Dyshidrosis is a skin condition of the palms and soles (the alternative name is pompholyx). It involves excessive sweat production on the palms and soles and subsequent symmetrical (both hands or feet affected at once) eruptions of itchy vesicles. The palms are sometime red and usually obviously more moist than normal. I believe this is inherited as a dominant characteristic always check the parents hands - one of the parents almost always has sweaty palms, or hyperhidrosis.

What begins as little vesicles can evolve into more chronic eczematous changes of the skin. There is peeling, scaling, redness, skin thickening... everything to convince the unwary physician that it is a fungal infection. Of course, the topical antifungal creams don't work. Dad may report that he has always had athlete's foot and nothing ever really clears it up.

Hyperhidrosis of the palms and soles is treatable. Dermatologists use 10% aluminum chloride soaks (DriSol®); I have recommended an aluminum chloride containing unscented antiperspirant rubbed on the palms daily to combat excessive sweating in embarrassed teens. It seemed to work.

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