Stress-Based Eczema Is A Real Thing. This Is What It’s Like To Live With It.

Eczema is a skin condition that shows up in many forms and for many reasons. Although it shows up in about 20% of children, only 3% of the adult population suffers from it. Eczema, also known as Atopic Dermatitis, is triggered often by an allergy, but sometimes people can suffer simply due to stress and how their body responds to it. This is known as Dyshidrotic Eczema. 

What Is Dyshidrotic Eczema?

Dyshidrotic Eczema can be caused by allergies, but stress is the main factor in a reaction. When you suffer from Dyshidrotic Eczema, small, fluid-filled blisters form on your hands and feet. Your skin can dry and crack easily. I, personally, have been suffering from this form of eczema for over three years. I do not take any form of medication to alleviate the symptoms from arising, but simply try and practice more homeopathic methods to reduce my symptoms from showing.

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Living with this has been, at times, painful, but overall, manageable. When the blisters form on my hands, it can be hard to resist the urge to pick at them. Having small, open wounds on your hands is definitely not a fun way to go about life. As we have been taught with blemishes, picking at them is the last thing you should do when you see this symptom showing. Instead, you should try and watch your stress levels and nutrition, and see where you can adjust course to help make the symptoms go away.

The symptom that causes me the most distress is the skin cracking. It feels as if the hydration in my skin has been eliminated. When I have a flare-up, I cannot be submerged in water too long or my skin starts to hurt. My hands will dry up like raisins and the palms of my hands will be in pain. I cannot wash my hair or take showers for too long, because my skin will start to burn and ache. 

dyshidrotic eczema symptoms

I know what you are probably thinking — how can anyone live like this?! It’s certainly not enjoyable. I have noticed, when I monitor how I handle stress, along with my diet and caffeine intake, the flare-ups don’t happen as frequently.

How To Treat Dyshidrotic Eczema Symptoms

If you have dyshidrotic eczema and notice that the itching and redness is not going away on its own, or it interferes with your life, see a dermatologist right away. A dermatologist can diagnose and treat the eczema, as well as help you figure out what your triggers might be.

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Keep a journal of what you eat and drink, what skin products and soaps you use, what activities you do, how long you spend in the bath or shower, as well as when you’re under stress. You may begin to notice connections between your activities and your eczema flare ups. You can also bring this journal to your dermatologist appointment to help pinpoint your triggers. 

An allergy specialist can also do a patch test. This test places small amounts of irritating substances on patches that are applied to your skin. The patches stay on your skin for 20-30 minutes to see if you have a reaction. This test can help your doctor tell which substances trigger your eczema, so you can avoid them.

There are medications you can take to reduce your symptoms. Definitely talk to your doctor about what those options may be. You can also do a few things to prevent flare-ups and manage your symptoms, like applying a cool compress to your skin, or taking an oatmeal bath to relieve the itch.

Avoid scratching, as it can cause an infection. Use fragrance-free detergents, cleansers, and make up. Wear loose-fitting clothing made from soft fibers like cotton. The point is, you deserve to live a symptom-free life, and there are answers to help you towards that.


Are you living with eczema, psoriasis, or another skin condition? How do you manage your symptoms? Share your skincare tips with us in the comments below.

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