You may never have heard of it, but pompholyx (or dyshidrotic eczema) can be a really nasty condition to shift. It shows up as little blisters on the fingers, palms and sometimes the soles of the feet, causing an intense burning itch that can drive sufferers to distraction.
What causes it?
We don’t know exactly what causes the blisters, but, like other kinds of eczema, pompholyx eczema can be triggered or exacerbated by various things, such as:
- a fungal infection
- a reaction to something on your skin
What can you do to manage it?
If it’s a mild case:
- Identify and avoid triggers and irritants such as soap, detergents, perfumed toiletries, household chemicals, nickel etc.
- Use emollient creams and salves regularly to keep skin hydrated and protected. Keep hands clean, dry and as cool as possible.
- Wash with luke-warm not hot or cold water and do not use soap.
- Avoid sweaty hands and feet! Wear cotton gloves, socks & tights; dry, clean, breathable shoes; washable insoles.
- Look after yourself!
- Find some relaxation strategies; prioritise adequate sleep; feed yourself good nourishing food; take time out from stressful environments.
If it gets more serious: a pharmacist might suggest
- Over-the-counter antihistamines to reduce the inflammation and help if the itching is disrupting your sleep.
- Potassium permanganate solution which is a mild astringent and antiseptic, used to bathe affected areas.
If it gets even worse: your doctor might prescribe
- Topical steroid creams (for a short time) to get inflammation and itchiness under control.
- Antibiotics if the pompholyx is infected.
For long-term, debilitating cases: a dermatologist might offer
- Immunosuppressant creams or tablets
Skin Salvation to the rescue!
If your hands/feet get very sore and cracked from pompholyx, use Skin Salvation as an emollient to soften and protect damaged skin.
Apply Skin Salvation to clean dry hands or feet and cover with cotton gloves/socks overnight to really maximise absorption and keep your skin soft and moisturised.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.