. Godspeed!


  53. I have suffered with this hideous thing on and off for a few years. After trying EVERYTHING to cure myself, I recently read somewhere about taking organic apple cider vinegar shots and so have been taking that for a month. IT HAS WORKED!! I’m taking 2 tablespoons of it in half a cup of water once or twice a day. I use aloe vera gel to relieve the itching and try to keep my hand dry and cool. I’ve also been using paraben free shower gel. About 6 weeks ago, when my dyshidrosis started again, I frantically scoured the web for a solution. I found your blog which really helped me, thank you. I thought I was the only one with this debilitating and confusing problem – I am sorry that others have it too but glad I’m not alone, sorry that sounds awful! I really hope that everyone gets better soon and hope you try the cider vinegar thing. I’m thinking that this condition is due to the body being too acidic. The AVC is alkaline… I also suffer with IBS and have found that yeasty foods, i.e. Bread, marmite and mouldy foods, like nuts, especially peanuts, make it worse. Good luck everyone x


    • I take a daily drink of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) 🙂 It is good for your body even if you don’t suffer from eczema!!!

      Thank you for sharing your story, Georgie! I am happy to hear that you have found something that is working for you! I am also humbled to know that my blog has helped you. 🙂


  54. I am dealing with this as well ,but never knew what it was until I showed it to my doctor. I told her that I think I am allergic to the sun because always occured in thw summer. AND the longer I am in the sun, worst it gets. I realized now it is the heat that triggers it. Try keeping it cool.


    • Heat definitely triggers it, Angie! I have a spot on my arm (the crease in front of my elbow) that will puff up and itch if I get really hot. It really gets fired up if it there is high humidity, too.


  55. I appreciate this article, specifically the photos that you have been open enough to post for the world to see!! I actually found your site which searching Google Images, trying to find a photo of what my fingers used to look like. I have suffered from the same blisters and rash on my fingers since 1999. It started out as occasional, but by 2011 had become chronic. Four months ago, we changed our diet for my husband who has MS. We decided to go gluten-free after hearing from others that had been helped by it. Within 3 days of eating absolutely no gluten, the rash was gone. I had been ‘controlling’ it for the last year by taking Azo cranberry that contains a probiotic. But now I don’t take that anymore. I have had a couple of blisters pop up when I ate something that I didn’t know had gluten in it. But after a few days of drying, peeling skin, they were gone with no itching. I am also convinced that genetically modified and hybridized foods are killing us. Wheat now has 42 chromosomes (as opposed to the original 14) because of hybridization. The rash was not my only issue, I also had lots of joint problems, heat rashes, and chronic constipation, but I always attributed those issues to other reasons. Those issues have cleared up as well. Thanks for your openness!


  56. Gluten free, 4 yrs on my hands and feet, a constant onslaught of blisters with a whitish fluid oozing out , painful itchy uncomfortable , a number of different Dr’s telling me “you will have to live with this for the rest of your life” , strangers very hesitant to hand me things or drop my change in my hands , very expensive topical steroids. At the worst point my Dr gave me the option of pulling my nails on my hands and feet off or just letting them fall off. I hope this will help some people. I have been gluten free now for 2 months and while it is not completely healed I can see the end in sight. The very thin layer of skin has thickened up with very new “baby soft skin”. I say gluten free , even the smallest amount of gluten will put blisters all over my hands and feet , but they are not nearly as bad , and do not last nearly as long. It is not an easy diet to keep up, I guess it comes down to how bad you want it. I read every label of anything I eat and if there is no label I don’t eat it. Within days I saw results so it would not take long to try it to hopefully see results. If for some reason gluten was not the cause I believe it would not be far from it, look closely at what you are putting into your body. There are tons of documented cases of food allergies/ intolerances causing rashes all over the body. Go gluten free, I am not a Dr, and did not get anything from the time I put into this post other than hopefully helping others who are suffering. I cannot emphasize enough how much the smallest amount of gluten or cross contamination will give me a bad reaction hands and feet, depending on how bad your condition is it may take longer but if you have been suffering long then I have no doubt that you will notice even the smallest improvement within days. Good luck


    • This blog and it’s comments have made me feel so validated! I’ve struggled with intermittent bouts of this since my late teens. I remember finding the name “pompholyx” during one of my “Ask Jeeves” Web searches about my gross oozy, itchy, hand eczema. Usually, the bouts would settle after a week or two, or just be in small patches. Well, I’ve had it steady now for a year! Mine is from wrists to fingertips (with no nail involvement), and I so relate to the mannequin hand poses. I couldn’t make fists or extend my fingers from December to May. And I used to go nuts with a luffa in the shower, grinding it between my fingers and palms. It tore my hands apart, but only when the blisters were completely destroyed could I begin to see some healing. Only to wake up with more blisters the next day. This has been especially problematic for me because I’m a nurse. Every fifteen minutes, I’m washing my hands. I’m having to worry if anything is contagious. I’m having to wear gloves most of my shift. And I’m having to be the nurse with the nasty zombie hands. The pain is ridiculous.

      Here’s what I’ve noticed after all the treatments I’ve attempted (all types of steroid creams for 15 years, Elidel cream, antifungal creams, no creams at all, dimethicone medical ointment, wearing gloves all the time, moisturizing constantly): I decided to go on a 48hr Slim Fast shake cleanse a few weeks ago (in preparation to change my awful diet and cut out pizza), and those were the only 2 days I didn’t have blisters reappearing. After that, I realized every time I eat pizza (usually the type delivered from a pizza place), the blisters appear everywhere and on overdrive. So now I’m wondering about doing the gluten free thing, on top of just improving my diet in general. I suppose it could be dairy as well.

      I did find myself wondering if it could be stress, only to end up stressing out about the fact that I didn’t feel stressed! I’m really thinking it’s diet related, at least in my case. But I cannot believe how much time I’ve wasted using cortisone and betamethasone, being told it’s contact dermatitis, or just your basic little case of annoying eczema.


      • My follow up post, it has been 3 months since my last. I have got this under control with a gluten free diet, my hands only showing scars or damaged skin and my feet (being the worst affected area) seem like they are still trying to heal but no more blisters. While this looks like a surface skin problem it’s seems and feels like the damage goes deeper. I have tried to eat small amounts of wheat/ gluten with blisters coming up within 24 hours and and a very uncomfortable stomach. The blisters are even more uncomfortable than I remember feeling like little pieces of glass pushing through my recently healed areas. The smallest amount has a big reaction and it seems to me when I expose myself to wheat/gluten after not having it for so long the reaction comes back even worse than before but is gone within days after going back onto my very strict non gluten diet. Since starting my gluten free diet I have had maybe 3 bad flare ups (after intentionally exposing myself to gluten) which only lasted days as opposed to the daily constant blistering, oozing and flaking away.

        Maybe this is a common reaction not actually specific to a certain food ? More the way a person swells up after exposing themselves to an allergy, a different person could swell up in exactly the same way because of being exposed to a completely different allergy.

        Something is happening that our body’s don’t agree with. I don’t believe any medication will ever fix this for very long, it might help temporarily. “Dovobet” was the most expensive topical steroid i tried with no help at all. I would be interested in hearing from anybody who has tried a gluten free diet to help with this problem.

        Goodluck everyone,


      • Thank you for your follow up, Greg. I agree that there is no magical topical solution to DE. Our bodies DEFINITELY don’t agree with something…and I agree with you that it is something we are possibly ingesting and are allergic to. I, myself, have deleted dairy from my diet. My skin has changed dramatically since I went dairy free. It still itches and has flaky, sometimes oozy patches every now and again, though. I most recently stopped drinking beer, which I feel has also helped.

        A gluten free diet seems to be the most common self-fulfilled solution that I’ve seen the commenters here attempt. I find that interesting. Oatmeal comes to mind as a common food listed in the “triggers” category for eczema (which fits into the gluten category). I’m glad that you have found your specific allergen trigger!


    • Is dairy gluten free ? I am going out on a limb here , I too went dairy free only because from information that I can see it seems that gluten is approximately 25% glutamic acid which is a protein found in milk. MSG (mono sodium glutamate) who’s parent protein is glutamic acid is used as a flavour enhancer due to its neurostimulating effects on the taste buds. The “GARD” (glutamate aspartate restricted diet) is something I have been considering recently. Maybe it is just the glutamic acid in gluten that is the problem. I don’t know. Do your own research and be sure it’s for you.

      Any thoughts?



      • Hey Greg,

        I never had the thought before that gluten and dairy were interconnected. Glutamic Acid. I will do research on that one for sure. Thank you for sharing your insight. Maybe we’re onto something here… 🙂


  57. This Dyshidrotic Eczema happens to me in the summer, with exposure to sun or heat. but, the funny thing is that I have eczema over other parts of my body (legs, back), and the sun helps those spots immensely. So, it seems that during the summer, when I get sun (organic UV therapy baby!!) on my skin, my skin in general gets better, but then the nail/hand aspect flares up and my hands are all jacked up by end of summer. Cold weather sets in, and the nail start to clear and the skin starts to get agro….ugh


    • Wow thank you for this blog. I knew I had eczema but now I am positive I have dyshidrotic eczema. I am 52 and for most of my life I have had itchy patches on my hands (just a few here or there) and I did have cortisone cream to treat those. (I can even remember some stuff my Dad used to use back in the 1970s called “Acid Mantle” – I used that too. He had trouble with itchy hands his whole life as well). The eczema has always been in spots here and there on my hands there but this latest thing outbreak has been absolutely crazy over the past couple of years – areas that were never affected are now affected. The worst spot on my hands right now is where the part of my palm touches the desk when I am using a computer mouse. I have often wondered if that has some connection. My nails look bad (pitted, no cuticles) on a few fingers. I searched the internet last year for solutions – I tried neem oil lotion – worked a bit, nothing permanent. I use coconut oil on my skin all over after a shower and while it is soothing to my hands, it does not help the eczema. I went through the aquaphor and cotton gloves thing, even wearing them to work to type at my computer. I have used all natural soaps, goat’s milk soap – but actually it itches more with that kind. I mainly use Dove for shower, and Kiss My Face liquid hand soap. As for dish liquids I use some super natural stuff that doesn’t cut the grease on the dishes at all – ha! If I use Dawn (which I used to use for years) I might as well pour acid on my hands – same effect. My best luck so far was totally accidental and it is not a natural product either – it’s a Gold Bond Ultimate intensive healing hand cream (the little tube – not the eczema variety). I bought it in a frenzy one night at the drugstore trying to find ANYthing that would help. For several months it brought on a remission of sorts (except of course the spot where the hand rubs on the desk with the computer mouse – I work at a desk all day). It worked so well and cleared up my hands for the most part (the nails were still screwed up) – I would buy 2 or 3 tubes of the stuff every time I went to the store because I was sure it would be discontinued since I found something to help. But this summer I have had a flare and the mess is back again. The GB cream is soothing, but I still end up scratching the areas that are super bad. I have had a lot of stress this summer – my elderly mother in a nursing home. I agree if the humidity is bad the hands are worse. Another thought I had that I wonder about is that over the last couple yrs I am going into menopause (which I am ok with for the most part!) but I wondered if changes in hormone levels have affected how severe this has been. Thanks again for this blog and posting photos!


  58. Thank you so much for writing this! It has helped me a lot just knowing that I’m not alone.

    I’m a 21 year old woman in Norway, and I have been suffering for a couple of years now. Recently it has gotten really bad – so much so that I occasionally have had to take a sick leave from work because my hands wouldn’t close at all.

    I have found a couple of things that help, first of all: NO perfume! I use pharmacy-bought soap for my hands and body, and allergy-recommended brands for laundry. My fiancé has to do all the washing up and most of the other cleaning in the house. I stay away from tap water as much as possible – and (despite MANY mental blocks) I try to limit the hand washing to a minimum.

    Recently I stumbled upon a fantastic remedy, by accident. I started seeing the outbreak in my hand going yellow-ish. Thinking I should try to prevent an infection this time I used something called Pyrisept (disinfectant). I immediately saw an improvement!! After a couple of days now, the outbreak has calmed and shrinked down to half it’s original size. I wash it in Pyrisept a couple of times each day, especially if I’ve been in contact with water or chemicals, and the result is amazing.

    I also saw an improvement in the condition when I was on vacation and swam in chlorine water. All the other types of eczema I’ve had have been WORSENED by chlorine, but clearly, this one is not like most eczema.

    PS: I don’t know if Pyrisept is a common brand in the US, but here’s a link to the product – maybe you can find something with the same ingredients? 🙂 http://www.weifa.no/en/Our-Products/Wound-treatment/Pyrisept/


  59. Hi there, I just read your story and have to tell you I am suffering with this too. Lucky for me I finally figured out what I had by studying reports online. The doctors have been useless. One told me I had scabies!! I have the D.E. all over my body and quite severe. But I looked on the Chi Journal of Medicine on a UK site and lo and behold! There is hope! More thn hope. I contacted my acupuncturist, told him what I have, and he sent me the dried herbs I need. 4 months of torture and within 2 weeks I was on my way to clearing this up. I ran out of the herbs before waiting for the next batch of herbs to arrive and I an experiencing the horrible sensations coming back. But I know any day now the herbs will come in the mail. I cannot stress how important it is to read about D.E. through the eyes of Chinese medicine. It is thorough and unfamiliar in the wordage . For example, the condition is described as a dampness combined with fire toxic. They have an exact and precise way of approaching the illness with herbs. I live too far away to receive acupuncture, but the herbs are working. I am so grateful to find out what I have is manageable. Do yourself a huge favor get those herbs. My acupuncturist, Daniel Schwartz is an amazing person. Check with your local acupuncturist for more information. Best of luck, Maureen


    • Thank you for your comment, Maureen. Very interesting that you’re having such luck with the herbs. I’m truly intrigued. I have been using plantain on my hands with much success…but have also been looking for another natural solution.

      I recently came across this article and it made me think of your post: http://everydayroots.com/eczema-remedies

      I removed a website you listed because it led to a parked web page. Did you perhaps mis-type it? Please list it again if so.

      I also wanted to share the following quote from the web link I listed with everyone:
      “Skin is our body’s first line of defense. Take that away and (let’s pretend we don’t just fall apart) we’re exposed to all sorts of wicked pathogens that would surely take us down-not to mention all the elements. Skin is composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and the dermis (deeper layer.) Remember that old joke “your epidermis is showing?” Anyways, healthy skin and an epidermis you want to flaunt is made up cells that are plump full of water, and full of fats and oils in the skin that help enhance the water-retaining capabilities.

      If you have eczema, your skin is most likely producing less fats and oils than it should be, and the ability to retain water is diminished. The space between cells widens since they aren’t plump with moisture, you begin to lose water from the dermis, and irritants and bacteria can enter easier. This is why things like soaps and detergents can worsen eczema, as they strip away what lipids your skin is producing, and it will breakdown faster than healthy skin would to become dry, inflamed, and sometimes cracked or blistered. “

      The above paragraphs seem very logical to me and I let out a sigh of relief to actually have some scientific reasoning handed out on the topic of eczema.

      I wish you much success on your healing journey. I hope it is a short journey. 🙂

      I have looked into reiki for myself (Chinese medicine= also highly intriguing to me).

      Still learning everyday. I’m so happy that this blog post has allowed others to share their stories, thoughts, “cures” and pain. Godspeed to all!


  60. I thank everyone for a great collaboration (from the blog post to the comments, top to bottom).

    I’m male, 28. Just had DE for the first time last year. It was a nightmare and an inconvenience.

    My dermatologist(s) advised me to soak my hands and feet on lukewarm (or even warmer) brine (1 teaspoon salt and 1 cup water ratio) for ten minutes or so. This relieves the itching.

    Clobetasone? Prednisone? Betamethasone? Yes, I took steroids during extreme flare ups. But this is recurrent. I was disappointed to find blisters appearing like tiny bubbles on the previously affected areas just when I thought I already got healed – considering I had undergone a two-week long treatment.

    But just like everyone here, there is a temporary cure based on exploration and discovery. Brine plus a little dose of the betamethasone ointment worked in as fast as three days, doing the ritual at least once a day (gotta skip the brine-soak and just apply the ointment straight after bathing if I am going to work).

    Triggers? Coffee (decaf included) and chocolate (guess the caffeine in them, but green tea seems fine for me). Sleep deprivation, emotional stress – when I get so upset at circumstances with annoying people and the traffic jam during travel.

    Question – I had bronchial asthma during my childhood up to my late teens. Doctors say diseases related to an “allergy” could be a link (lungs and skin). Anyone here had the same scenario?

    I agree that no definitive cure had been known and there is little research done about this but it can be controlled by avoiding the triggers (depends on the person). Know your triggers.


    • I also had asthma in childhood, and now at 36 I get the damn blisters on my hands mostly during winter. I also suspected coffee and chocolate being triggers for DE.


  61. Hi, I’ve just read your blog and all of the comments and wanted to say thank you for sharing your pain and frustration. I am 48 and have suffered with Psoriasis since my early 20’s, stress and viral infections flared it, the sun cleared it. I started with DE about 4 years ago (my Derm says its very unusual to get both, aren’t I lucky). Anyway horrible as the P is the DE is far worse. I just wanted to share a few treatment experiences with everyone. I’ve worked my way through all of the steroid creams, same old story they worked initially and then stopped so I moved on to a stronger cream. The strongest available over hear in the UK now doesn’t work well. I’ve had PUVA treatment twice (UVA treatment with Psoralen) it cleared my P and helped with the DE but both came back pretty quickly. Heat does it for me, really frustrating as the sun shine which heals my P makes my hands flare really badly. I shower and wash my hair in plastic gloves (this has helped reduce the cracking and drying when the outbreak gets very bad, and means I can’t scratch my hands in the shower). I wear cotton gloves day and night (I’ve also been a mime artist, magician and snooker referee and you know what I no longer care what other people think!) I sleep with ice packs under my pillow which I hold like a teddy bear when the itch is worst and this does seem to help me sleep through the night. I had allergy patch testing 3 years ago and was allergic to nothing, although I’m pretty sure laundry soap and conditioner aggravate my skin elsewhere so have switched to Surecare for washing and vinegar instead of conditioner, this has helped a little.I cut out dairy, wheat and meat for a month but nothing changed so back on most, and I drink too much wine in the evenings – it helps me sleep but I know is not good for me.I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every emollient, ointment and cream going and ended up sure that they make things worse. I was using petroleum jelly with moderate results (but grease stained clothes and bedding) when my Derm suggested Hemp products, I had tried some of the Body Shop range in the past, but tried their Hemp Intensive Hand Butter after her suggestion (it also has Urea in it) and wow, its not cleared it and does nothing for the itch but they crack a lot less its definitely the best product for me.
    I’ve had a severe outbreak for over a year now, had to have antibiotics 4 times due to getting my hands infected, and its started to appear on my feet – though not as badly as my hands. So pushed and pushed to try something else. After much pushing with my doctor and Derm I managed to get Toctino prescribed for me. Its not for everyone, ,the list of potential side effects is scary and it can damage unborn children so not for anyone who wants babies. Anyway I’ve been on for nearly 2 months and my hands are the clearest they have been for a year, I thought I’d found my miracle. But I have just started to have intestinal problems (I’m prone to them too, but not Celiac etc), off to see the Derm for the next prescription tomorrow and expecting her to tell me I must stop Toctino as its the cause.
    Your thoughts on stress are interesting, I am a very stressy person and it definitely makes my P worse, but funnily enough my DE started about 18 months after a major stress so not sure its what triggered mine, I wish i knew.
    Anyway I will take much of your advice on board and keep watching your posts, you are giving many people strength and relief. I hope some of my experience may help others.


    • Hi Rosie! How long did you do PUVA for? I am doing UVB for a year now and they make me just keep going as long as I have any symptoms. I still have a little, but it is almost negligible. I am afraid to stop. Now I am reducing the amount of treatments from 3 to 2 times a week.


      • Hi Kate sorry for the delay in replying, with PUVA in the UK you are only allowed to do it for 6 weeks (12 treatments) each session the amount of UVA exposure is increased, apparently it can increase the risk of skin cancer and make you prune like (nurses told me that) if you do any more. I’ve done 2, 6 week courses, they do work like a miracle for my psoriasis and relieved the DE but both came back really quickly after I stopped. I’ve not tried UVB but have used Sun beds for my P, but for the last 2 years any heat, sun or sun bed has made my hands worse :(.
        I’m still on Toctino and my hands and feet are still improving but I do still get vesicles and some itchyness – I have to keep reminding myself that my hands are 1 millions times better than they were. Also no change in blood test results, no hair falling out etc so none of the scary side effects listed for Toctino. If anyone with DE can get it and don’t want babies then its definatly worth a try.


      • Rosie, thank you for the reply. I do not know about PUVA, but UVB in the US they let you do indefinitely. They do increase the exposure every time, but there is a cap on it. I am almost at the max. It does not seem to have side effects. I see the doctor every month, sometimes twice and he assesses if I should continue. They also have UVB machines to do the treatment at home (pretty affordable), I have looked into it but have not decided to get one yet (one must still see the doctor on the regular basis and the doctor regulates the dosage).

        I only do hands though. I am lucky to “only” have DE on my fingers.


  62. Pingback: The Jelly Belly Cycling Team discusses the benefits of Milk

    • Hi Sunny, never been diagnosed with it BUT have stomach acid issues and ended up in hospital couple of years ago with a severe inflammation of the intestine which was never diagnosed (despite CAT scan, a barium enema and two colonoscopys). So I have a very strong suspicion that I may have a stomach ulcer. Have you been diagnosed? and do you think that the 2 are linked?


      • I have recently been diagnosed with Hpylori. They prescribed a double antibiotic and while on it, my finger rashes got better. When I stopped the antibiotics the rashes got worse. My rashes have often seem tied to nausea, and taking oral antihistamines seems to help a little. I looked up rashes and Hpylori and read that Hpylori can cause elevated levels of histamine which can cause rashes. I have also had rashes other places on my body, but the finger blisters are the worst, and are exactly as pictured above with unbearable itching. I really think it’s related to the Hpylori. I have been to the dermatologist, and allergist, had a skin biopsy, and no answers. I am now being retested to see if I still have Hpylori, which I think that I do. (Sometimes it takes a third dose of antibiotics to get rid of it.) So, anyway, I thought I would ask if anyone else had related stomach issues, because I think there is a connection. Hpylori is the bacteria that causes ulcers. I hope we find some answers!

        Also, I noticed that someone mentioned breastfeeding. My rashes did begin when I was breastfeeding. I breastfed for 2.5 years.


  63. Pingback: feeling powerless | Writing for Myself

  64. Thank you for this blog. I thought I was alone. I have been suffering from this affliction for almost a year now. I have had three courses of steroids and every time, it clears up. It comes right back. I work with computer/mouse every day for at least 9 hours. I like to play badminton, but can’t do that now because my hands hurt so much. I am probably stressed with impending retirement and hope it clears up then. Please keep this blog going and let’s hope we find a cure! I am really tired of this already.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Hello, you may be interested in the testimonial that Allerg’Atopie published on her Facebook page. She has been suffering from severe dyshidrosis and reports wonderful results with products from SKINTIFIQUE. This is a new derm company launched by a Harvard Professor and a group of experts from Boston and Paris. As far as we know, this is the first time that someone with dyshidrosis has used the products, which include a Lotion designed primarily to provide moisturizing and protection against Nickel, Chromium and other metals (dyshidrosis is often a result of allergy to metals), and a Gel cream that provides intense moisturizing and soothing relief to sensitive, allergic or damaged skin. Hope this can help.


  66. Thank you for your story! I had mild flare ups after my first child was born, then more severe flare ups after my second was born. I went through post partum depression, which was certainly an emotional trigger. I went to the dermatologist who diagnosed me with dyshydrosis, and sent me on my merry way with steroid cream. I did not use it because of the side effects. I got very lucky, and happened to notice that my hands and feet completely cleared up weeks after I removed my wedding rings. I have removed/ put back on my rings multiple times, and the symptoms have gone/come within a few weeks of the changes! My rings are white gold, and I am fairly certain that I have a nickle allergy. Keeping my fingers crossed! Just thought that I would share, incase it is of interest to anyone!


    • Lisa, that is another theory I’ve had… nickel allergy. I know I have always had an allergy to jewelry, but I can’t figure out why it would flare up and be so widespread now (also after having a child). I don’t wear any rings. I do use a macbook pro… I’ve wondered if their is nickel in the aluminum material of the laptop.


      • Hello Sunny. I do not know about the macbook, but there were a number of news articles in the press (NewYork Times and others) last summer about Nickel allergy reactions triggered by extensive use of iPad.


    • Hi Lisa. Thans for sharing this. Your story is fully consistent with Allerg’Atopie’s. The hydrating gel from SKINTIFIQUE did her a lot of good on the eczema, but it seems that what had most effect was the lotion which moisturizes and also protects from Nickel. Best to you


  67. My ex read somewhere about the vitamin K injection just after childbirth having something to do with the sudden outbreak. My first sign of this condition was sudden and extremely debilitating on my hands, I could not even move them without severe pain. I would tear my skin open just trying to open or close my hand or pincer grip the side of a nappy to put it on. It was March 2013 when I had my first blisters on hands. I gave birth to our second child November 2012 and the vitamin K injection didn’t seem to work at all that time with pretty bad bleeding after they yanked the placenta out. Mid March my ex was caught cheating on me while we were apparently together trying to reconcile our 7 year relationship. I lived alone with our not quite 2 yr old and newborn. Within the week he was caught cheating, had to cancel my child’s birthday party due to having at his mums and their relationship falling apart the week before (he got kicked out of his mums) and then my beautiful cousin died of a sudden stroke just before her 25th birthday. All in the space of a week and the couple blisters went crazy and spread like nothing I have seen before.
    I think the new mum thing might be something to look into. Stress is obviously a factor and I have found that a no alcohol & low low carb diet helped sort of stop it in its tracks. It may just be that as life was out of control then, that starting a new diet and succeeding greatly in it from the start was something that made a few positives and it may not have been the food changes but more the mental changes the diet helped me make. Like I felt in control of something again. I fell pregnant again in July 2013 but lost the baby early and that along with my ex being a total dick the whole time and just not showing up for the kids and refusing to pay child support leaving us broke etc etc the eczema came back after almost fully subsiding.
    Having issues with him again so my feet have broken out pretty bad, they were second to the hands last time but first this time. Also took a range of ketogenc diet recommended vitamins like potassium and stuff when I had my first episode but again could just be coincidental. My mother has had a few itch bumps over the years but nothing that you would worry about at all. Mine in March 2013 was like that then bam it was bad after the first stress of ex cheating mentioned above. I am starting the keto diet again today to see if helps? If not I will go back to the dr and demand samples taken etc. Not doing steroids with osteoporosis on both sides of family and depression rife as well. I also have chrons colitis that comes and goes. Not sure if any link there but definitely the new baby thing is worth looking into!


  68. THANK YOU!!! For having the courage to tell others about your journey. I could relate in so many ways. When My hands broke out I had a direct coralation between my job and the severity of my over exposure to high gluten flour I was helping manage a completely from scratch pizza kitchen. I made Pounds and pounds of dough. (Often I used my bare hands) the day I scratch my foot and hands with a bit of dough still on my fingers I had my first episode. I was baffled until I’d put the two together, the part of the foot I had scratched broke out in very similar blisters but it never spread or got worse. But the more I touched anything and took flour showers the worse it got on my hands. I reluctantly quit to save my hands and sanity.


  69. Stumbled upon your page! I am a mom of two and dyshidrosis started for me when I was pregnant with #2. 19 months later and my condition has exploded. The blisters keep coming even under the raw, unhealed skin. Never had a break for over 2 years. I am scheduled for testing next summer (I hope they do food testing!). I can’t bear the thought that I won’t have normal hands again. Im only 34. Glad I stumbled upon your blog. I don’t feel so lonely tonight as I scratch and type! Thanks for blogging! Please keep us posted on any discoveries you make that helped your hands. I am findinf that Polysporin Eczema is so far the best to help with the cracking…


    • Was your baby a boy or a girl? I am trying to figure out if testosterone plays a role since baby boys generally leave the mother with higher testosterone than girls.


  70. Butterchurn girl I share your sentiments. I have found info from this podiatrist: http://www.dyshidrosis.co.uk/ to be very helpful. She did her master’s degree on dyshidrosis and therefore has much information that you may wish to read. I’m currently trying her test to positively identify my own eczema/ dyshidrosis, which looks like your own meatgrinder hands. And she is interested in gathering more information which helps her and can possibly help you.


    • Hi, i got rid of the dyshidrotic ekzema!!! by taking in ghee every day and totally avoiding proteine or egg white. I had it for 10 years on my right foot. It was horrible. Same as your pictures. I tried everything, spending 1000… euros but nothing helped. it was mostly treated by doctors as fungi but it never was Fungi. So i can only recommend to take 1 teaspoon of ghee (spread it on your bread, in porridge or any other way…) and make a pancreas test (stool or blood test) maybe your pancreas doesnt produce enough enzymes too to break down the food especially proteine/eggwhite
      I hope it helps you too!


      • Doro when you say you avoided protein – what type of protein other than egg whites are you talking about? All meat? Nuts? Thanks for info.


  71. Thanks for sharing your journey thru this horrible skin disorder. You hit the nail on the head!! Been going threw this almost a year next month.I got to the point the last 9 wks having steroid injections in my fingers. Every three wks I’ve been there. I am going to get a patch test. And I believe I should do a food allergy as well. I am so so very sick n t I red of this whole ordeal. AL SO THE Question why the gloves.I hope you are in a remission state.Thsnkyou again for sharing.


  72. Thank you for this article! We suffer from exactly the same symptoms! My thought were the same as you, I felt crazy in trying to constantly connect a cause to my hands reacting. Like you I landed on stress and allergy. I am allergic to dust mites and a variety of things in the environment as well as several foods. Nothing major like egg or milk though. The main link for me is stress or anxiety…. If my heart races in the slightest. My fingers or hands flare up…. If I think about something too hard, my hands flare up. So I would be interested in hearing some of your methods of self control and calming. thank you for highlighting the connection with the eczema and water! I felt crazy because whenever it rained my fingers would react. No one would ever believe me until one day I woke up scratching my hands and asked “is it raining?” before even rolling over. I no longer use a cortisone because I honestly feel like it stopped working and now that you say it, the skin on my fingers was becoming thin. I used a prednisone regiment once because the outbreak was so severe and was debilitating, I have Rosacea as well and a food I had eaten had cause both to flare really bad at the same time. The prednisone did wonders- and both my hands and face had calmed down within a day! ( wouldn’t use it long term, but as a last resort. Works great). I’m sorry to hear your eczema worsened with pregnancy, that had to be the worst feeling not being able to connect with your child. I hope and pray I do not experience the same, I do not currently have any children.

    Please continue to post on your journey and I apologize for such a long response but to see that I am not alone has truly made my day if not life. Lol


  73. hello, is there anyway we could speak by e-mail or telephone ? Im a mess and can hardly type. I need help so bad, I feel like my hands are going to explode. thank you


    • Hi Amy, I recommend that you check out this site: http://www.dyshidrosis.co.uk/
      Written by a podiatrist who studied dyshidrotic eczema specifically. In the meantime for quick relief, I have found that soaking my hand with a cotton pad drenched in Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar followed with an ice pack helps to alleviate the insane itch. I know what you’re going through….


    • Hi Amy, as a fellow sufferer, I do have a very familiar sense of how you are feeling. I must say, however, that most of the advice and support that I would have to offer, even through email or telephone, has probably already been written here through multiple blogs at thebutterchurn. If you browse around the site, you’ll see that I have written two other blogs about Dyshidrotic Eczema, offering the best support I can to those who need it. If you happen to have any questions after reading those blogs, I can be reached via Email at U2easilyamused@gmail.com. Best wishes to you on your journey. Hang in there. You have the support and first hand experience of all of the commenters surrounding your post here at the blog.


  74. I have the same symptoms as dishydrosis but it only occurs when I consume alcohol. The severity of the symptoms reflects how much alcohol I consume. First time this happened was when I went on vacation to a beach and consumed most amount of alcohol in my entire life. I can kind of control it if I drink one full glass of water for every drink the symptoms only occur for 2 to 3 days but I have to keep drinking water. Sometimes even 5 to 6 water bottles afterwards to contain the severity of the symptoms. My allergist and my dermatologist have been unable to help me and of course recommend I don’t consume any alcohol which I don’t anymore but I have never met anyone else with the same situation. Is there any cure to this issue or even an explanation to what is going on internally in my body? Would consuming alcohol occasionally cause any type of liver or kidney problems. I have been to 6 doctors and none of them have been able to help me with my questions and only one of them said it might be dishydrosis. My symptoms are directly connected to alcohol. Even one sip of beer and my hands start flaring up but whiskey seems to take longer to react.


    • I was so encouraged by reading your post, because for years I’ve knows that my Dyshidrotic Eczema was caused every time I drank alcohol. I didn’t know what it was called until last night, when I finally had enough and decided to Google it. You’re the first person I’ve found who is only affected by alcohol as well. I cannot drink beer, period. It’s not too bad with small amounts of red or white wine, if I drink adequate water in between, but when I drink vodka cocktails, the consequences are insane! I enjoy cocktails on the weekends, and I’m getting to the point where I have to ask myself, “Is it even worth it?” Anyways. Just appreciated knowing someone else was out there with the exact same problem.


    • Same here. Still researching my triggers but I remember that one night I drank a beer and the next day the DE got much worse. I rarely drink so not a problem to avoid that. I really don’t feel like trying another beer to confirm this as a trigger. 🙂


    • Alcohol is my worst trigger. I made the connection a couple of years ago and finally gave up alcohol a year ago. Just 6 months ago I thought, Ive been good for two months, no DE, I had two beers, my hands began to itch within the hour and 2 days later the visible bumps and rash started. This all started when I was 28, now I’m 34, it gets a little bit worse every year though since I gave up alcohol its generally 20% as bad as it used to be i.e. 80% better. But whenever I think “I’m ok now, I can have one beer or one glass of wine” I immediately regret it. I do have liver problems, specifically a fatty liver, probably from a decade of binge drinking like an idiot. Kidneys are fine but I have super low testosterone as well. I’m still reading through all these comments, waiting for something else to click.


  75. TLDR: Cut out gluten or lactose for a month.

    My experience was completely dietary. As a longtime sufferer (about 20 years) of these maddening tiny blisters (and the various ugly, painful, burning, itchy stages of recovery), I finally cracked around 5 years ago when the skin on my hands was so bad I could barely bend my right hand.

    I went to all sorts of crackpot alternative doctors, kinesiologists and snake oil salesman who all told me to put on this cream or avoid this or that, take this special pill to help your liver digest oils better. I tried home remedies like the hot water/vinegar soaks (which are actually great relief, but don’t solve the problem). When I started talking about my treatment with friends, it turned out two of them had similar symptoms for many years until they discovered they were both lactose intolerant.

    The thought of giving up butter, milk, cream, cheese and all the good things in life made me sad, but I cut out lactose diligently for a month. Nothing changed with my skin, so I thought I’d cut out gluten. At the time I had no tests done for either intolerance, but it cost me nothing to try so I did it anyway. Two weeks after giving up gluten, my skin was completely clear for the first time in 15 years. I couldn’t believe it.

    Since then I’ve experimented with cheating, eating the odd woodfire pizza, pulled pork sandwich, ramen, sourdough, homemade pasta and all sorts of delicious gluteny things. Every time it is the same response. It slowly shows up as tiny blisters, thickening skin, cracking joints and so on, becoming its worst at 2 weeks, then taking around another 2 weeks to heal.

    Anyway I hope this helps someone who is currently having their own maddening journey with dyshidrotic eczema.


  76. I’ve also been suffering with this for the past 5 or 6 years. It just appeared on my hands suddenly the summer that I turned 30. It comes and goes and, for the most part, I just deal with it. But sometimes… OUCH!!

    My latest outbreak was caused by a deep tissue massage. Whatever toxins were stored up and released combined with whatever oil the therapist used caused my hands to explode and I’ve got patches on much of my face. I’m having some trouble getting those to go away, but I’ve found a combination of products that has cleared up this last outbreak on my hands in about 2 and a half weeks.

    I used to have eczema on my back, my shins and arms, but I’ve seen no severe outbreaks since switching bathing products. I use Intelligent Nutrients Harmonic or PureLuxe shampoo or conditioner (shampoo in the spring/summer, conditioner in the fall/winter. I find the conditioner to have more emollients than the shampoo, so it works well in the winter) as my all around body and face wash. It’s made from essential oils and a bunch of other good stuff while being free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, ethoxylates, PEG, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and all that yucky stuff we’re surrounded by these days. Plus I’m from Minneapolis not far from where this product is made and I chose to buy/support local as much as possible.

    When my hands explode, I use Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. Yes, my hands crack open and ooze for a few days and yes it stings terribly while applying, but I find the Kiehls works to dry out the blisters while keeping the rest of the hands moisturized. I’ve not found a way around the blisters breaking yet (although this apple vinegar treatment sounds promising) but the eucalyptus oil found in the salve acts as a natural disinfectant and the blend of oils works wonders during the initial healing process. To soothe the burn, I use Buckler’s Chapped Skin Remedy at night. Slather up and put on some cotton gloves and the skin starts to feel a bit more elastic again by morning. Once the fissures have healed for the most part, I use Jack Black Hand Healer to keep my hands as healthy as possible. I ride a bicycle 4-6 days a week from May until October and the Jack Black Hand Healer has been my best weapon against an outbreak. That and wearing cotton gloves while riding.

    Hopefully this combination or products helps some people out!!! It is quite painful to apply the creams for the first week or so, but once you’re past that initial shock, you should see some rapid and steady progress in the healing. Good luck, everyone!!


  77. Thank you for writing this! I have a (thankfully mild) case of what I have come to realize through google searching is dyshidrotic eczema. I, too, have had eczema since I was a child, but never like this until A COUPLE WEEKS AFTER MY BABY WAS BORN. Yes, I am breastfeeding. (I also developed a nasty case of PUPPS shortly before giving birth that EXPLODED the day after having my daughter and lasted for about six weeks, even with steroid treatment, so the blisters on my fingers were a secondary concern for a while.) At first I thought our couch had bugs that were biting me while I slept. Then, when it got worse, I was briefly convinced at one point in the middle of the night that I had scabies. Finally, a coworker told me it looked like a food allergy and I began to look closely at what I eat. It seemed like soy was the main culprit. However, I am currently in the midst of a Whole 30 (No dairy, soy, grains, legumes, etc.) and, while vastly improved, the blisters still make a fleeting occurrence here and there.

    I spoke with my daughter’s pediatrician at her appointment yesterday, who was also my pediatrician and was the one who diagnosed me with eczema, and she wondered aloud if it was a hormonal thing since it occurred shortly after giving birth and I am still breastfeeding my 9 month old. Obviously, soy cannot be the only culprit since I am on an elimination diet and still having some outbreaks, but I definitely have noticed a vast improvement since starting the Whole 30. I know I need to get tested for food allergies, and probably see a dermatologist, I’m just in the middle of trying to find a new GP and really need to get on that so I can get some referrals. I have also wondered if water aggravates it. I do know that frequently washing my hands during the colder months of the year makes my regular eczema worse, and the combination of that and the blisters has led to painful cuts all over my fingers from where the blistered skin has split open from the dryness.

    Anyway, I don’t really have much to add to this discussion, just wanted to thank you for sharing your story as I am going through mine!


  78. Hi all, its Rosie from the UK here. I wanted to give you an update and some good news. I was on Toctino for 6 months and other than really bad aches and pains didn’t have any bad side effects, my hands were better than they’d been for years but I still got the vesicles and still had some itchiness. Anyway towards the end of month 6 my Derm rang me and told me that my thyroid levels were being effected by the Toctino and to stop taking it immediately which I did. She suggested that I stay off for 2 months and then get my blood tested again and if they’d returned to normal she would put me back on it, my appointment is next week. As soon as I stopped the Toctino my hands got really bad again and so I started looking at Dr.Google for answers (again). I found an article suggesting that eating food with high levels of Cobalt could be a trigger, and so have tried a Low Cobalt Points based diet (its available free so just use that in Google), and it seems to be working, my fingers are clearer than they have ever been since I started to get this 5 years ago. The other thing which really seems to have helped is the following regime: at night I apply the steroid cream (currently back on Elocon as my Derm thought I’d been using Dermovate for too long), then after 15-20 mins I slather with my trusty Body Shop Hemp butter and then put on polythene gloves covered by cotton gloves. I tried this when my hands were so stiff and broken that I couldn’t bend my fingers in desperation really and was a bit worried that the plastic would make my skin soft and possibly make the vesicles worse. Anyway the plastic glove thing seems to be working, when I wake in the morning (if the gloves haven’t come off in my sleep) my hands are still covered in cream but my skin is softer, the cracks are healing and the vesicles are going!! So even if you don’t try anything else I would urge anyone with the sore cracked skin to try the plastic gloves over your cream for relief – I wish I’d tried it years ago. Good luck everyone


    • Hi Rosie, did you test positive for Cobalt allergy? I tried the diet (I tested positive) though but it did not seem to help. Good luck! I am convinced now that it is stress for me that triggers this most and it is hard to relax in the middle of the breakout!

      I am still having great results with phototherapy, only few blisters here and there (I mentioned it up in this thread). Have my life back. My derm told me not to cover the hands overnight like you describe, he thought that it may be exacerbating the problem (he has this condition himself and is specifically passionate about solving this – he recommended phototherapy to me).

      Now I use moisturizing cream only once or twice a day, at my worst point I was so dry I had to use it almost non-stop and I used gloves exactly like you do… I hope you find relief soon.


      • Hi Kate, I wasn’t allergic to Cobalt in my patch tests, I told my Derm that I was trying the diet and she doesn’t believe that food can cause dyshidrotic eczema so won’t recommend food allergy testing. I’m still pretty much on the diet (though have slipped a bit with red wine and chocolate). My derm was more concerned about my Psoriasis than my hand eczema when she saw me last week so didn’t put me back on Toctino but has put me onto Narrow Band UVB treatment, I’ve only had 4 sessions so far but am hopeful that it will help my hands as well as my Psoriasis.So fingers crossed. I’m really glad your hands have improved, I’ll update on how the UVB is working in a few weeks.


      • I just wanted to jump in here and say that it makes me extremely happy to see people with this ailment helping each other out by sharing their stories and treatments. I don’t comment as often as I’d like (my hands are usually covered in coconut oil= no contact with electronics), but I am still here, reading all of these comments. My husband and I feel as if there is a cure out there somewhere 🙂 Being hopeful of that is important.

        Best wishes!!!


      • Hi Rosie, I hope phototherapy works for you too! Just please keep in mind that it takes a long time, but it is worth it. It took about 3 or 4 months for me although I had some itching relief from it earlier I think; they have to increase the dosage gradually. I went from 1000 to 4000 units, but it took about a year! Now they do not increase it anymore since I am considered well managed.


  79. I’m so thankful I found someone who understands my pain and frustration with this diagnosis!! I was almost in tears just reading your story and thinking about what I’m going through and have gone through over the past 7 months. I found out I was allergic to oats, soy, corn, peas, beans, white pototoes, white rice, all tree nuts, carrots, celery and chemicals bacitracin and neomycin sulfate. I never had any trouble with any of those foods, only carrots where my lips would tingle and swell. I have seasonal allergies and take Zyrtec and Singluair. My dermatologist has me on Cellcept (immune suppressive drug). I had my second daughter back in October 2014, and ever since her birth my skin has gone crazy. The day I had my section, I started itching that afternoon. I was given Ancef during the section and within 3 days I had full body hives from the antibiotic. I’ve gone through 5 rounds of oral Prednisone and tried 4 different topical ointments. The prednisone would make it better then as soon as I was tapering off it came back. Seems to be that since I have avoided the foods I’m allergic to that its getting better. I had a skin biopsy yesterday so maybe that will give me some more answers. I’m doing bleach baths 3 times a week also. The arm and leg ID reaction is also awful. Looks much better now! The Halog ointment with my cotton gloves is also helping. I hope yours is better now…please say prayers for me that this will end soon.


  80. I too feel as though my dishidrosis has worsened since increasing nursing/pumping sessions. I’ve also had and an having major issues with the tissue around my eyes. Just went to allergist and I’m not allergic to much of anything environmentally. Ingesting cider vinegar and placing vingar soaked compresses on my hands has helped tremendously.

    I came across an article by a dr in the UK. He sees an increase in pregnant women, women using birth control. Essentially the article related it to hormones as well as yeast.


  81. At what point did your eye return to normal? This is affecting both if my eyes. They started out just seemingly dry and would have a white haze to the skin. Then I developed purplish red circles around them. The upper lids started swelling. I began using coconut oil and vitamin e oil which seemed to be helping. Now I’m back to the dry white skin.


  82. I have been suffering from hand skin issues since my daughter was 6 months old. I was treated with betamethasone and a topical antibiotic. When my daughter turned one year old, I suddenly developed seasonal allergies. As far as I knew, I was not allergic to anything else, but my seasonal allergies got worse each year. It has been four years since the allergies developed, and I have been dealing with dishydrotic eczema for at least two years. The itching is the worst because it prevents any healing from taking place. I feel itchy, I scratch, I break the skin, and now I have to deal with open wounds that never heal.

    I recently went to an allergist and she confirmed grass pollen and cat allergies. Luckily, I don’t have a cat, but just try avoiding grass. According to the allergist, I don’t even have to touch the allergen and my eczema will react and get worse! She said that sunlight can help. As an experiment, I began taking double the dose of my seasonal allergy relief medication. I take 10mg of Reactine (cetirizine) each morning and evening. Hooray! Something is working! The Reactine stops the itching, which means I don’t scratch and re-injure the skin. And, the Reactine prevents the development of some of the bubbles!

    For two mornings in a row, I forgot to take the Reactine. By the third morning, my skin was on the disaster track again. Super itchy and lots more bubbles appearing. Incentive to never forget again! I’m hoping that by the time my seasonal allergies are finished (August), I can reduce the dosage.

    Good luck to everyone out there who is suffering!


  83. I have had this problem all my life on my feet. I am a male and have never breastfed, so that doesn’t apply to me. “Meat Grinder” is the best coined term I have heard. I came to the realization without doctors help that it had to be Allergy and Stress related. When either of those are bothering me my feet could get to the point I could not walk at all. I found out I was allergic to almost everything except flowers. All my favorite foods, wheat, melon fruits, eggs and you name it. It was impossible for me to live on a diet where the allowed foods was about 2 lines long and not allowed was 10 pages. I found a routine that hasn’t cured me, but it does allow me to be mostly normal.

    Immediately after showering I have to dry off quickly and apply this http://www.amazon.com/Triderma-Eczema-Healing-Cream-Ounce/dp/B00BHZQ8KI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1433304849&sr=8-2&keywords=triderma
    I then put on socks. I keep a tube on me all the time. If I start to even think an itch is coming on I rub that on. I use this product after showering and when I wake up. It’s all the time. I have tried soaks, scrubs, oils, lotions, creams, homemade and prescribed and that Triderma cream is the only thing that has given me any relief.

    For relief of you people looking at this and are in tears, the scratching caused you to rip blisters to shreds, the burning pain is non stop and you feel there is no hope, well, there can be. First, stop touching yourself with your nails. Slap the itch. Slap it. Don’t scratch it. Take care of open wounds. Put neosporin plus pain relief on and some gauze. Cake that stuff on THICK, don’t rub it in. Rubbing will lead to scratching to back where you started. Then put some Triderma Eczema Healing Cream on it after the skin is no longer bleeding. Put it on as much as you need to. The itching will subside and then you can deal with pain of healing. THEN start to take care of what caused it. To help with stress I do body scan and breathing meditation. You can do a youtube search of those and find some helpful videos. They can be done anytime and give you immediate results. Maybe not perfect, but you will feel better right away.

    I hope this helps at least ONE person. May the suffering end for all of you so that no one has to feel your pain again.


    • Thank you for your comment, Jr. I feel as if you have many words of wisdom to share on this matter. In aprticular, “Don’t scratch it with your nails.” and “Slap the itch” — I have used both of these methods with success.

      Also, your advice to lather on neosporin and not “rub” it in, is also excellent advice.

      Thank you for sharing your healing methods.

      I wish you the best.


  84. I have been dealing with this now for over a week. It’s recurring and I now have it on 8 fingers. While mine isn’t painful, it does itch and looks terrible. Thank you for your posts!


  85. I know for sure now there is a psychological connection between eczema and trauma\stress. My first dishydrotic eczema break out happened when I was in a terrible relationship, which became abusive. It was the worst – I couldn’t even open my fingers and it creeped up to my forearms in large blisters and my wrists were covered and eventually my eyes.

    It healed when the relationship ended and previous to that, I hadn’t had skin issues ever before in my life. I believe going forward, that it wakes up an increased sensitivity – I am also allergic to EVERYTHING under the sun and the minute it touches my hands, I know I will have blisters.

    Mine is up and down these days – and I have also been to every doctor, dermatologist, accupuncture, energy healer, naturopath… no luck – they all have different theories and ideas.

    I woke up in the middle of the night with an extreme break out (I usually get it on the right side of my left palm and it goes up around the pads of my palm. Right now – it is swollen and I can see the giant blisters trying to come out from under my skin.

    This leads me to believe it is a food allergy perhaps OR soap ( I just want to be able to WASH my hands without worrying) – today – since I have heard recently eggs may be a culprit – even though my allergy tests do not prove that I have any allergy to eggs, wheat OR daily whatsoever – I am willing to try.

    I know that consistenly I eat tempeh and eggs, almost daily and in the past few weeks, have had flare ups.

    Anyone cut out eggs? Or have you heard of soy products in affiliation?

    As I write this post Im doing the mantra (don’t scratch).


    • Alysia,

      My dishydrotic eczema is definitely triggered by dairy and soy. I am able to tolerate small amounts of it unless I am stressed or my body is under attack already from my awful seasonal allergies. Hot humid weather can also exacerbate it. I feel your pain with the handwashing, make sure you are using a natural soap without any SLS or triclosan or fragrance. I like Ava Anderson’s but there are many others to choose from. If I am having an awful attack of itchy blisters, I soak in Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. It burns like hell but afterwards it heals it and helps the itching. Try eating organic fruits, vegetables and antibiotic free poultry/ grain fed meats with brown rice or quinoa and no dairy, egg, or soy. I also suspect wine is a trigger but I have a VERY hard time giving up my red wine.
      Good luck and keep us posted!


    • Alysia

      What did it look like on your eyes? I get purply red rings and my upper and lower lids swell. It first started as a white haze of dry skin around my eyes and progresses to the mentioned description.


      • There’s a face book group for DE sufferers if anyone is interested. It’s “dyshidrosis eczema (the group”.


      • Hey Crissy….

        Well mine was not severe and it did not show up in blisters like on my hands.

        It was red, dry and patchy – maybe a little flaky. It was hard to notice unless I looked close up but some days worse than others – and I remember trying to cover it with make up and then the make up would make it look worse. like elephant skin! that’s it… like patches like that.

        Def a connection between break outs and stress on the face – sometimes I would get it around my lips but that seems to be a reaction to make up.

        I spoke with my friend Dani, who is a holistic doctor but also a certified MD – and she said something very interesting.

        That the psycological affects are real and that when one thing triggers it to come out, it just makes your entire body more sensitive going forward and the reason we only get it in certain areas is because your body has some kind of hereditary dermalogical storage spots! Interesting!?

        I find using coconut oil is amazing, I don’t sleep with make up and I stay away from anything with a fragrance on my skin. Even essential oils can be too strong.

        Also – there is an oral cream made for babies with rashes – although it has chemicals, it really helped me… if my lips were like so dry I looked like a zombie! Ask your doctor about it – I live in Indonesia so the name is different here and won’t help you to know it – but I am sure you can get something similar and the doc will know what you are talking about when you ask 🙂


    • Hey, I keep telling people this as it has helped me so much and I know how rubbish I felt, I test negative for coeliac and wheat allergy but after a lot of research of credible medical stuff, I self diagnosed this and my many other medical issues to be because of gluten so I gave it up just to try and pretty much everything cleared up (apart from body parts already too damaged lol) it took a few months but it finally cleared up. I too thought it was down to allergies and stress as so many things seemed to make it worse but now stress doesn’t bring it up at all and can use whatever products I like now, I think that whatever is doing it, triggers your immune system making it seem like all these other things can be at fault and many people find after six months of a gluten free diet, they can goback to things they used to be intolerant too or allergic too so worth a try. Because I hve proven it beyond doubt to NHS consultants, I now have an official diagnosis of Pompholyx secondary to gluten senstivity. They now state that it is likely a genetic phenomenon and likely to be found in the rest of my family. Maybe try an elimation diet but give each stage much longer as your immune system can stay triggered for months after making it seem to be not working xx


  86. Has anyone ever thought this could be circulation related? I notice that when the horrible itch starts, if try to rub my hands instead of scratching, the fingertips feel numb while I’m rubbing them together. I Googled “blisters from lack of circulation” and something called chiblains came up. Kind of looks similar. The only problem with this explanation is that I also started with rashes on my face, seemed to be allergic to everything, face and eyelids swelled up from make up and coconut oil, and face moisturizer, scalp itched and oozed from shampoo, etc etc. Anyway here’s a link. Just a thought.



    • Yes Alysia, that’s how mine started and how it is now. I keep coconut oil on them and use an eye ointment at night. What has been most helpful is putting fresh breastmilk in my eyes and around them, then rinsing around my eyes after 5-10 min. It seems that I’m hypersensitive to anything on my face now. And i also get a little red inflammation on my face right below each side of my nose.

      I’m going to look that up B, as I’ve been getting what seems to be the de bumps around my hairline.


    • My problem ended up being gluten and has now dissapeared and both times I have eaten Gluten for medical testing, it has returned. It also takes a few months to go everytime. I get numb but now I dont have it and set if off twice for medical testing, I also get what I can clearly see is water retention and my joints seem to swell up – this definately seems to make them feel numbish and seems to affect my circulation rather than it being a circulation problem at cause (I didn’t realise I had water retention all these years until it went away and I was used to joints aching etc). Most products such as shampoo/soap etc etc aggrivated the eczema making me think I was just sensitive but now I have found the exact cause and removed it, I can use any product regardless of how harsh – the same also applies to my daughters eczema which has since dissapeared and now can use anything. I now have official nhs diagnosis of “dyshidrosis/pompholyx secondary to gluten sensitivity” and funnily enough, although you’re only supposed to get it on your hands and feet, I also get it on my scalp and had lost most my hair at some point. Try gluten or maybe other things but whatever your cause is (I have realised now there is always one), you have to stick to it for quite a few months to see whether cause or not as your immune system can stay triggered for up to six months after removing whatthe cause is making it seem like it is not the problem. Luckily I had many other health problems (ibs, ideopathic hypersomnia, chronic fatigues and other autoimmune probles) which resolved much more quickly meaning I was happy to stick with it xx


  87. Pingback: A Kind Hello! | The Butterchurn

  88. Hi
    I came across your page whilst researching my own allergy and problems with my hands… your description of your symptoms are the same, as are many of your pictures. Ditto to the majority of your awful experiences relating to trying to discover the problem

    I thought i would share my own.. in brief. Very briefly.

    I have a Nickel allergy.. that is contact and nickel in food. Yes, food! It causes the flare ups, the agonisingly itch intense hands, only relieved with ripping/rubbing skin off… the painful cracks, skin splitting.. oozing, blisters etc. Agony.

    When you look into it further you will find high nickel containing foods, mainly soy! Anything soy.. and, yep, water! Hot water mainly..

    I won’t go on about it all here.. but please look into this for some relief.. it may be your trigger too:-) x


  89. I have THIS SAME THING that looks THE SAME as your did in the bad times…mine had healed but now that it’s summer it’s come back again. I currently have 5 bandaids on my hand 😦


  90. I know this is an older post, but I ran across this since we are dealing with this for 2yrs with my 5yo and I’m always researching. Since you were talking about breast feeding and toxins, I did read about this allergen (Methylisothiazolinone, a preservative) that seems to be in lots of products including “natural” products especially in the last several years. It’s something I’ve ran across during my search and going to talk to our allergist about it especially since this particular substance causes lots of hand, foot and facial eczema and many reported being diagnosed with DE.


      • It’s okay to list the name brands here too, if you like. Perhaps by mentioning those things we can all find a commonality of product we are all using?


      • MIT is in dawn dish soap and irish spring bodywash. Its in Got 2 be spiked invincible hair gel… basically everything I use or used to use. If you take a walk down the shampoo, conditioner, hair product aisle it is in just about anything that is a liquid or a gel. I work as a chemist and we make metal working fluids and are no longer allowed to use MIT since it is a known sensitizer. Oddly enough its still everywhere in the cosmetics industry.


      • Hi! I also have an allergy to MI/MCI. Dawn Simply doesn’t contain it. But I have to stay far far away from Dawn Ultra. I can look at that stuff and my hands start itching.


  91. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am currently experiencing an outbreak (on about the 7th week). It happens every time we move, or under other heavy stress. (We have lived in 4 different states in the past 5 years). The first bad outbreak was when I had already been breastfeeding for 9 months, so I don’t think there was a correlation there for me.

    This time around I have been putting much effort into tracking down the cause. I have cut out every possible allergen and am eating a mostly raw vegan diet (although I read somewhere that tree nuts could be a contributor – ugh). As far as contact goes my worst irritants are acidic fruits, and anything with lemon in it needs to be avoided – even when my hands appear well, if I touch a fresh orange slice the bumps form immediately, like before I can even wash my hands. So I check all my products for citrus, and wear gloves during food prep.

    My current routine involves rinsing my hands in cold water to wash them (and using “clearly natural essentials” unscented soap if possible, pat dry, apply collodial silver gel to the worst areas (it has shown a magnificent healing ability) and let dry, then apply pure aloe gel (from the leaf – everything at the store has additives) and let dry. Throughout the day, when they feel drier, and at night I apply a thick coat of Waxelene petroleum jelly alternative, which was a great find – soothing, and containing no irritants – and then the cotton gloves. My husband had a 4-day weekend for the 4th of July, and my hands saw some tremendous healing. On this 3rd day that he’s back to work, my hands are bad again.

    I have a big box of medical grade non-latex gloves that I wear over my cotton gloves. This has made a huge difference for me psychologically. They do help me not to scratch. I can take care of my child, and do a little food prep, and even rinse off some dishes without getting the cotton gloves wet. I can wash my gloved hands gently with soap when I need to. I can use the computer mouse pad, turn pages more easily, etc. I keep them on until my hands feel prickly, and I’m at a stopping-point where I won’t have to wet or wash my hands for awhile, and then I throw them away and get a new pair next time I dress my hands. I also have been wearing them in public. Yes, in July, in Florida. It gives me the freedom to push the grocery cart myself, which is worth the stares that I pretend I don’t see.


  92. I had many health problems since being a child and have been diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism and so many rubbish names such as IBS, ideopathic hypersomnia, chronic fatigue, depression, etc etc and had blisters all over my feet and hands diagnosed as fungal infections etc. I was about to be diagnosed with late onset type 1 diabeties and my adrenal glands were going on the blink. I decided that there must be cause and read up on every credible medical journal etc that I could and figured that Gluten may be a problem so gave it up – most things cleared up quite quickly (I didn’t realise how bad my stomach was until I gave it up as was used to it since childhood) and the itching of the blisters did go down a little atfirst but they took months and months to go properly. I since have done two gluten tests and the blisters came back straight away and I have pushed and pushed to prove it to the health service. I test negative for coeliac disease but now have an official diagnosis of “pompholyx/dyshidrosis eczema secondary to gluten sensitivity”. I have proved that gluten does trigger my immune status (I become hypothyroid everytime I’m on gluten and am on a lot less meds when on a GF diet) and does definately cause this eczema.They now officially state that I must remain on a gluten free diet and that it is a genetic phenomenon likely to be found in the rest of my family – at least now I can save my daughter going through the same as me as her eczema (blisters), slightly dodgy tummy and persistant cough also dissappear when on a GF diet and all returned on both gluten trials so not coincidence. I’m not saying that this will be a cause for everyone but I would imagine that many people would find this helpful. If my only issue had been the excema, I would not have continued with the GF diet as mentioned, this took months but luckily I had so many other things clear up that I stuck to it and then this horrible eczema finally went. I think your immune system can stay triggered up to six months after stopping eating gluten so bear with it to see properly – but like I said, the itching did get better after a month or so and it started to dissapear in many places after this. Many things used to aggrivate it, soap, washing up liquid, etc etc which made me think I was just sensitive but now I can pretty much use anything I like regardless of how harsh without a problem :o)


    • When you mentioned both diabetes and hypothyroid in combination with gluten (you have made many a gluten free post and I appreciate your persistence) this struck a cord with me as I am prediabetic and recently (2 years ago) diagnosed hypothyroid. Ive already given up alcohol, fried foods, and all things dairy… whats one more thing gonna hurt? I will try this gluten free diet that you claim worked so well for you and report back in several months. Its a shame too because I only recently got really good at making bread from scratch :-/


  93. Hiya all, just one more question, I am curious as to a few things I have read and wondering whether anything to do with it, especially in regards to all those ladies whose got worse after having a baby? What blood type are you? I am ‘o’ neg, do you know what blood type you are and what your babies were? xx


    • I’m really glad you are commenting here, Sarah. My hands are healing, so I can’t type much, but I am highly intrigued by your tale. I am also blood type O-. My oldest son is B+, and I’ll have to look into my youngest son’s type. This is a really good question to ask.
      What blood type are you?
      What blood type are your children?


      • I never had children but I now know what condition I have been dealing with. Exactly as you all describe on my right foot. Now worse than ever and one real small blister not yet surfaced on my left hand where I grasp to turn off/on hot water etc. I had no idea this was so widespread. How come my Dr. didn’t know what I have? I have also had the worst case of Herpes on my lip/mouth. I used to get it so severe that I couldn’t put lip moisturizer on without causing it to break the skin again and bleed. It was impossible to brush my teeth or eat or sleep and it lasted at least 3 weeks and 1 or 2 times reoccurred for a continuous 3 more weeks. That was definitely stress related as is this Dysh. I’m not sure exactly what are all my triggers but I kinda thought that Oatmeal w/ Brown Sugar and Peanut Butter was something that made me itch. My Dr. said no. I also wondered if it was from sugar or sweet n low type products. I go to a coping and wellness group each Wednesday which helps me to learn many ways to cope with stress and how to lessen stress with many tools I gain each week. Need a blister size wrench. Thank you all for sharing ideas I can try to be more comfortable. I haven’t been able to wear shoes,just sandals for a couple years. Winter either. Christine 53 yr CA, USA


      • Hi Christine too – it wont let me reply directly under your message but hope you get it. I know it is frustrating but every tiny bit of info can help pin point the cause and I’ve studied so much on everything so thought this might be helpful although bear in mind that I have no medical qualification. If it is Dish eczema/pompholyx or DH (coeliac skin rash), It is always likely to be symetrical on both sides of your body. If it is symetrical, it suggests autoimmune/something triggering your immune system or basically something from inside your body. If it is not symetrical (as suggested), it is likely to have an external cause (contact allergy/bacterial/fungal). Immune related skin issues are not 100% the same both sides as one side can be worse than the other but generally. So if really really bad on one side and nothing at all on the other, probably something else – there is a type of atheletes foot that results in blisters on hands and feet too and if this is the case, you may also have signs of ringworm on other parts of your body too. The exception is actually herpes related, as this comes from the inside but is not symetrical and can happen on hands and feet (herpetic whitlow for example). Also, the colour is important, if it is dish eczema/dh/immune triggered, then it will normally be completely clear blisters/fluid (like water) although they can occasiionally get infected with the broken skin and therefore change colour. another example would be herpes related would look more white to begin with, other issues can be other colours (yellowish/redish etc). Also, throughout all my research, most immune caused issues such as eczema appear to be related to heightened/over sensitive immune system with many (certainly not all) reporting that they don’t catch colds as often as others etc, if you have had issues with herpes, like my best friend has, it tends to be associated with a weakened immune system so might be worth looking at why your immune system is down and taking steps to help that which will mean less outbreaks of it on your mouth anyway (this can be caused by stress/vitamin deficiency/diet, underlieing illness, genetics etc etc) . Obviously every one is different and I’m not sayingyou don’t have this type of eczema at all but a few things you said made me think maybe not so double check every little thing about your blisters when the first come up such as colour, location etc and read everything you can on blistering skin conditions and it might help you get a more definite answer :o) Unfortunately, it become clear to me that many doctors are failing people badly, many general practitioners know a bit about everything but don’t know enough about anything and specialists often only know their specialist field – there are not many doctors who know enough about the whole body or are able to link everything together. Or they are out of date and quite often more than happy to only treat the symptoms seperately without real concern to the actual cause – which I believe there is always one, even if it does just end up being your genes but you can always help this lol :o) x


      • Hi again, same as me and my daughter was rhesus positive too. The reason I asked was because it is statistically known all autoimmune/immune related issues (diabeties/hypothyroidism etc) are far more likely in females. This, from my own experience, also seems to be the case with adult chronic inflamatory conditions such as eczema and asthma (also caused by immune dysfunction). It is also known that those that had preexisting conditions or are gentically predisposed but not yet triggered, often get worse or start experiencing these problems when having children so pregancy itself where the immune system changes is often a trigger although you have to be genetically predisposed. However, when checking different sites, it seems also strange that a high number of people with these conditions report to be rhesus negative which seems quite high considering the number of people with rhesus neg blood is very low (15% of the human population). When discussed further on some sites, some that were not neg, had a rhesus neg parent. It seems even more the case when neg females had positive babies (those with two neg parents didn’t seem to have the same problems). From this, you could deduce that it is either the immune system going crazy as doesn’t really like positive babies (pregnancies not normally successful without medical intervention as bodies try to abort the rh positive baby) or some have blamed the anti-d injections themselves but I doubt it lol!! I have found some stuff on genes that are associated with rhesus neg blood that have a hyper immune function in times of emergency and a stronger immune system in gereral – which in the disease and parasite freeish world, just might be too strong and not enough to do – basically bored and would maybe take exception to highly hybridised forms of wheat etc! I did find a recent credible medical paper reporting high association of autoimmune with neg blood but can’t find it now. And it does appear that rhesus neg did appear and is predominantly in northern europe. There is also some stuff suggesting that rhesus neg blood might be from the neanderthals (or aliens or fallen angels lol) and that is why there appears to be some genetic incompatibility still existing between the two sets of humans species and causes these issues lol – apprently other indicators of this could be blue/green eyes, reddish or reddish tint to hair (or known red genetically recessive in family), a large head and so on lol. However the last bit about neaderthals is complete conjecture at the moment and haven’t had time to look into it thoroughly to see if actually anything credible at all on that so don’t take it seriously lmao. I only just come across this stuff so haven’t actually had time to look into properly but I will report back if I find anything lol xx


  94. And just one more thing for those considering trying GF. I have found a high association with gluten with nearly all autoimmune/immune dysfunction conditions. Considering, coeliac (and possibly the more newer non-coeliac gluten sensitivity), is the one and only autoimmune condition that actually has a known primary cause and recent studies that have found that up to 95% of thyroid patients are in fact coeliac or gluten sensitive under extenstive and more expanded testing and that it definately triggers diabeties in rats etc etc, means it could be more involved in all of these than previously thought. There could be a few main triggers so maybe not just gluten, but alot of more minor allergies dissapate when the main one is removed so I believe it is definately worth trying this one. However, I have found a few areas that people do not consider when trying this out that might be worth pointing out. Tooth paste, chewing gum, vitamins, shared butter and toasters – all those fallen bread crumbs lol (use seperate ones when sharing kitchen with gluten eaters lol) and the biggest one of all – animals. If you are always cleaning out animals that have hay/straw (wheat products) lots of gluten packed pellets, you will constantly be breathing in gluten dust and therefore eating gluten. I found this out after a year rash free, I got three degus (chinchilla type things) and started blistering everywhere within days. I first blamed my mum for glutening a roast dinner she cooked but the blisters just kept coming so had to be in my house, suddenly realised the hay/straw/feed was the only thing new. Cleaned it all out, ordered all gluten free stuff and it went, no new ones since that day, all calmed down within a day or two and hasn’t come back since. I have proved medically that it isonly when I digest gluten, that I get the blisters and they were on my feet too which didn’t touch the hay so definately not contact. Most animals would never have eaten anything with gluten in the the wild anyway (maybe chickens and a couple of others the exception) so the fact that most animal pellets are bulked out with cheap wheat byproducts is not actually good for them either which is very likely the reason degus get diabeties. If you want an alternative to hay/straw, I have had to switch to a more pricey gluten free 100% certified pure timothy hay, (king alfalfa brand is one). You can give alfalfa hay too but most animals can’t eat too much of this :o) – sorry for all the long posts, I type so fast, I forget how much I’ve typed!!!!


  95. hi, recently i also found out that i have the same allergy you have. dyshidrotic eczema, but on only 1 finger.. but then i think it gotten worst, the tiny bumps has puss in it and it swollen.. what should i do with my situation?


    • Has your doctor confirmed it’s dyshidrotic eczema? If so, if it is really infected, you will have to get some antibiotic cream from the doctor. If you can’t get any or in the meantime, magnesium sulphate paste can help or soak it in salt water but wont get rid of it totally if a really bad infection :o)


    • I recommend soaking it in Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar once a day, for as long as you can stand it. I hope you can handle pain, though. I believe it “kills” the DE at the trigger site. Apple Cider Vinegar is a historical cure all for skin ailments and diseases such as ours. Do a quick internet search about it, and you’ll find many articles discussing this.

      An application of Apple Cider Vinegar on my skin is the only thing that stops the itch when it comes, uncontrollably, with the force of fire.


      • CORRECTION! *~*~*~*~*~*~~*

        The dermatologist that has helped me to heal this time around said that soaking in/applying Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar is BAD BAD BAD.

        He has been practicing dermatology for over 20 years and said that the apple cider vinegar will burn the top layer of skin to anyone prone to eczema.

        Don’t do it! I wish I had known better. My hands were in really bad shape when I went to see him.


  96. Well I thought mine was horrific! I have spent the last nine months in agony. This particular flare followed a bout with Tinea Versicoulor. I am finally healing. I have done steriod shots, prednisone tablets, steriod cream, antidepressants that I tried taking, a complete joke! I figured this much out. I am allergic to hot water and dish detergent. Rubber gloves a must! I have to use Dove soap and when very bad Cetaphil and steriod cream mixed. Gloves to clean everything! White cotton gloves for folding laundry and vacuuming. Stress is a huge factor for me. Exercise and good food. It’s so dibiltating. Painful. I am now having some minor blisters I am suspecting dairy. Going to go a few weeks without. Fingers crossed! Also I am convienced that it can be fungus related!


    • I am also convinced that my current skin condition is fungus related. I am going to ask my NEW dermatologist to test for fungus this time, no exceptions. I feel justified to know whether or not I have a fungus, yeast, or any other parasite growing on my skin. I have began soaking/dipping my hands in Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar every morning. I swear that it is killing something growing on the surface of my skin. It BURNS LIKE HELL and takes a while to mentally recover from, or PREPARE for. I have to sit in a meditative state after application most mornings, trying to take my mind to a place somewhere outside of the pain.

      I do not believe that eczema is my only problem. I think that it began that way, but after a few horrible outbreaks, I believe that my skin became very sensitive and susceptible to things that people with healthy, ordinary skin don’t have to worry about…like fungus.

      I’ll share my results here after the visit.


      • Have you asked the dermatologist to test for fungus? Mine is still hanging on, and it spread to the backs of my hands where it’s a dry red rash with circular patterns. This makes me convinced that it’s fungal. One website I saw showed versions of ringworm on the fronts and backs of hands – and on the inner finger tips, it totally looked like DE. Of course, the accuracy of websites can’t always be trusted. However, I resorted to an antifungal cream yesterday, and I just used some oil of oregano both internally (a couple drops under my tongue) and I filled the sink with water and added 3 drops and submerged my hands for a couple minutes. Oregano is supposedly a super-strong antifungal that the body doesn’t build resistance to. I think my skin condition has built up a resistance to tea tree oil and peppermint oil, both of which seemed to make a difference in the past.


      • UPDATE: I visited a new dermatologist on Monday. He has been a doctor of dermatology for over 20 years. He took one look at my hands and said that my case was severe, that it was not fungal, and that it was eczema. He got me in a phototherapy session that day. He prescribed me two corticosteroid cremes that are not commonly prescribed and that my skin is reacting very kindly to. I have my hands back. He also prescribed me an antihistamine and put me on prednisone. He was certain that I needed to take extreme measures to recover.

        I am still not completely thrilled with the fact that I’m taking all of these medications, but at this point, I don’t care. I needed my quality of life back. I can now use my hands again and they do not itch constantly AND I have not worn gloves in three days.

        The dermatologist told me the basic things that all people with eczema need to know: Wear gloves to wash dishes. Take a short shower and do not soak in the bath. Do not use any products with fragrances. Stick to simple ingredient soaps, lotions, etc.

        ALSO, I received a blood test (after pushing for it) from the allergist. I went in for another visit recently and told them that I had stopped eating 21 of the foods that I had reacted positively to, and that I had seen minimal results with the removal of those foods helping my skin. They ran a blood test, because it is a definite answer. They said that sometimes the prick tests can produce a false positive.

        I am RELIEVED to announce that my allergy is not dairy (I have been dairy free for over 2 years)– It is DUST MITES. I reacted VERY strongly to the dust mite allergen in my blood test. For example, the number scale starts at 0.00 and goes up from there. O.50 is a positive reaction to the allergen. My dust mite allergy was a 2.30.

        Two years ago, when my hands were at their worst, we had just moved in to a carpeted house. This all makes sense now. After I had my second child, my body began reacting differently to the dust mite allergy— it could not tolerate it as well. My skin erupted.

        We will be removing ALL of the carpets from our house PRONTO. We don’t care what it costs. I need to be able to touch things again without smearing coconut oil on everything. I need my quality of life back. I really feel as if I have found the solution to my problem. AND I can eat ALL foods again except for Halibut, Shrimp and Scallops. I have cried several times out of happiness. I can eat cheese, drink cow’s milk, eat eggs and chicken and turkey and garlic and all of the things I love again.

        I really recommend that everyone here visit an allergist and have a blood test.

        OH…and the Dermatologist told me that Soaking in Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar was BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. He says that it pretty much burns the top layer of your skin when you are prone to eczema. I had been doing it for weeks before I visited him. I was in really bad shape.

        My plan for the future is to try to wean off of the allopathic medications after my hands have reached a new equilibrium. They were out of control. Once I feel they’re back in my control, I will begin introducing herbal remedies again. I will be sure to speak with the dermatologist about any solutions I want to try FIRST, though.

        This doctor has saved my life. Just before I visited him, I had filled a prescription for a depression medication. Thankfully, I did not have to take it and feel like a new person.


      • Thank you for an amazing read – you have a gorgeous writing style! And thank you for ‘hosting’ this discussion on your website. There is such a wealth of information, empathy and compassion contained in this one post along with the hundreds of comments.

        “OH…and the Dermatologist told me that Soaking in Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar was BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. He says that it pretty much burns the top layer of your skin when you are prone to eczema. I had been doing it for weeks before I visited him. I was in really bad shape.”

        I wish this is talked about more on the internet, namely the negative effects of ACV on DE.

        After 2 years being completely clear of DE (been suffering since my teenage years, and then early 20’s to early 30’s), I recently developed DE on my palms again.

        A search online lead me to many positive reviews on ACV and I decided to try it out for myself. Unfortunately, it actually seems to be making it worse. I say so because the other patches of DE on my palms are healing (even though the little bumps under the skin are still appearing), except for this one coin sized patch that I had been dousing with ACV over the past week. It is now bright pink, covered in scaly skin and tiny blisters, with a very painful split in the middle.

        And then I came across your comment, which really brought me back to my senses. No remedy is one size fits all, after all. Thank you for pointing this out. It is really important that I saw this and fortunately, just in the nick of time. I am definitely going to stop using ACV immediately.

        Thank you so much.


  97. I am on a quest to find out if it’s a response from a compromised immune system. Mine DE is somewhat under control, currently; on the healing side of the cycle since Sunday (fingers crossed!). This particular flare began 9 or 10 weeks ago. About 6 weeks ago I began eliminating foods from my diet. For at least a month, I have eaten no grains, legumes or dairy products, or nightshade vegetables, or citrus (citrus because my skin reacts the worst to the touch with citrus fruits). I’ve been hydrating more than usual, and I broke my addiction to morning coffee, and I rarely drink alcohol (when I used to have about one drink per day). The new diet has made my stress level go down, which of course helps with the itching – there’s not nearly as much insane-itching now. I’ve taken up a peaceful hobby, and I only go out when I have to. Of course I wear gloves a lot. I avoid washing my hands. I use pure aloe from the leaf; collodial silver gel; Waxelene natural petroleum jelly alternative, that I add a drop of peppermint essential oil to from time to time – the peppermint oil not only kills the itch, but it’s antibacterial and will kill whatever potential fungus is happening. I have not had good luck with anything that feels abrasive – cider vinegar, baking soda, salt, or any scrubs just seem to make my hands worse. I hope that healing my “gut” – by eliminating grains, legumes and dairy – will strengthen my system, and therefore my insanely sensitive skin. Here’s hoping!!!


  98. I struggled with this for years. I tried everything including changing my diet plus all the remedies. I never had seasonal outbreaks, it was just there constantly on both hands and both feet. I was a smoker, then quit for three years and then started back up. Mine started around that time but I put off quitting. This past year, I got a sore under my eyelid. I got a 10 day supply of Keflex, but didn’t feel that it did any good for the eye problem. It finally went away then I got a sore in my nose two days later. Both of these were so bad that they swelled the upper part of my face and the bridge of my nose. The walk in clinic gave me another 14 days of Keflex. I got that healed up and then got a swollen knot on my lower back for no reason. There was no explanation for it, but once again I got Keflex for two more weeks. I am not big on taking antibiotics especially that many times in a row. The only thing I can say is that all my D.E. went away completely. The only other change that happened at that time is that I stopped using the toilet bowl cleaner I was using and also a cleaning chemical that was all natural. I clean houses and made many changes over the years also using rubber gloves which was not a help because stuff always seeped in or I would sweat under the gloves. I am not sure what happened to change my condition, but it has been gone for about six months now. Once in a while I will get a little spot of outer skin peeling smaller than a pea, but so far so good. I believe it was either allergy or infection. FYI I know this may have nothing to do with D.E, but I have also seen over the years that many people have digestion issues they don’t know they have. My friend swears that stomach pills cured her migraines. Two others had pressure in their throats with no other symptoms that was also cured with stomach pills.


  99. I really appreciate you sharing your story and seeing other responses.

    After developing eczema on my hands in my early 20s, I did not get an official diagnosis of Dyshidrotic Eczema just in the last year. Finally, after almost 15 years, I have an answer. Now after much research, I know I need to do some healing on the inside to help heal my eczema. Slowly, I am making some changes in my diet to work towards a healthy gut. I would also like to get my allergy test done to see what foods are related.

    I just had a breakout over the weekend. My guess is stress on this one. Then, when it is flared up and we go swimming, OMG. I have lotion on standby to calm it. Sometimes, it’s food related. This is the worst I have had in several years. The lesions and swelling make it hard to bend your fingers. They are constantly itching and aching.
    I actually just did the Epsom Salt bath last night with 10 drops of Melaleuca oil. It was very soothing to soak my hands and hopefully detox my body some. In a couple of days, I will be trying an apple cider vinegar bath.

    I keep my hands moisturized often. Sometimes at night, the itching it so bad, I do a layer of coconut oil with a couple drops of Young Living’s Peppermint oil. The peppermint oil is very soothing and cooling for the itching. That has been a blessing. I have rubbed them together so bad at night. It is amazing that something can hurt so bad yet feel so darn good at the same time. I already drink a ton of water. I am trying to find ways to detox my body as I know we simply have too many toxins. Obviously my body is not able to keep up with releasing them naturally. I am also trying Simply Sugars. Its a natural sugar scrub. It doesn’t burn, it’s gentle, helps with the peeling dry skin and leaves a nice oily layer after that feels awesome. I know it hard to think you want your hands oil and coated, but when you have dealt with this ezcema, it just feels good. Give me oily hands over dry any day.

    Stress – I just try to be laid back. I had to back in my late teens as I was diagnosed with a small pituitary cyst. When I really focused on low stress, my prolactin lab numbers would go down and stay normal. Now, I am even more laid back. I have to be. I stay relaxed on house cleaning… this was one of the hardest ones. I have two young boys……..this is tough too, but I try to handle everything with ease and patience. I hardly get mad or angry. I try to roll with most situations because I know it could always be worse. It is hard at times, but I see what happens when I let stress get the best of me.

    I am unsure if anyone experienced this, but mine went completely away the entire length of my two pregnancies.

    I haven’t been able to wear my wedding ring in over a year. Some activities are a no go w/ the kids. Washing the dishes gets my anxiety up. When you are in a flare-up, just thinking about shampooing your hair is dreadful. Or needing to sunblock you and your children for an outing in the sun. Needing to wash your face at night. These seem little when I look at the pictures of your hands. I have never had it that bad and I feel for you. The pain. The mental anguish. Brings tears to my eyes. Bless you.

    I am also anti-steroid creams. I just don’t even want to go there. I will try anything else before that!


  100. Hello, I have this same horrendous issue, and as most of us, doctors recommend corticosteroids, Dermovate, specifically, it worked temporarily, but the next outbreak got worst. I dread this, because as you say, it can ruin your daily life. It is horrible and embarrassing, I have tried everything, Eucerin emollient, ALL KINDS OF NATURAL EMOLLIENTS PPL RECOMMEND ONLINE FOR THIS, Aveeno creams and soaps, Domeboro salts (pretty ok), oileatum emollient ( UK), oleatum bath is GREAT for washing handes, I highly recommend it. After reading and reading, going to youtube, and trying to look for other options., i finally came across a website with a name for a cream for this nasty condition Pompholyx, natural, no steroids, SELEXIR, Peace balm, also a friend recommenede a 10% Urea cream with Aloe vera, and I mix both at night, and wear the cotton gloves and sleep with it, it has helped so much! I am convinced soy sauce makes it worst, so does wheat products, stress, alcohol, heat, among other things, but if you can get this SELEXIR Peace balm, (UK), I live in the caribbean, imagine, and I got it, you will feel much better…I am praying I don’t get a bad flare up anytime soon…


  101. O…M…G. As I read your story and viewed your photos, memories of my teenage years came flooding back. I went through all of the same: itching, pain, oozing, “allergy to water”, ointments, gloves, and wavy nail beds.
    Of course back then in the 1970’s, we had no internet… As a result I felt so ALONE!! I was the only one in the world with this problem!!
    Looking back, I think of a few themes:
    1) Stress!!
    2) Hormones (puberty for me)
    3) Stress!!
    4) and Stress!!
    Eventually my wavy nails resolved (several years later.) Every now and then I’ll get some itchy watery pustules in the sides of a couple fingers, but it goes away after a few days. But now I am 59, and have fibromyalgia… Not a true autoimmune disease, but I can reflect on my life and begin to link symptoms and conditions together … Sort of connect the dots.
    Please hang in there… This too shall pass. Enjoy your babies and your mate. Try to relax and take each day as it comes. And thank you for your courage in sharing your story. Even 30 years later, it makes a difference as I don’t feel so alone now 🙂 Cara


    • Thank you for your comment, and your positive nature! 🙂

      This sentence really made me smile, “Even 30 years later, it makes a difference as I don’t feel so alone now ”

      Thank you for that 🙂


      I agree completely.

      You are not alone. 🙂


  102. Butterchurn,
    So happy you have made this detailed account, and so clear from the comments that’s it’s valuable both to help with the condition and to give fellow sufferers some hope, thank you.
    I first got DE when I was pregnant with my son, almost straight after conception; this was an intensely stressful time for me for reasons I won’t go in to. Stress is definitely a factor for me.
    Diet and environment too; humidity, that’s a killer, dust or mites, environmental toxins; I never use sls parabens etc, but other people’s perfume, or clothes with nasty detergent, yowzers…
    My hands looked like yours for a while, now they’re much better, the odd outbreak but mostly confined to two or three fingers, always in the same place. I think there’s a hormonal element, pregnancy and breastfeeding were a big influence on the health of my hands (and feet too, the first time) but I still get some blisters now and I haven’t breastfed my son since he was 2 1/2. Now I think dairy alcohol and stress are the main things for me.
    I have a way of relieving them that I haven’t found many other people use, but here it is… Really really hot water, like almost scolding, with cider vinegar in it, provides relief from the itching, and oddly means I can apply cream. I find Helios homeopathic hypercal is amazing. I don’t know if this would work for anyone else mind you. Cold water makes it much worse, as do most creams. Turmeric is great once the worse is past and they start to dry up, but I can’t put anything on in the itchy stage just before blisters emerge, or anytime before they start to heal. The first time I had this, the blisters joined up so that about 50% of my hands was under a single massive blister. Nice.
    Anyway, the reason I found your blog was that I’m having an outbreak now, not too bad, just two fingers on my right hand. I’m going back to university to finish my MA and my son is starting school. Stressed? Hmm… Also I had some cows cheese (curses on my stupidity).
    Reading this has made me refocus on keeping my body and soul happy.
    Odd one, but hey. Have you tried dancing? Might just me me… I don’t get out much, single mum etc, but if I really go for it in my kitchen, mini rave right there, I don’t itch. Happy hormones? The five minute holiday thing is good too, brilliant for fitting in to the tiny bits of free time you get as a mum! You imagine yourself in the perfect place for that moment, on a mountain, a beach, a forest full of butterflies, whatever your doubtlessly fertile imagination craves at that moment. Really imagine it, the exact feelings and sounds and colours. Keep it up for five minutes… Does some amazing thing to your stress levels.
    Another long reply to your blog! Looks like we all need some fellow itchy fingered people to talk to! All the best to you and all the other people on here,



    • A fantastic comment 🙂 YES, I ENCOURAGE DANCING!

      I am actually in the clear for now with my hands. For awhile this time around, I just wanted to die. I was very depressed. I couldn’t see just how dark of a place I was in during the time, but now that I’m out of it, I’m LIVING my life to the FULLEST. FULL Carpe Diem.

      The way I see it, while my hands were horrible, I felt like I couldn’t do ANYTHING, so now I want to do EVERYTHING.

      I have decided that I’m going to audition for a role at a local theatre. I am going to have a creative outlet (because I’m the type of person who HAS to create, or I go a bit crazy town). I will SING and DANCE 🙂

      Your idea about the “5 minute holiday” is essentially a happy meditation. I also encourage this. Thank you for writing it 🙂

      As for your theory about hormones, I completely agree. My hands burst open after our second son was born. I talked to my dermatologist, briefly, about it. He agreed that after a woman gives birth, as well as while she is pregnant, her “immunity” to allergens, toxins, etc. can become compromised. I believe that after birth, our body just can’t handle the allergens, toxins, perfumes, etc. that it could before. So our hands show us that there’s a problem. Figuring out WHICH allergens, toxins are to blame is the HARDEST part. It’s a mind cuss.

      I also agree that stress is a HUGE factor. I had post partum depression after our second son was born. I didn’t know that I did while I was going through it, but I definitely did. Any mother who can’t hold their own baby without being in excruciating pain might suffer the same fate as I.


      • My story is very similar to most of yours. Giving up gluten, sugar, processed foods, and taking megaspore probiotic to help heal my gut has made the most difference. For me. Blisters are 100% related to things that past through my digestive track. I now know when I’ll get them and from what. It sucks. I believe it’s linked to or in response of a leaky gut. Im having a hard time staying on the wagon. The megaspore probiotic has been a Godsend though. I strongly recommend it. If your body is like mine the blisters will get worse when you start before they get better. Histamine elevating foods were my triggers before I gave up gluten. I can mostly eat them again without fear. But no gluten. Sugar indirectly makes the blisters worse. It increases any reactions that are triggered. There is no link to stress, season changes, or soaps for me. Initially I thought there was and I think certain chemicals were bothering me when I was cracked and blistered so badly. But when I got my diet and the cause of the blistering under control topical products were no longer irritating. I’ve gone back to my old shampoos and I no longer where gloves to shower and do dishes. I’m not afraid to wash my hands or use waterless sanitizer. This started after pregnancy. Yes I breastfed. Dyshidrosis often appears after hormonal changes, puberty, pregnancy, post menopause, pumping iron (body building.) I also had taken stong courses of antibiotics for mastitis. It screwed up my gut flora and damaged the lining. It exploded a year later after taking another antibiotic for a uti. I broke out in a rash all over my body as well as the dyshidrosis. Docs didn’t help. I fixed myself. The body rash lasted nine months. I have several new allergies now that I didn’t have prior to this because my immune system isn’t healthy. I’ll keep getting more until it is. I need to eat only whole and natural foods without cheating. That’s how I’ll heal my body, my hands, feet, and cloudy forgetful mind. I wish I could stay on this wagon. It sucks. No one believes me. I’m even more of a weirdo now. I hate it.


      • There is a supplement called DAO. It breaks down histamine and can prevent this elevation from foods so you can eat them if you choose. Bottom line is though it is another quick fix. It won’t heal you. It won’t stop the blisters from happening. The problem is an unhealthy gut.


    • Is it all dairy or mostly cheese that you blister from? Cheese and alcohol are histamine elevating foods. Alcohol especially. Do you wake up in the morning with blisters? Or from a nap? Histamine is produced by our body’s to help wake us. It’s part of the natural sleep wake cycle. Our hands and feet have the most histamine receptors in our body’s. Taking Flonase or other antihistamines can help relieve symptoms for a short time. Your body will compensate after awhile. I used to rotate steroids and antihistamines.


      • You’re on the right track, Ang. It’s all internally related do what we put on the surface doesn’t help much and can make it worse if it’s toxic. The other thing is that I’ve started to theorize that this is liver related in some and digestive in others. Could be both in some so a double attack plan is necessary.

        I’m going to try a TCM liver/gallbladder flush a couple of times to see if I can get my liver to function properly again to control histamine. And I’m going to work on my digestive healing as well with GAPS. I think that this two pronged attack will get the dyshidrosis for good.

        Look at sensiblehealth.com if you want to find the TCM tinctures I purchased. I’ll even bet you that the gentleman in a previous comment who got the cure in Vietnam got something similar in pill form! I’ll let folks know if this works, but I have to wait until I’m done nursing #4. Lol


  103. Pingback: A mental break: the Release of the Narcissistic Mother, Dyshidrotic Eczema, Aspbergers Syndrome and other tales of the Deep, Dark and Hollow | The Butterchurn

  104. I have what you explained for about a year now, I never had eczema before & im 46 hrs old. I have allergies & known of the allergies for long time, which I take medicine for. I’m a social worker who needs her hands, @ this moment my hand itch really bad 😡 & in pain. I don’t seem to have a long period of time which my hands begin to heal until another breakout. The rash or breakout has spread to both hands on both sides. I’m worried & need help. People don’t understand & take lightly of my condition.😔


    • This condition is HELL. You are not alone. People do NOT understand. I know how you feel. I recommend that you visit an allergist to receive a blood test, as well as a visit to the dermatologist, if you haven’t done these things already. I have also seen a lot of talk about healing “The gut” to heal the hands. A lot of people with this condition take probiotics. I wish you love and healing.


      • I’ve seem both an allergist and dermatology. The derm literally said, “It’s dyshidrosis. It’s probably from washing your hands all day.” (I work in surgery.) “There’s no known cause. I’ll give you the strongest steroid cream there is. Where it under gloves at night with aquaphor. I can’t do anything else so don’t make another appointment. I’ll just give you refills.” The allergist helped me determine a true allergy that was bothering me. Allergy to gloves I wear at work. He suggested a low/no nickel diet. I tried it. It isn’t the problem. I tried to talk with him about the histamine elevating foods and he had no interest. Dismissed. My GP is willing to listen but doesn’t want to treat. Just refer else where. I’ve given up on them. I don’t even mention it when I go to the doctor.


  105. HELLO TO ALL,


    • So great to keep reading the comments on your blog, Butterchurn. I too have miserable DE – one persistently painful, cracked and or oozing meatgrinder hand kept me researching online for 100 hrs plus, because I refuse to accept that my body cannot heal itself with the proper info and support. The body is ALWAYS attempting homeostasis! Just like Y, I found Carole von Aarberg Knight’s info on the above website and contacted her – she did her Master’s thesis on DE and has helped several people heal themselves. I too am completely unwilling to use steroids of any kind, as it has been found to spread/ worsen the condition. With her recommendations and my own research I began a candida-combined-with-auto-immune protocol diet and began to see a huge improvement of my DE. And because my doc wasn’t even remotely willing to prescribe me the recommended dose of Nystatin (surprise surprise!) I opted for taking 40 drops of oil of oregano daily + 5 tbsp virgin coconut oil daily. Also crucial to my healing has been a good quality pro-biotic supplement. I ate no sugar whatsoever, including carrot/ beets/ other starchy anything for 3 months. No carbs of any kind. My DE basically disappeared. What a massive relief! With forays into drinking wine, eating moderate amounts of fruit in the past couple of months, the DE has returned very mildly – prompting me to pay attention to my gut and not become complacent. I get it – because it’s so debilitating, those of us with DE will try almost ANYTHING to deal with it – too bad western medicine is so totally out of touch and unhelpful with anything to do with the human microbiome. Means we have to be sleuths in the midst of our suffering. Strength and perseverance to all of my fellow DE sufferers!


  106. One year ago I searched for solution for my DE on my right hand with fear and anxiety as it become gradually worst to the degree that I could hardly bear it. The symptoms were just like all of you described it above: I had many extremely itchy blisters which once slowly healed it started pealing. I could reduce the scratchy feeling with antihistamine but the development of the blisters did not go away.
    I have been always living a really healthy lifestyle, especially in the past few years when I totally stopped drinking alcohol as I wanted to get pregnant. In order to do that I had to do IVF this also required me to take extra dose of vitamins, and DHEA. At the same time I was under enormous amount of pressure with finishing my studies, finding a new job, the death of my father….
    I have tried changing my diet, I tried all your treatments you all suggested over this board but nothing helped. Eventually, before my next IVF in Hungary (as in England the doctors didn’t even wanted to go for it because of the low number of follicles, 5 wasn’t enough!) my sister suggested to go and visit a spiritual healer.
    After long hesitation and in my desperation I did that. I went to see him with my husband together. He said he feels high energy around my liver and gallbladder which also affects my hormone through my thyroids. He also told me that as my liver and gallbladder is unable to get rid of toxins from my body therefore the excretion takes place through my skin that’s why I have the DE. He suggested keeping a simple flush cleaning to get rid of small kidney stones and other toxins from my body and to try to lower my stress level in order to get pregnant. For the flush cleaning he suggested drinking 100% pure apple juice for 8 days maximum of 1 litre per a day which could be consumed twice a day around 11.00am and 4.00pm. For the stress he had given me some ideas: prepare list of things which disturb me through the list in the fire, etc.
    After what I have been through, I thought well what a hell… neither pure apple juice nor writing down my negative feelings and throwing it in the fire can hurt me.
    Ladies (I hope it’s not too early to say but) two months later now I am now 7 weeks pregnant and all DE cleared out from my skin. I wanted to share this idea with all of you. If some simple drink, such as pure apple juice, could help some of you as well as me, than we already succeeded. Obviously, everybody’s body is different so this treatment might doesn’t work well for everyone on the same way.
    Later on I tried to check the science behind and I found some explanation but not really the cause of the matter, please check out more: from the book of Andreas Moritz: The Amazing Liver and Gallbladder Flush. You can get the book in pdf format from the web; also I have seen similar explanation on YouTube from dr Berg’s lecture. I forgot to say that I am 42 years old and I eat everything in my diet in moderation.


    • Your DE will likely return once pregnancy is over. The placenta produces high amounts of DAO that stop the blisters from occurring. Sorry for bad news. Expect it back a couple days after delivery.


    • Honestly I have been looking into treating my liver. I do think there is something to it. Unfortunately it will have to wait until after I’m finished breast feeding this new baby to come.


      • I don’t know if I am repeating myself or not, if so, I apologize, but I have a fatty liver and elevated ALT enzymes. My ALT was fine (22 out of a range of 0-40) in 2005 then measured again in 2015 it was double the max level (92). I developed DE in April 2010. I’m a 34 year old white male. So maybe there is something to this flawed liver thing since I keep reading about it in peoples comments.


  107. Last year I had a dyshidrotic episode on my fingers and nails that lasted months. Today it is mostly in remission but I have two fingernail cuticles that were apparently damaged and the nails grow in a wavy pattern. Several trips to my doctor, an allergist and dermatologist confirmed what I already knew from web research.

    Last winter I ran across a blog I can’t find now in which someone posted they had great luck by using natural soaps, shampoos, etc. Chemicals common in most hygienic products triggered her outbreaks.

    Since last November I have stayed away from commercial cleaners such as Dial soap, Dawn dishwashing liquid, Suave shampoos and other brands of these products. I’ve used only Burt’s Bees shampoo and a natural soap for bathing, and a natural dishwashing liquid (still wear gloves) and I have not had an outbreak since January.

    It’s curious that this affects the palms of hands and soles of feet primarily. As mine was limited to my hands I considered that in the shower, we’re standing in the soap runoff that can affect an outbreak on our hands so perhaps the feet follow. Just a hunch but I’ve banned the family from leaving their Dial in the shower soapdish where it can be washed onto my feet by the running water.

    I’m completely convinced that this is an environmentally caused disease brought on by products made specifically for use on the body.


    • Does any one else have a problem with garlic? It is one of my worse triggers. Garlic consumption equals blisters. I’m pregnant and due in less than 30 days. I’m dreading the blister explosion waiting to come. Since I e been pregnant I’ve changed my diet drastically. I feel much better but I know the placenta is providing a lot of relief too. I have no idea how bad it’s going to be. Is it going to be like the explosion I had after taking antibiotics that onetime? Is it going to return exactly as it was? I should hope not with all the changes I’ve made. I bet I’ll have to say good bye to cheese, garlic, citrus, red grapes, fish, vinegars, avocados, pineapple, tomatoes, spinage, yogurt, processed foods, all sugar… The list goes on forever I swear. I want to cry. What a great time to have a horrendous outbreak too. While taking care of a newborn and a toddler. I won’t be stressed at all. I keep trying to remind myself that some people have it much worse than I do. They would gladly take this cross.


      • I thought, then hoped, then prayed my dyshidrosis was caused by external things. But it isn’t. I tried the chemical free all natural route. I did see minor relief. I am sensitive to chemicals and stick too milder and more natural things. They do irritate my skin, but they’ve never triggered blisters. It’s not my cure. I’m glad you’re doing better.


      • So what tricks have you guys/gals discovered to help manage this beast?Lets share things that help. Any one else use emery boards to decrease dead skin? It doesn’t work as well on hands as it does feet. I have used it on both. Especially on the soles. I suppose it would be okay on the palms. On my soles I can used it to help prevent cracks. When ever too much hard unflexible dead skin builds up it cracks. So almost daily I sit at night and use an emery board where ever it’s needed. It smooths everything and removes a lot of the peeling skin. It’s especially important to use it just prior to the peeling phase. Which never ends for some of us. It usually takes four days for my skin to peel after blistering. I suggest using it at night so you can apply moisturizer to help heal any micro cuts made. Our skin goes through a rebuilding/healing process at night. I’ve found steri strips over cracks stops the pain and helps heal. Sometimes I put them in trouble areas to prevent cracking. Dead skin built up on the edge of cracks causes pain. Not just the crack itself. If you can remove the dead skin on the edges often times the crack will be less painful and heal faster. Emu oil is expensive but also healing. It’s impressed me several times. Soak a band aide in it and apply it to a crack. Some heal in a couple days. I always put an anti fungal cream on my feet. Usually twice daily. It’s not easy to tell the difference between fungus and DE sometimes. I had a raging fungal infection on top of DE. My clue was itching that didn’t follow my normal triggers and a slightly different rashy area that wasn’t blistering but extremely itchy. I also use ice packs if I’m having trouble falling asleep because the itching won’t stop. Or if I’m blistering intensely and REALLY want to scratch. I’d love to hear any tricks that have helped you.


    • I have the same problem with my cuticle and nails, have yours grown back? I’m looking for a ‘fix’ 😦 my fingers looks so ugly because of this and I’m pretty sure at this point they’re too damaged for the cuticle to grow back


  108. I have been suffering real bad for two years but it started with just a few small blisters on my ring fingers after I gave birth to my second child and I was a breastfeeding mother. Interesting!

    I have had patch testing done and removed so much from my household with no change. I use cotton gloves all the time…,I just love the stares from strangers. I tell people I wear them for fun.

    The only time I was clear was when I was on a high dose of steroids. I have been off then for almost a year and will not go back. My doctor started me on an immunosuppressant but I want off. Trying to heal through diet and a less toxic life. So far….still struggling but I will get it under control!


  109. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I too have had this stupid f’n problem for a few years and it does help to know I’m not alone.
    For the most part,I only have outbreaks on the middle finger of my right hand, so it’s natural for me to know that stress is related! LOL.
    I’m sure I have dairy sensitivities, but I don’t have children, so no breastfeeding connection although, it makes sense that a breastfeeding woman is foregoing a lot of their own storehouse of nutrients, as well as sleep, peace, etc., making her much more susceptible to any kind of disease.
    Off to stick my hand in some coconut oil and hopefully avoid water for the rest of the night.
    Hope your hands stay happy and healed!


  110. 😦 I have this problem as well, it started when I was 22 I’m 24 now and it comes and goes. The cuticle has never grown back on my fingers that lost the cuticle and my nails look so ugly!!! I just wish I could chop them off!!!! Have your cuticles grown back if so what remedy can you recommend? I hate ezcemaaaaaaaaaaa


    • My nails have gotten better during this pregnancy because the placenta suppresses the disease. My nails still aren’t normal. I don’t think they’ll ever be normal again. Dsyhidrosis can perminently damage them. Twenty days of relief left until the blister explosion. Hands and feet both.


  111. Nice reading. I went through the same I can send you before and after pictures. I modified my diet I’m not eating: peanuts, wheat, any artificial sweetner or any dairy, and my fingertips eczema has finally gone. I’ve been in control of my hands for the past 6 months.


  112. I dealt with the excema on my fingers, hands, and feet for years before I went gluten free. Finally, my skin healed. It took two years to give up ALL glutens in my diet. It’s hard work to be diligent and have a total GF diet. But, it works. Your skin can be normal again. Good luck.


  113. Hello! I found this blog post by miracle! My husband suffers severely with this disease! He’s been on steroid creams for years, but most recently it seems to be losing affectiveness. I would love an update on what your regime is!


  114. related to breastfeeding…sort of. Please read on! I have had this since I had my son too 3.5yrs ago. I have a theory… by the way, I was already prone to eczema.

    Once I had my son, I believe the stress of new motherhood, breast feeding, lack of sleep, throws your body into distress mode, setting off an auto-immune reaction, which comes out as the eczema. Foods that typically add stress to our body, are the allergens that you mentioned, dairy, wheat, nuts, etc. So cutting this out will definitely help.

    I have also found that I am sensitive to histamine. So cutting out histamine, and foods that block the breakdown of histamine (alcohol) has pretty much healed mine.

    Maintaining an alkaline diet has also helped me, as well as eating right for my blood type.

    Also, i have read that some people that have candida overgrowth, can react to it and develop DH.

    This has been a massive journey for me, and i have tried many different paths. Ive had the awful itchy sores and weeping fingers, use gloves for everything, tried creams and lots of them, had the pitted nails. There are lots of ways to combat it, but it’s all internal, takes time, and lots of effort. but when you have such an awful thing like DH, well, you would do just about anything to make it go away! I hope this helps someone out there that is suffering.

    I read that it comes out in your fingers as they are the most sensitive nerve endings in your body!


  115. Have your tried cutting out foods?
    I’ve been able to control mine by cutting out..
    -all nuts and seeds
    – all grains except rice
    -night shades

    I live off..
    -most vegetables
    -any fruit
    -olive oil
    -brown rice
    -chocolate (super pure and only small amounts)

    … I would love to know what causes the food reaction to start with though..


  116. Same journey. Everything the same. Started at end of second pregnancy. Did you cut out foods high in nickel? Steroids stopped working for me. Nickel free diet has been a lifesaver, but I miss chocolate.


    • I tried the no nickel diet. It helped but I could tell right away it wasn’t the cause. There were too many things on the nickel “no no” list that had never bothered me, and things I knew caused blisters that were listed as safe to eat. I even bought new ceramic pans, which I happen to love, so that was a plus. I discover histamine elevating goods caused blisters. Then I discovered gluten was a HUGE problem, I can’t stress that enough. It indirectly causes blisters. Histamine elevating foods and waking up from sleeping cause my blisters. If I don’t eat gluten I can eat foods that elevate histamine. Then I discovered sugar and coffee, (even decaf) also indirectly causes blisters. It’s all quantity related. I can have little bits of sugar and coffee every once in awhile and be okay. I’m in the process of checking if this is celiacs disease. The more I learn and cross reference the more it looks like it could be what’s going on. I urge you to try gluten free for awhile. I don’t have any GI problems. I have dyshidrosis, eczema, joint pain (costochondritis), brain fog, and fatigue, if I eat gluten. I’ve had wonderful results from taking Megaspore probiotic. If your situation sounds similar I can’t stress it enough either. Going gluten free is hard at first. Once you start feeling better and realize how crappy you actually were feeling it gets so much easier. I just have to think about how gluten makes me feel and I no longer want to eat it. It’s like eating something that later makes you throw up. After it makes you sick a few times you won’t miss eating it. Please give it a try.

      Liked by 1 person

  117. I have this, too. Like you, it’s gotten worse with age. Last year was the first debilitating flare up, and I’m now in the beginning stages of a second one. I was also dismissed by several doctors, they didn’t even want to look at the pictures of the progression I had purposely taken. It’s infuriating. I’ve just been researching ailment after ailment and thinking maybe I have any or all of them. I found your blog while searching (yet again) for the answer. Hallelujah! Now I know what I’ll be bringing up when I go back in. And inevitably I will be, since this flare up looks like it’s headed for infection like last time. I’ve never heard of the turmeric thing before, so I just rubbed some all over mine. It might be doing something? It’s hard to tell as it was already oozing. Do you just put it on dry? That’s what I did. Last year I would slather bag balm and neosporin all over and do a mummy wrap in paper towels. I couldn’t get my hands into gloves that were tight enough to stay on. Inevitably, in the night I would scratch it open in my sleep. I’ve noticed that the blisters start to show up when I have high anxiety (which is almost always, haha), and it’s terrible because the anxiety cause the blisters which cause anxiety which causes more blisters which cause more anxiety. My hands were down to raw flesh, and the doctor actually prescribed me an antibiotic that I was allergic to. The pharmacist at Walmart caught that. I’m at wit’s end between the actual ailment and the frustration of not being listened to. Do you have any glove recommendations, or like a specific line of things that work? I also have cetaphil cream and it does work well. I’ve started using baby oil recently on my hands once in awhile, too, and it seems to do some good. I really can’t tell. It seems like anything, even if there are benefits, seems to set off my skin in one way or another.


  118. I have gone through the same thing as you, but not that extreme… Although I do use the steroid cream occasionally when it starts to get bad. Your thoughts and ideas of where it comes from and damn the pollution blame game, it’s as if you were in my head! I never had it as a child, I just developed it in the past two years, I’m now 31… And would say I have it pretty under control..dermatologist wrote me off too, but after research, and lots of research I figure what works and effects me and I’m slowly healing…… . I gave up everything that I love! Beer, wine, grain alcohol, coffee, tea, salmon, shell fish, the whole list of nickel free foods…also did the whole change soaps shampoos and body wash, don’t use conditioner anymore or hair products. You using cocoanut oil makes my hands itch… I tried that and it seemed to always itch (not creating new bumps) just not good. But when i do cheat and go all out on the weekends, meaning drinking canned beer and whiskey shots and high nickel foods, I know I’m gonna get the bumpy itches bad for a few weeks….. Even if I have just a beer or a glass of wine or one coffee, I get a small case of it….And like you I refuse to give up cheese. I just blame it on the dust or the something else that caused the liquid bumps….there’s always something else….
    I’m trying something else today, I believe its the culprit of my episodes… I removed my permanent retainer that’s been bumping uglies with my tongue since I was 14…. I’m thinking the metal (whether it’s chromium, titanium, nickel, or whatever) has something to do with it….. We’ll see!!!! Anyway!!! Enjoyed reading your blog!! I’m gonna try that stuff you said extracted the ooze! …. Oh yeah!! I think being pregnant had something to do with your ultimate break out…. I plan on trying in January, I hope it doesn’t effect me or the breast feeding, but it sounds like It might. :(. Hope your healed!!! And I hope they find the cause of it for us.


  119. I can’t believe I came across this blog. You took the words out of my mouth. I have two boys, 3 and a half and 10 months, and my hands are constantly in water. One day I decided to disinfect my son’s bath toys in the tub with white vinegar. My hands were submerged in the water and vinegar mixture for about 10 minutes. I noticed relief immediately. I also get wonderful relief from apple cider vinegar. I mix with a little water and apply to the outbreak. It may burn briefly but the itching stops immediately. I do it every night before bed and now enjoy itch free nights.


  120. Use of corticosteroids has several severe side-effects as for example: steroid psychosis,[19] hyperglycemia,[20] insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus,[20] osteoporosis, cataract, anxiety,[20] depression, colitis, hypertension, ictus, erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, hypothyroidism, amenorrhoea, and retinopathy.

    May i know where u got this quote from?


  121. I went to the dermatologist for the same thing. I was disappointed in her treatment: kenalog 40. It has bad side effects. I hope I get better. I’m into eating healthy, but am thinking gluten, milk and perhaps eggs are the culprits. It will be hard to give these up. When I got eczema 3 years ago for the first time, I researched nickel and figured heavy metals were the culprits, so I started cooking in ceramic pans and NOT metal of any kind. Guess what? The eczema was gone! Now, I have had another bout and it’s been on my fingers for a year now! The blistering made me go to the dermatologist. I got lots of ideas to try from your blog. I will first try the epsom salts soaks, then eliminating my favorite foods.


  122. Hello,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I am also a long term sufferer. It is a lonely disease and this helps. Doctors are useless, and you have to become your own investigator. Two things I have discovered that I didn’t see already in other comments: 1) taking b12 -(sublingual methylcobalamine derived b vitamins), stops the cracking. My skin still gets red, itchy, and blisters, but it doesn’t split open as long as I take my b12 religiously. The corners of my mouth get dry and irritated when I’m not getting enough. When that happens, I know my fingers are getting ready to start ripping open. If I start slamming the b12 I can stop the cracking. 2) I make a drink called golden milk that seems to stop the swelling and blisters. I always wake up with blisters and if I drink this before bed, I don’t have bumps in the morning. There are lots of recipes for it online. I use almond milk instead of dairy because I don’t tolerate dairy. My formula is to mix 1/2 cup turmeric powder, 1/2 cup Ceylon cinnamon powder, and 1/4 cup ground ginger, with a 1/2 tsp back pepper. Add water and simmer for about five minutes to make a paste. I keep this in the fridge and put a heaping spoonful in a cup of almond milk with a little raw honey. My skin is still red and dry, but no bumps or oozing, itchy blisters.
    Dust is a major trigger for me and it’s hard to get away from because I live in the desert. Going 100% gluten, starch, egg and sugar free has allowed me to get to a rash free state, but it’s very hard to maintain a diet that strict forever. Good luck everyone.


  123. I’d like to speak to the women that wrote this article. I am going through the same thing. I have eczema on my hands and feet and have gotten no relief from anything I’ve tried. I am in tears as I am swyping my ointment soaked finger across my phone to write this. I feel like an invalid. …hobbling because of my feet and walking around with my hands in an arch like position. My dishes left undone because I’m terrified to put my hands under water. I need to find some relief before I go insane. I went to the emergency room with cracked and bleeding feet and they didn’t even and a doctor in to see me. …only a doctor assistance. I felt dismissed and i feel very much betrayed by my own skin. Please help.


    • I sent you an email 😀
      I’ll talk more later 😀
      In the meantime, it may help you to join a group that I found on Facebook: the “Dyshidrotic eczema the group” it’s a closed group. There are lots of other sufferers there sharing their pain and solutions to healing. If you join, tell them where you heard about the group so that I can spot you 😉

      Here is a link to the group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/785288014872228/

      I hope this has helped you! I can’t type much because my fingers hurt tonight. ❤️
      Sending you love and healing!


  124. Thanks for these great words. I have battled this on and off for years. It is a cycle of healing and eruptions that has been spinning since I was involved in a moderately bad car accident that left me with spinal disc issues. I have DE on my right side only. I also have some nerve damage on my right side-I’ve often wondered if that has been a contributing factor-my holistic practitioners feel it’s highly possible as nerve flow in my case is interrupted. I can so relate to those bouts of unbearable itching and burning-then dusty fingers with cracks and swelling. My right hand feels most comfortable when it’s curled up in a ball. I’ve been working on adding pro biotics and eliminating dairy-I have to say it did help by making the symptoms less severe. I started taking coconut oil supplements, increased vitamin D, and also take a bunch of other supplements geared to reduce inflammation-nothing cured yet-but definitely improved. In the past-my fingers would be covered in band aids-now there is at least comfort. I’ve read apple cider vinegar soaks help as well-I’m considering trying it. I drink the vinegar and find it gives me energy and more-so that’s my next move. I do notice that foods with high yeast contents cause a flare. I’ve often wondered if candida or fungus could be involved-so I’m trying to use products geared for that condition in the hopes it helps to eliminate the DE. As of late-I have an awful red patch of bumpy yuck on the right side of my face-doesn’t itch. Looks like roseacea-no clue. I just don’t want to go to MD or dermatologist for it-because I don’t feel the treatments are safe-and reading your article-I know I’m not alone in my thinking. DE is an annoyance-but such a regular part of my daily experience. I hope you are doing better and have found relief.


  125. So happy I came across this blog! I’m currently going through this. I have DE on all of my fingers, to the point that I’ve lost a thumb nail and a few cuticles. I just discovered what this even was while waiting my for dermotoligist appointment. I also have a nice flare up of my regular eczema, covering my hands, forehead, and eyelids. I feel like a monster!


  126. i am so very grateful to find your conversation here. i am reading it again and, without a doubt, going to see an allegist. i have suspected this might be able to give some answers. so tired of having random outbreaks on my fingers. i used to use cetaphil and cerave. but since learning about parabens, i have stopped. i am using beautycounter (i actually joined the non toxic missioned company). but i am having occasional outbreaks still, which points to food and other allergies i believe. it is so difficult to function and tidy the house or fold laundry (as u said). i hate to cover a lesion before it is dry but i dont have cotton gloves. WHERE do i find them?

    thanks again for talking about this!! so helpful.


    • Hi Ellen. Thanks for your comment. I wear black cotton gloves. I buy them on Amazon. I hope your skin will heal as you continue to search for the answer to the question that plagues us all: “what is causing this?” Best wishes!


  127. What a relief to find someone who has put to words a struggle I have had for years! The insanity of itching and the pain of fingers broken open and pustules and cracking…and feeling embarrassed and humiliated of my hands. I am a professional musician and this has caused many sleepless nights worried that I would be able to play guitar for the next show or rehearsal.
    I have been working on my own treatment for years and have done all of the steroids and ointments and tests known to humans…as many of you have too. Stress, alcohol, and eggs are my best guesses (emphasis on the stress) for factors contributing to my Dyshidrotic Eczema symptoms.
    Your pictures really comforted me as I have a set of my own : )


  128. Hi, I had a similar case, most of my life. Got worse post pregnancy. The fingernails seem to be fungal-related. The author of the site is open to communicate.


    Nystatin cleansed out my system of fungus and I’m a lot better. It is quite safe, apparently.

    Good luck.


    • Dear Rebecca,

      Did you use Nystatin? If yes, could you share your experience with it as I am thinking of giving it a go.
      I’ve tried it in the past but I can’t say it did much to me or anything at all.

      Many thanks,



  129. I probably cruel several times while reading this. I cant hold a job because of this. My father is upset with me because of it. I decided to start a YouTube channel to make money. If I work I get sick. They want me to wash my hands constantly or touch things this im allergic to. I feel extremely defeated. I only have Obama care so I dont know if that covers getting allergy tested. I just want to feel normal and not be in pain. My hand swells up when a flare up happens. I cant even think of dating. Who would marry a 31 year old with severe allergies? I can barely use my right arm. It attacks my right hand pointer finger.


  130. I am so glad to have read your blog. I have passed it on to my husband and family members to read as you have said what I have wanted to say for the past 11 years.

    Everything you write about from the constant itchy to the burning pain. My favourite was the cotton gloves sticking to the ooze that was so real, as I have witnessed over and over again myself.

    Mine first started about 11 years ago with the blisters the popping, the oozing and then the driest flakier skin that hurt like hell. I have received ultra violet light therapy, tar, steroid injections and your everyday corticosteroid creams all of which never worked!!!

    I tried a gluten free diet that seemed to help for a period of time only to find out that it wasn’t actually working. I have had this reoccurring over. And over again with no relief for longer then a couple weeks at a time. I know there were triggers like hand washing, dishes, using or being around bleach. But even with gloves and complete avoidance it always came back and lingered for what seems to be forever.

    This past July my dog passed away and within in two month of that time my hands healed completely for the first time in 11 years the pitting in my nails healed and my hands looked ” normal” aside from the agian appearance and thinning skin look from all past meds.

    I started bathing my kids again, washing dishes and going in pools. Life was great!

    Dec 24 of this year I visited my mil house for Xmas and she has a dog within a day the blisters and dry patches appeared and to this day I am still dealing with the problem. My hands are killing me! Itchy and painful and its lasting forever. Like u mentioned above water is the number one thing and even the tiniest little drop just causes so much discomfort. I just can’t seem to get ahead of this o e I have been soaking in apple cider vinegar followed by coconut oil which usually helps for a short period of time. But not a cute. I am beside myself trying to get rid of this round but having a 1 1/3 year old changing diaper and wash ing hands go hand in hand.

    Thanks again for the blog.


  131. Drop all excess sugar intake. As soon as I did that it got better. All issues start in the gut. A good probiotic is the first step. A paleo diet will also eliminate all grains and excess sugar which will correct the inflammation.


  132. I have eczema on my hands, wrists, neck, and bends of my arms. It is at its worst right now since it is almost spring. I am miserable. I remember I had an awful outbreak when I was about 15 and poured an entire bottle of benadryl spray on my hands. It actually made it look better but it still itched like crazy. Hydrocortisone has stopped helping. I use Vaseline cocoa butter lotion and it has stopped helping. Idk what to do. I work in merchandise and it would be hard to count and organize products with gloves on my hands. It is getting hot here and idk how to cover up the bends of my arms or my neck. I also try to hide it from my boyfriend. I don’t want him to think I am a freak or have some kind of std. I have been battling this for over 10 years now. Prescription ointments never work. I use dove soap recommended by my dermatologist. I am allergic to most soaps and fragrant lotions and hand sanitizers. They only dry me out more. Idk what to do 😢


  133. Hi, I just came across your article as I am suffering a second big episode after only minor irritation over the last 2 years between my now and the last chronic outbreak 2 years ago. When I last had this shitty condition, I practically had to give up work as my hands were a crusty mess for 2 months and I was on 4 courses of antibiotics and steroid cream. I’m in New Zealand and it’s just become autumn, and after consuming alcohol that is not my normal tipple, I woke up to the blisters etc. I had 4 probiotic tablets this morning, 2 antihistamine and have been applying steroid cream every couple of hrs all day as well as drinking lemon water as well as a cap of avc. My goal is to re-alkalise my body as I really can’t have this again. Weirdly enough, the first outbreak of this was when I was breastfeeding my newborn, had stress and during summer when my hay fever was also chronic. We are self employed now but I was hoping to get some work with my ex employer but won’t be able to if this condition gets worse. My hope is that it will be gone by Monday, 3 days from now- I woke up with it yesterday. Anyway, there is hope out there everyone and you are not alone. Keep strong, you can get past this, it’s a test. 😉 Is it okay if I share this on my FB blog just for family & friends to gain an insight?


  134. Hello Everyone my name is Janice Sample from USA, am there to tell everyone about the work that Dr lincoln. did for me, i was having Eczema for good two years and it was all over my body on till i meet with a friend of my who told me about Dr lincoln he told me that the Dr have a cure for it and he gave me the Dr email address @ drlincolnspelltemple@gmail.com then i mail him, the Dr gave me something to cure my Eczema, i only use the soup for one week and everything was done, i really love the work that Dr lincoln. did for me and if you also want is cure email him now drlincolnspelltemple@gmail.com and he will also do the same for you okay.


  135. Hi!
    O been suffering this with this sonce 6 years ago, I have no kids but Ido have hormonal problems but it stared when I was worked ng in a place where I had to use strong cleaning products and sanitizer soap very often, I used to think it was a fungus infection and ended up trying sveral fungus creams without success, somo of those helped a little but at the end it use to come back stronger. When I read this post and saw your pics I finnally knew what was it and stared following your tips, I stared to look better and I made somo more research about it in wich my sister helped, she read out about this cream called BAG BALM and tolm to give it a try so I did and guess what? It HELPS SO MUCH! it smells bad but ir works 🙂
    I have not been able to get completely rid of it, since I get some breaks out when I touch certain things, specially clening products or get stress, but this cream does not allow it to get worst and it heals faster and my skin gets relief. Hope it is helpful for other!


  136. Just found your page and suffering with an outbreak of my own. Was hoping to find some “new miracle” and feel the same as many comments here and on your original post. Spring. Stress. My kids are 10 and 15 and both were breastfed – but I think I have had this forever.

    In my case the last few outbreaks (palm of my left hand always) now includes Phlebitis. Red streak leaving the area and going down my arm. One urgent care doc prescribed antibiotics thinking it was some kind of blood infection. This streak is painful and the recommendations (warm compress/etc) is the opposite of what I have been told will be best for my palm.

    Different doc, different story each time. I am going to stop with the steroid cream as the original post was scary… just wondering if anyone else has had the added job of phlebitis?

    Thanks all for sharing. The itch. The pain. The embarrassment. The whole thing. It just seems like there should be some better/more concrete answers from the medical establishment. I am glad to have found this page.


  137. Thanks- my hands blew up today. Was nice to read your post. I was at the ER because it’s getting so bad and I could see the tell tale ‘bubbles’ invading basically my whole hand.
    I plan to try this after my prednisone round- I got in ER tonight. I recently read a few posts about Candida and DE, which is in part was thought to be a link to breastfeeding. Mine started not long after I finished BF. http://www.dyshidrosis.co.uk/


  138. I know this post is a bit old, but i have to share my experience. I experience DE also, and I know exactly what causes & exacerbates mine. Peanuts, citrus, and baby wipes (which contain citric acid). I can eat/use any of them in small amounts, but once I have a flare-up, I have to stop using ALL of them for it to go away. ALSO, keep all steroids away from babies & children. They can cause permanent adrenal failure in little ones – I researched it after my mom gave me her steroid cream to use on my baby’s severe diaper rash. I researched it before I ever got close to putting it on her, thank goodness.

    So, yes, I am experiencing DE right now and forgetfully ate 2 trader joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups, and now my nose is burning. I typically get DE on my fingers and nose. Mine doesn’t itch, thank goodness. It mostly just peels/cracks and burns. So I start abstaining from peanuts (and tree nuts as they seem to worsen things after an outbreak), all citrus (hard to resist Mexican food w/ lime juice in it), and I get my husband to change my daughter’s diapers if he is at home. I have the mildest wipes I could find (Seventh Generation), but they can still worsen my symptoms. I also avoid dishwashing liquid (citric acid) or any harsh soap. The idea that you use antibacterial soap on yours made me want to cry.

    I use coconut oil on my nose, and it seems to work as well at healing my skin as the antifungal/steroid cream that my dr prescribed a decade ago. For my hands… honestly I just wait for them to get better. I am too busy to cover my hands with coconut oil. I typically get better within a week without any medication. I would much rather learn to avoid flare-ups than use meds any day.

    Also, I discovered that nickel is a trigger for me, and guess what contains nickel… peanuts. Also be aware than many medical devices contain nickel. I had a breast biopsy while pregnant and refused the metal marker that they typically leave in the breast after a biopsy just in case there is cancer (it helps them with surgery if cancer is found). I did not have cancer, and I am SO happy that metal clip/marker is not left in my body to potentially trigger a reaction deep in my breast! I read horror stories of women needing to have full-blown surgery under general anesthesia to remove those tiny things after an allergic reaction.

    I don’t believe many doctors know about all of these correlations, but I have discovered them to be true for myself over the past decade. I wanted to share my story just in case it may help you and anyone else out there.


  139. Btw, I have breastfed (extended) all of my children, but I do not feel breastfeeding is related. Baby wipes, yes. Breastfeeding, no. Although I had some nasty repeated cases of thrush in my breasts this time because of my sugar & processed carb consumption during my postpartum.


  140. I don’t know how to thank you. I have been through so much of the same channels that those thoughts you were having could have been plucked directly from my own head. I’ve done so much research and struggled with my doctor who just keeps telling me to use the same things. This gave me hope!!!


    • You are not alone!!!! It will get better. My best advice is to try your best to place your focus away from it. I know how hard that can be. But it has worked wonders for my state of mind. I believe that this ailment is a physical response to psychological distress (stress/anxiety/depression/overwhelmed/ hurt/anger)— it is just how our body responds to these things. Change your mind, heal your body. ❤️🔆


  141. Thanks to your blog, I now know what I have. I had my very first outbreak ever (I am 37) last August, I have been to several doctors and just recently to a dermatologist, who still hasn’t given me any answers to what is going on, he has only taken skin samples and I have to go back in 3 months. When I was reading your blog about the condition of your hands and how it affected your life, it was like reading my own story. I was absolutely miserable as the condition got worse and worse. I run 3 hog barns for a living, so I absolutely need my hands to work. The 1/4″ deep splits at the base of every finger and fold on my hands made it a special kind of hell that I wouldn’t wish on anybody, not to mention the edema. I thought I might be dying lol. And to try to narrow down what was causing it?? Feed dust, pig dander, dogs, horses, birds, my favorite foods that happen to be the most common allergens? Basically my entire life could be the trigger for this condition.
    Now that I know what it is, I have been doing some investigating on how to manage it, and I have already been seeing results. I also know for a fact now that it is going to require an allergy test. I can’t thank you enough for your story, thanks for sharing!


      • I believe it is either peanut butter or dust mites causing it, but I don’t know for sure! I had it under control and all of a sudden she flared up again with the itchy little blisters (the recent flare up is what got me googling again, and that’s how I came across your blog), and I had just made a batch of monster cookies that have peanut butter in them. I believe dust mites caused a reaction when I was younger, I didn’t put the connection together until the last couple of days, but when I was 7 or 8 I had a bad cough that persisted, my mom took away my feather pillow and the cough went away. It was dismissed as an allergy to feather pillows, but it was likely dust mites causing the issue! I have been scared to get my hands wet for like 7 months, so I haven’t been doing a lot of cleaning…after reading about vinegar soaks (I use vinegar and water to clean almost everything), I thought I’d get 2 birds stoned at once and use the opportunity to start cleaning up my house! I did that yesterday and the little blisters are already starting to subside. I have also been doing UV treatments that my dermatologist recommended, and my hands were almost completely perfect until last Wednesday, they started itching from underneath even before the bumps showed up. I even went for a UV treatment on Wednesday. When I woke up Friday morning my hands were starting to get blisters, and I could pretty well watch them form. By Friday night it had ran up both palms and on the inside of every finger. I am just starting with the vinegar soaks, but it seems to be doing the trick so far! Can’t wait for allergy tests so I don’t have to keep playing the guessing game!


  142. I was crying my fingers/hands itched and burned, were bright red and exposed for two months. The skin was falling apart, I couldn’t hold anything, people would go to shake my hand and I would retract mine. I stayed home and fell into a depression, I felt like the sunlight even made it worse. I stopped eating GLUTEN and eating out anywhere except for rice noodles. When it was really bad I stopped corn, soy, oatmeal, chocolate, citrus, dairy, sulfate preservative, MSG from Chinese food, seafood, brown rice, and beans. It really helped me. Use Eucerin skin calming body wash, Cetaphil from the tub, Eucerin Eczema lotion, Unscented Dove, and Clearly Natural unscented soap, in that order.


  143. I’m still searching for the root cause of this illness (Will be trying NYSTATIN in the upcoming weeks), but as a quick fix band-aid solution I would recommend “Kiss My Face Vitamin A & E” moisturizing lotion (http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Body-Moisturizer-Vitamins-E-16/dp/B00LPBZ16Q/)

    I tried a lot of stuff during the last 5 years to fix my severely burning itching hands(your comments include them all) including “Aqueous Calamine Cream 100”, which was good enough, but not ideal. “Kiss My Face” lotion instantly stops itching and heals. Left overnight, the result is simply stunning.

    Hope my findings will save you a lot of frustration, pain and anger when dealing with this debilitating disease.

    All the best


  144. I! Thank you for posting this. I started to get the blisters in my hands and fingers, the itching was the worst. I scratch so much that I did damaged the palms of my hands. I tried eczema cream and it really didn’t work. I called my dad and as crazy as it sounds he told me to put Vicks vaporub and leave it all night. My dad is kind of the father on my big fat greek wedding and windex. He uses Vicks vaporub. I did it and saw improvement the next morning. I’ve been doing the same for the last 3 nights. The ‘blisters seem smaller, they don’t itch and they are getting dry. I n avoid using to much water. But it feels better when they are not moistured. Hope this helps someone.

    Liked by 1 person

  145. Hi,
    I also have DE, it started 2 years ago after I moved to a different job. I think stress may have triggered it, as those were very stressful months. It started on a finger, and even though it itched, I could bear it. It started getting worse one year ago… then I started using steroid creams, prescribed by the allergist.
    I had a really bad outbreak 3 months ago, it was so bad I couldn’t even sleep because the heat at night would make my hands and especially feet flare up. Right now my feet are good, but my hands are pretty bad.
    I’ve tried lots of creams and ointments. Let me tell you what worked and what not:
    Works for me:
    – Nivea (blue tin) is the best cream for me
    – Soaking hands and feet in water with apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar, 4 parts water). It burns at first but then it kind of dries out the blisters and relieves the skin
    – The sea and the sun make it go away, of course I can spend one or maximum 2 weeks a year on the beach, so it’s not a solution
    Didn’t work:
    – Primrose pills, I took 2 a day for 2 months and didn’t see any effects

    I got a food allergy test and everything was negative, but I’m considering giving up dairy food for a while, as I’ve heard of a person who has this issue, got negative allergy tests and found out that giving up dairy helped her a lot.

    I still have to program a patch test, but I know I’m allergic to nickel. I’ve always had skin issues (dry skin, other types of very mild eczema). I don’t have children, but the stress of having a baby and the hormone changes it involves sound like a trigger too.

    Good luck everyone!


  146. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully things are still looking up!

    I’m just going to throw this out there in case it helps anyone, as it’s helped me tremendously: There’s an alternative therapy called NAET (short for Nambudripad’s allergy elimination technique, -info found on naet.com) that helps with all kinds of bodily (and also mental & emotional!) woes.

    The practitioner makes a big difference, though, so some research is needed into how much training they’ve received & if they keep up-to-date with the technique, as opposed to morphing it into their own made-up style. All this info should be available on the website.

    Be well! I love the butter churning quote!!


  147. Hi there! I just recently developed this. Like maybe a month ago! Just now figuring out what it is after the dermatologist wasn’t any help. I can’t afford to keep spending money on Derm visits and meds! I’ve found this article and i think that yeast may be the cause, atleast for me. Going to give some of the options a go. Here is the article: http://pompholyx.blogspot.com/2011/09/yeast-and-pompholyx.html



  148. I feel your pain, I too suffer the same on my hands, feeling like I am allergic to water… And heaven forbid when I sweat! I am currently at a peak flare as I like to term them, I have really bad days several in a row and a few good ones. I use the term flare, because I few years ago I dropped 75 lbs by eating healthy, cutting out diet pop and artificial sweeteners. My eczema also disappeared. I love food, and well even the stuff that’s not so healthy, fell off my health wagon, have gained back my weight, and gained back the eczema worse than ever before. This time around it flared around my ankle, as well as my hands. As a child I only had it in the bendy spots of my body, elbows and back of knees… All the sweaty places. I have made an appointment with a dermatologist, for the first time ever and will be going soon. I watched my father suffer with it head to toe all of his short life, he took prednisone for his condition and it rendered him blind from the steroid. I just always managed it with OTC and home remedies. I had luck with Emu oil that Walgreens pharmacy used to sell in tiny little tubs, but they no longer offer it.
    Thank you for sharing this personal struggle.


  149. Use coal tar shampoo. This worked for me and my hands are almost completely healed. Trust me. I just started this day 4 and my hands are almost back to normal. I rub the shampoo in my hands let it dry then lightly rinse in five minutes then add lotion. Make sure you are not using anything that has the ingredient Methylisothiazolinone in it. Dawn dish soap has caused my outbreak. Methylisothiazolinone is in most cleaning supplies and cosmetics please refrain from this ingredient on merchandise.
    Methylisothiazoline (MI) is a commonly used preservative in many cosmetic and household cleaning products. It acts as an anti-bacterial agent and so preserves the shelf life of these products. It is closely related to another preservative called methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI). Often these two products are used together (MCI/MI).

    How MI can cause problems with your skin
    MI may cause a type of eczema in some people (allergic contact dermatitis). Symptoms include redness, dryness, a burning or stinging sensation, facial swelling, blisters and crusting. Not everyone who uses a product containing MI will have problems.


  150. I have been pretty much suffering like yourself with the painful hands and stress, and it all began after giving birth. I am still currently nursing both my son’s, but although my hands have improved, they still are constantly swollen. Some days more than others. I too tried cotton gloves, Vaseline, and so on. Still, I was in agony. Are you still nursing?


  151. I’m actually glad that I took the time to read your blog …I wish I would have read the part about the steroid usage before cause damage to my eyes…I’ve been struggling with these evil little blisters since 1999 across my feet on the sides and the souls and now have journeyed to my palm and they seem to just be getting started…I have seen doctors and read every article of different kinds of eczema…I do remember my mother having a condition on her feet and my grandma on her hands so I am 100% for sure that it’s genetic I’m also 100% percent for sure that is not contagious because no one else in my house has it…I do however pray that my children do not get it this is one thing I would not want to pass on…I work as a waitress and every single night every time I take off my shoes and socks I just want to die I could cut off my own feet…and then the next day it’s a battle of the brain just to force myself to suffer what you know is going to be another excruciating cycle …just to have enough money to pay the bills and care for kids….I absolutely know your pain with the itching …I have never seen a case as bad as what you have on your fingers and I am so sorry that you have to suffer that I cannot imagine the pain….props to Aaron for being a wonderful helper in your life and shows a lot about the love the two of you share…I pray that you’re blessed to have healthy hands that you can enjoy your kids…motherhood is a great blessing it’s kind a like a bipolar positive to the negative that we suffer with the eczema…I wish you the best and thank you for posting your blog…. 🍀💖Nikki!!!


  152. I took a dilaudid last night to just get knocked out. Ya’ll know what I mean. I am happy and sad I found this blog. Releived to have others that understand,but sad for the suffering.
    My story. As a child I don’t remember eczema like I have today on my hands. I had chronic tonsilitis and sometimes my feet wiuld peel. I was just sickly most of the time. In 1988 I had a healthy baby girl.I am RH negative. I did breastfeed briefly,like a week. I had my first outbreak within a month of delivering her and I honestly didn’t know what inthe hell I had but I saved money and went to the dermatologist. I was young,21. For the next eight years I received three steroid shots a year(you aren’t allowed more than that I guess) and I would go get them when I just couldn’t take it anymore. Back then there wasn’t the internet so you just had to listen to your doctor. My husband would bathe me when I couldn’t and my nails fell off. Just miserable. I also delivered another healthy baby girl in 1992 but I did not breastfeed her(wish I could go back and change that). She was healthy at first then came colic,then ear infections,and then when she was two horrible eczema all over her little body. Somewhat different than my hand multiple blister oozing eczema but equally itchy and painful. At that time England was the only country with an eczema society or one I could find and I would wrap her up in compresses everyday. The good news is she grew out of most of it. The bad news is she has gastroparesis(idiopathic).
    So I bumped along like that for around eight years and we moved to a different house and guess what, my eczema on my hands just went away? I still suffered from allergic rhinitus so bad my lymph nodes were swollen and I began to have horrible rolling panic attacks from hell that left me skin and bones but no eczema. I began allergy shots which were life changing from a respiratory and health view and I got medicine from a psychiatrist to start dealing with the panic disorder. My husband is a licensed counselor so that helps. Now I do have to say if I stressed to horribly with a combination of cutting tomatoes and being in the dirt gardening I might see an occasional very small outbreak that would come quickly and be gone overnight so that probably occured once a year and I never recorded it. I had other things happen along the way,migraines,burst appendix, hysterectomy two years after my third child,no eczema with her to speak of or remember with or around her birth and I breastfed her for six months or so. Gallbladder out in March of this year.
    Now about two and a half years ago I began a new,chronic,unrelenting breakout that has persevered. Yes, I went back to the doctor,same regimen,Flucinonide,mupricin,Elidel,steroid shot in the butt. Three weeks of clearing and then back with the same as before. Maybe I had forgotten that hell from so many years ago or thought I had “served my time” for whatever,because really if you have it you are just so fucking miserable and I could not freaking believe it was back,what the hell. I have read everything I can find and some of it sounds nuts and some makes sense and some crosses over on each other. Allergies,fungus,sympathetic nervous system problem,Th2 dominance- which may make more sense as they are coming out with a new eczema medicine that supresses IL-4 and IL-13 begins with D. Gluten intolerence,histamine intolerence.etc,etc…food allergies and intolerence,leaky gut. Also, I smoked cigarettes like crazy all these years and finally quit four years ago. I vape but I had vaped for quite awhile before the new outbreak and no flavors or nicotine. Anyways,I know this is a long post but I just want to get everything out there to try to find a commonality. Hoping someone is smarter or has cured themselves with a similar profile.
    I will tell you what I am trying. I ordered L.plantarum 299v from Jarrow formulas because someone else tried it and it helped them. I also started making sauerkraut and kombucha that goes against histamine intolerence but is supposed to heal the gut. I am off bread but only recently gave up oatmeal(nickel intolerence) . I feel very confused from the food place. There are certain foods I just can’t eat as I have an immediate reacion,like pineapple,so delicious and my mouth bleeds and swells as I eat it. So I am trying to cut out obvious offenders that I know of or are on histamine intolerance except the foods that add to my gut flora(fermented). I bathe with nitrile gloves taped at the wrist. I only use dove and only in certain areas. I use renpure shampoos. I stay away from make-up. I use retin A on my face for age related wrinkles etc,just started that six months ago and see no difference in my eczema.I am not much of a drinker and wine makes me sick( histamine sulfite intolerence?) but I can have tequilla on occasion without extra sickness or change in this outbreak. I have cotton gloves but usually my eczema switches from hand to hand and yeah one cotton glove does attract extra attention. So instead,I take a white t- shirt and cut enough to wrap each finger and then put a flesh colored sport wrap tape from the dollar store on each finger. It looks better than the white gloves and it just looks like I broke my fingers or something. I am taking Allegra during the day and benedryl at night and sometimes xanax just to go to sleep. I do take a small,tiny dose of testosterone in a shot every week as my level had gotten lower than a prepubescent childs and I was having heart palps etc….but I did start that routine around the same time my eczema started to flare so I am considering stopping those? I ccasionally break down and use the steroid creams or Elidel to get some relief but it always comes back immediately and usually it never completely clears before blisters are lined up underneathe the crusts.I exercise 3 to four times a week wearing gloves or coverings on my fingers so they aren’t sweaty or wet.I have ordered oral nystatin drops to try as well as oregano drops from Amazon. I am spraying my feet that look fine to me with antifungal spray just in case. I am growing my owm sprouts to eat for extra DAO in case it is histamine intolerence, I don’t want the DAO from pig kidneys,just personal reason.
    So that’s it. Ridiculous amounts of time and energy to try to figure this puzzle out. If someone has anything to add to my puzzle or they are similar to me and have finished their puzzle please let me know. After thirty years of it,well….I am so tired. I am tired because I live in Florida next to beautiful,gorgeous beaches and it can be torture swimming in saltwater and sometimes I do because just want to try to still enjoy life. Well if anyone has any ideas that don’t incude praying to Satan and bathing in babies blood let me know.


    • Hello Elizabeth/ All,

      This is my third post here over the years, I have had very bad blistering oozing blisters all over my hands , feet and back. At the worst point my Dr gave me the option to remove my nails (fingers&toes). Topical Steroids didn’t help. For me I managed to cure this and keep it away eventually only with a gluten free diet. The allergy/ intolerance to gluten is extremely severe, extremely. After going on a strictly gluten free diet the the itching was gone in only a few days, the rash / blistering took another 6 months to heal. If you try this you should notice in days but it would be extemely important to avoid gluten completely. Think peanuts. It’s in everything. The blisters and itching come back but can usually account for possible cross contamination with something and are gone in days staying gluten free. A lot of women got this after pregnancy, not me I am a man. I only started getting this rash after putting on 40lbs in 7/8 months.
      Hope this helps someone,


  153. Thanks Greg and Wendy…..another beautiful day and I am sitting inside wrapping my hands. I do try to see a brighter side. I rode my bicycle anyhow last evening to enjoy our spectacular sunsets over the bay. As anyone been able to try Toctino and had complete remission? And when doing a tumeric pull what are you mixing it with?
    Thanks in advance


    • I made he tumeric paste with only tumeric and water. Just add water to the tumeric slowly until it forms a paste. Remember that the tumeric will stain your skin yellow for a few days 😉

      We must all stay positive, lest we suffer internally as well.


  154. I see a lot of you guys writing about how to deal with the blisters and the cracks. I can truly understand that this is important because it is hurting so much. I have been there.

    However, more than that I have treated myself significantly by going on candida diet for the last 3 months, since I wanted to get to the root of the issue – all allergy tests failed and were a great waste of money.

    It works perfectly.

    No easy carbs for your body – foods to AVOID:

    loose sugar white/brown that you add yourself
    sugar in any products that you buy (read the label) – classics are ketchup, sauces, sodas
    alcohol (oh yes! – however, alcohol free beer is an option)
    any bread/pastry made from white plain flour
    white rice and basmati rice
    dairy in any form – butter, cream, yoghurt, cheese

    What to eat:

    These three complex carbs here below are not easily accessible to candida and do not promote candida growth:
    brown rice – it takes 25-30min to boil and you have to get used to the taste
    wholemeal (brown) pasta
    Rye bread (rye flour only!)

    millet – I quite like it

    Fruits – yes and no – google fruits with low sugar content such as green apples (granny smith, berries)
    Eat loads of vegetables
    cook with coconut oil – the fatty acids fight candida in the intestine and have many other good effects to your health

    Drink water, water water. No sodas, again no alcohol. Tea, coffee if you like but nothing added.

    The homeopathic treatment I followed:

    1. Oregano oil – 10 drops daily diluted in a table spoon of olive oil (don’t take it undiluted, it burns like hell)
    2. Olive leaf extract – extra strength daily 1x tablet
    3. Lapacho tea – 1 table spoon of tea boiled in 1 litre water, drink cold during the day

    Every 3 days I take turns between the above 3 items. Meaning Day 1 to 3 I take Oregano oil, than day 4 to 6 I take Olive leave extract and finally 7 to 9 I drink Lapacho tea.

    Every day I have 1 tea spoon of Chlorella powder mixed in water. Chlorella is an algae. This is crucial. If you suffer from candida overgrowth Chlorella helps the body to absorb freed up heavy metals and other toxins when candida dies off because of the treatment you are doing. Chlorella is an acquired taste. It taste like a fish pond the first week but you get used to the taste 🙂

    Every day I have 1 tea spoon of psyllium husk powder mixed in water. It is dietary additional fibre and helps to fill your intestines. Candida can hide in creases of your intestine. The psyllium husk stretches the intestine creases and exposes candida to the homeopathic treatment.

    and that’s it. How am I today? Much better, but I’m continuing my treatment over the 3 months now and don’t do any alcohol and keep sugars and white flour (easy carbs) at a minimum, When I overdo very tiny cases of eczema come back, but it is nothing to what I had months ago.

    I have got used to a less sweet life and the no dairy, but to see my healthy hands is so much worth it. I now have discovered 100% dark chocolate – as in no sugar, just cocoa. Very bitter but at least a little treat now and then.

    I’m no doctor and have no medical background. What I have written is months of google research. It is my story and it helped me. Any questions let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Having suffered with dishydrosis for 20 years after repetitive rounds of antibiotics, im following a process similar to Marco.

      1. Anti candida diet (min 3 months)
      2. Nystatin 2m units per day (28 days)
      3. Probiotics (raw suauerkraut)

      Antibiotics killed the good bacteria and compromised the immune system so candida could take hold. The idea is to reduce the candida and repopulate the gut with good bacteria.

      Early signs are good, hoping for a full recovery.

      Check out Dishydrosis.co.uk

      Martin x


      • I’ve been suffering with dyshidrosis for around 5 years now. I’ve tried Nystatin in the past but it did not seem to have an effect on me. I took 4m units per day for 28 days at that time.
        Lately dyshidrosis has been driving me nuts and I have been thinking about giving a second shot to the Nystatin treatment and a strict anti Candida diet.
        I suppose I have nothing to loose cause I am tired of this condition. Sometimes I just feel like I am desperate and I am tired of constantly thinking about it, researching it, and trying new products to no avail.
        I believe that diet plays a role. It might be individual but it still plays an important role.
        I was on a vegan diet for about 5 years. Had dyshidrosis for around 6 years. Whilst on a vegan diet my eczema was affecting only my right hand (i.e. a few fingers and spreading into palm). I stopped being vegan a few months ago just to see if it has any change. I noticed that my flare ups get worse if I eat dairy. Also sugar is a major culprit.
        I feel like the time has come to to a strict elimination diet for a few months or so to track down the triggers. It could be anything. Maybe doing a food intolerance test is worth trying ?
        I wanted to ask you how you have been doing and whether this regimen has helped you.
        Did you get a cure ?


    • Hi Egle, I’m not cured yet, but I think I have it under control now.
      Nystatin caused huge die off for me in the form of worsened dishydrosis on the hands. This cleared after about a week or two. I’m now using a mix of anti fungals, probiotics and prebiotics coupled with a sugar free, nightshade free low carb diet. I hope this will reduce candida and heal my leaky gut to enable my immune system to reset in time.
      Fingers crossed.


      • Hi All, by way of an Update, my exclusion diet continues having found triggers to be caffeine, grains, and most carbs. I’ve just had my second EPD shot (enzyme potentiated desensitization) which i hope will stop the histamine reaction after 4 to 6 shots. The EPD diet is restrictive but has been a great help. I mostly eat meat and cooked celery atm.
        Im sure my dishydrosis was caused by overuse of antibiotics leading to candida overgrowth and resulting autoimmune issues. Will report back in 6 months or so.
        Best of luck to you all.
        Martin x


  155. Hello, I think I can help you….

    Sounds like you have a methylation issue. You need B12 methylcobalamin injections and methyl folate a few times a week. This is something you’ll have to find with a naturopath. Also, eczema is mainly caused by a leaky gut. You need to go on a bone broth diet for up to 5 days and then start to incorporate one food a day. Yes, you will be hungry. Look up pecanbread.com for the full details. There is hope! I can’t imagine what you have been through.

    Good luck


  156. My good friend just sent me the link to this read. I’m in the midst of my worst flare up ever. I’ve been dealing with flares for over 2 years, and every time it spreads farther and lasts longer. I can hardly function. Four kids and I feel like I don’t know myself anymore. It is taking my life away. I went to a naturopath yesterday who has started me on some homeopathic internal help and has done food testing also. Have to stop having the bread, and dairy, and sugar I know it. We do live in such a toxic world. Thank you for your honesty. I would like to write someday like you when I can breathe again with hope this will end. Paige


    • You’re not alone, Paige!!! I know how you have suffered and how you are feelings no with not being able to function. It’s hellish.

      I believe that a positive state of mind helps. Try to stay focused on the good. Basically, don’t let the ailment consume your mind’s attention. That’s my short advice. I’m working on writing a longer blog about his topic: ignoring the beast.

      Hang in there!


  157. Hi Folks, Just want to chime in here with something that has been TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL for me: Hydrogen Peroxide.

    When I had my first outbreak of disydrosis (I think caused by mold and/or dust allergy) it was extremely severe, and I couldn’t go out in public.

    THANK GOD that I found out about hydrogen peroxide. Soak a paper towel or cloth in it; apply it to the affected area; leave it sit for 5 or ten minutes. Repeat this one or two more times a day. You will see within 24 hours an almost miraculous reduction of this skin condition.

    Hydrogen peroxide does not treat the underlying cause (I think it’s mold and/or dust mite allergy). BUT IT WILL COMPLETELY REDUCE THE SYMPTOMS AND MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO GO ON LIVING NORMALLY.

    This info saved my life. I hope someone else benefits from it too.


    • this sounds amazing. i have had just a few breakouts on my fingers lately. usually it is when i am working in garage around dust/dirt or changing my closet around and holding those metal hangers on my fingers/hands. but i also want to share what i changed about three yrs ago that has really helped. i stopped using ANY soaps, shampoos, hand washes….with SLS (sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate). and i stopped using conditioners and creams/moisturizers with parabens. and other chemicals as well. i started using beautycounter (out of santa monica) products and even joined the company. let me know if anyone wants more info. you can email me at elweinstein@yahoo.com. i do not want to post my website as i do not know the rules here. i am so happy to see all the support here. my hands get so uncomfortable when i have a spot that i get to and it tears open. i try hard not to. oh, ALSO!! do NOT USE ANY products that have as an ingredient ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’!!! those mean allergy triggering possibilities and are associated with endocrine system disruption! good luck to all!


      • So I was suffering from this excruciatingly disturbing condition for a month and half until I visited this miraculous doctor last month. She prescribed the following to me that showed ten on ten results in just 4 days! She asked me to follow this regime for a month. Today is only the tenth day and my hand skin is new, healthy, soft and shiny. All the red, painful, itchy patches and bumps vanished. I guarantee that you will thank me later. I obviously googled the condition and carried out an extensive research including all the blogs and everybody had been prescribed some steroid creams, etc. by their docs. So I specifically enquired with my doc if her prescription contained steroids. And they don’t! So the results remain permanent with very slight scope for relapse which may be treated with this again. So here goes:

        Arovit (chewable vitamin A tablet)- 1 after breakfast and 1 after dinner.

        Simrose 1gm- 1 after breakfast.

        Zyrtec 10mg- 1 after dinner.

        Uprise D3 60,000 IU- once in a week, choose any one day.

        Cetaphil DAM cream- Moisturiser in the day time.

        Pasitrex-C ointment- Apply before bed.

        Cetaphil bar soap- To wash your hands.


  158. So I was suffering from this excruciatingly disturbing condition for a month and half until I visited this miraculous doctor last m