Hand dermatitis is among the most common conditions treated by dermatologists. It consists of a spectrum of diseases from very mild annoyances with dryness and irritation, to a severe disabling condition. “Dermatitis” means inflammation of the skin, and this is an all-encompassing category of disease. There are some modifiers to better classify these problems. Eczema refers to a red, irritated skin, often associated with considerable itching.
The palms and soles have great numbers of sweat glands. With increasing inflammation in the skin, the sweat ducts which carry sweat to the surface of the skin are compressed like standing on a garden hose. The sweat distends the duct below the obstruction, producing deep-seated blisters at varying depths. In its common form, this is referred to as dyshidrotic eczema.
There are times when the palms and soles are covered with deep-seated pustules which occur with pustular psoriasis and its various subtypes. Therapies for these conditions are quite effective and can usually limit disability and improve the quality of life.