Pompholyx Eczema: Quick Guide + Home Treatment Tips 2022

 

Knock Knock. 

Guess who? 

Pompholyx eczema! I bet you didn’t expect that! (Ok maybe you did from the title, cut us some slack here). 

We’ll be honest - until we took the time to dig deeper into this tricky little devil, we didn’t understand much about how it impacts the body and the stress it causes for those suffering. 

So really, we’re as much in the dark as you are. 

Let’s go on the journey together, ok? 

In this article, you’ll learn: 

1) Symptoms

2) Causes

3) Top tips for a simple home treatment plan

Symptoms of pompholyx eczema

Also referred to as dyshidrotic eczema (don’t worry we have no idea how you say that word either) - this is a type of skin disease that affects specifically the hands and feet. 

Often extremely itchy, pompholyx eczema will cause watery blisters to form on the soles of the feet, palms and/or sides of the fingers. 

The blisters that form are usually small - roughly 5mm in diameter - and grouped in clusters, however in more severe cases these smaller blisters may merge to form a much larger (mega!) blister. 

Likely sore to touch, they can then often begin to weep and leak fluid. 

Once these blisters then decide to dry and flake off, which usually occurs every 3 weeks or so. The skin underneath may then be sore, red and tender. 

This is a particularly important time to watch out for infection, so make sure you treat and protect the affected area with care. 

Dyshidrotic eczema can affect people of all ages, however is more prevalent in women under 40 who have suffered from atopic dermatitis in the past. 

Causes

Unfortunately the exact causes of this type of eczema are unknown (I feel like we’ve said that before?!) but there are a few culprits to watch out for: 

1) Stress - this is a biggy and not just for this type of eczema, but for other ones too. 

2) Contact dermatitis - this is particularly prevalent in pompholyx eczema and is when your skin reacts after being exposed to an irritant or allergen

This could be certain metals (in particular nickel), detergents, soaps, cosmetic products or household chemicals. It can be very tough for those that might work in an industrial setting and are required to handle certain substances for prolonged periods - we can’t stress enough the importance of gloves in these situations!

Remember: it’s not uncommon for you to develop a sensitivity towards a certain substance later on in life, even if you’ve never had an issue with it previously. So you shouldn’t count something out even if it’s laid blameless your entire life.

In the world of pompholyx eczema, no stone must be left unturned! 

3) Sweating - pompholyx is more common in warmer climates and during summer in the UK (let’s face it we know spring doesn’t get hot enough) and especially in people who suffer from hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). 

4) Atopic dermatitis - if you’ve got the former, there’s a chance you’ll get the latter. Basically, as if your run of the mill eczema isn’t bad enough, there’s a chance it could also lead to pompholyx eczema. Not cool!

Top tips for a simple home treatment plan

There’s some simple, straight forward things we can do here to help prevent and treat this form of eczema. 

1) Try our calming spray to cut out the intense itch. Not only is it a fantastic way to nourish and replenish dry skin, it’s also a very effective antidote to itchy skin. Find out more about the key ingredients here and why we decided to enrich our blend with herbs used for 1000s of years in traditional Chinese Medicine.

2) Avoid anything that might irritate your skin! We know this can be tough especially if your work doesn’t allow it, but really try your best to avoid substances like the ones we laid out a few paragraphs above.

3) Use an emollient as a soap substitute and wear cotton lined gloves where you can, especially at night.

4) Wash with luke warm water - not hot or cold.

5) Relax! Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise. We keep saying it, you should keep listening. Check out our social feeds @yanyeeskincare for tips on how to de-stress in times when the world seems a little heavy.

6) Try not to pop the blisters! Let them heal naturally and your body will thank you. If they’re super big and this maybe isn’t feasible, then see your GP and they can drain them for you.

7) Wrap your hands and feet at night with bandages - this can help to protect the blisters and ensure no unwanted popping happens whilst you sleep.

8) Footwear should be kept clean and dry and where possible, open to the air. Avoid plastic shoes or tight, enclosed trainers that may cause your feet to sweat more than normal.

So that’s the simple approach but we know, it might not be enough. Some more serious steps are as follows:

1) Soaking your hands in a dilute solution of potassium permanganate (1:10000) for 10-15 minutes up to two times a day for 5 days max. This is astringent and antiseptic so can be a great way to treat your skin. Afterwards wash your hands with emollients and pat your skin dry. 

But be warned! This can stain your skin (and infact anything it comes into contact with). It’s a good idea to use an old bucket for this - and not the prized family silverware. 

2) If your hands and feet begin to show a yellow crusting and become particularly sore and painful, there’s a possibility you might have a bacterial infection. This will require antibiotics and you should see a doctor or health professional immediately.

3) Topical steroids - this isn’t something we advocate, but can be used to control a flare up if you’re desperate. It’s important you always seek medical advice first and only use steroids sparingly for the prescribed duration. As ever: research the side effects and make sure it’s the right choice for you.  

4) Phototherapy - this is something that could be recommended if you see a dermatologist and is for more severe, long term cases.

Final word

So that’s it! Our short and snappy guide to pompholyx eczema. 

How did we do? Jump over to our Twitter page and let us know! 

With care,  

The yan-yee team

Sources

1) Blisters Treatment. (2019). Link

2) How do I know if my blisters infected? (2019). Link

3) Hyperhydrosis. (2020). Link

4) Pompholyx (dyshidrotic) eczema. (2018). Link

5) Contact dermatitis. (2019). Link

6) Atopic eczema. (2019). Link

7) Eczema and emotional wellness. (n.d.). Link

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