This is extremely similar to hand eczema except that blisters are present on the hands and feet of the patient. Scratching these blisters may lead to skin thickening and it is advised the patient refrain from itching as much as possible. This condition is also referred to as pomphloyx and is more common in women than men for unknown reasons. Blisters are often reoccurring, lasting roughly 3 weeks per individual wound. This type of eczema usually involves less environmental changes and more visits to the doctor for medications and treatment.
Where it is: solely the hands (fingers and palms) and feet (toes and soles)
Triggers for this type: causes for this type are unknown but flare-ups tend to occur in specific times of the year
Common treatments: Usual fixes include cold compresses, oral or topical steroids. An at-home remedy is wrapping the area in plastic wrap as this can aid moisture absorption. If pomphloyx is harsh and reoccurring your doctor may suggest special light therapy or Botulinum toxin injections.
Circular red splotches appearing on the skin characterize this type of eczema. These sites of eczema often appear after an injury to the skin like a burn or insect bite. Those with sensitive skin are more susceptible but science so far cannot account for the distinct gender differences in the number and age of patients. Men are most likely to suffer from this type of eczema and usually cite experiencing it in their late 50’s to 60’s while women typically report it in their late teens.
Where it is: legs, back of hands, forearms, lower back and hips
Triggers for this type: the initial cause is unknown but exposure to nickel, formaldehyde, and cold, crisp air can definitely worsen the effects. Those who have poor blood flow or swelling in the legs are more at risk to develop this type of eczema. Also the medications Isotretinoin (used for acne) and Interferon can cause this type of eczema.
Common treatments: Another type of eczema where seeing a dermatologist or physician is necessary. Some common treatments include medicated dressings, light therapy, using a humidifier in the bedroom, and oral or topical steroids.
This is the most similar type of eczema to Atopic Dermatitis and usually affects areas that are under a lot of stress from rubbing and pressure. It tends to hit in patches to highly stressed skin areas and become thickened and discolored. Since it affects the body in patches the surrounding skin outside of the designated area can be completely healthy and look no different.
Where it is: nape of the neck, ankles, back of hands, wrists, inner feet, scalp and shoulders
Triggers for this type: stress, unusual pressure and rubbing to the affected area, or small wounds to the area followed by rubbing
Common treatments: anti-itch creams like cortisone can help you avoid breaking the skin of the affected area and continuing the cycle of skin thickening, Unna boots (when feet are affected area) and greasy, odorless moisturizers.
This type of eczema is easily spotted by its connection with problems with blood flow through veins. Varicose veins are the prime culprits for this type of eczema as the weakened veins leak blood under the skin resulting in a red, irritated swelling. Permanent changes to the skin can occur as tiny scar tissues develop under the skin around the area.
Where it is: Usually the lower legs, anywhere where varicose veins are present
Triggers for this type: This type of eczema isn’t environmentally triggered but a visual representation of the varicose veins lying underneath the skin and habitually bursting.
Common treatments: Pressure stockings can help avoid these veins from bursting under the skin, elevating the feet, Unna boots and eventually varicose vein surgery.
While each of the types of eczema are unique, tips for management for eczema as a whole remain effective. Moisturizing, avoiding severe temperature shifts and fragrance-free, oil based lotions can lessen the effects of all types of eczema. Knowing your specific type can definitely help a doctor or dermatologist prescribe a medication that is right for you and direct you into reading about the right types of at-home/environmental treatments. When you read patient stories online it is important to note what type of eczema they have as something that didn’t work for them may still work for you if your subcategories are different.