Pompholyx is also known as dyshidrosis and dyshidrotic eczema. It is a skin disorder which marked by presence of tiny, fluid-filled blisters which are called vesicles. These blisters are present on the soles of feet or palms or both.
Within three to four weeks these blisters of pompholyx clear away. In the meantime, these blisters cause too much discomfort by itching. Gradually these blisters start drying and then crack. In the end, painful grooves get form. Exact cause of this disorder is not known. There are many options to treat its symptoms. Topical creams, wet compresses and ultraviolet light therapy are used to treat it. Pompholyx can reoccur despite the treatment.
You can identify pompholyx by presence of small itchy bumps. As the pompholyx progresses, these bumps convert into fluid-filled blisters, called vesicles. Other symptoms of pompholyx include intense itching, pain in large blisters and crack or fissures in toes and fingers.
It is still unknown what does cause pompholyx. But due to its symptoms, it can be linked with other skin disorders like atopic dermatitis, allergic conditions like asthma and hay fever. Breaks out of pompholyx may be seasonal in allergy prone people.
During this disorder skin feels inflamed like in dermatitis. It causes the breakage of links between skin cells and fluid fills that space between cells. These fluid-filled spaces make the skin more of sponge-like and this process is called as spongiosis in clinical term.
These blisters are seen on the palms of hands and soles of feet. It is associated with intense itching which prompts scratching. Skin gets damaged and infected with scratching in some cases.
Pompholyx is observed more frequent in women than in men; approximately 2:1 ratio.
Stress seems to aggravate the pompholyx condition. Seasonal allergies also increase the tendency of pompholyx. Exposure to some metal salts like chromium, nickel and cobalt as in the times of cement or mechanical work. When skin remains wet or exposed water for long time, pompholyx flares up.
If rashes of hands and feet do not go away in few days, contact your doctor. If you are already diagnosed with pompholyx and your skin got infected due to excessive scratching, there is fever or pain or inflammation, you should see a doctor.
Doctor identifies pompholyx by physical examination. But doctor may advice skin biopsy to confirm it and rule out any cause. A patch test can be done to find out the cause in case pompholyx is believed to be caused by allergy.
Pompholyx is just an itchy condition for most of the people. But in many cases, pain and itching may obstruct work by hands. In some other sever cases, skin becomes damaged and infected and it becomes sponge like. It takes time to heal and treatment becomes lengthier. Pompholyx can recur which is very troublesome condition.
Corticosteroid Creams or Ointment: to increase the speed of healing of rashes and improve the condition of blisters, doctor may prescribe corticosteroid topical creams or ointments like clobetasol propiaonate which high potency drugs. These creams also help treat fissures and cracks that blisters leave after drying up.
Wet compresses: To alleviate itching, to minimize blisters and to increase the effectiveness of topical creams, wet compresses are applied.
Antihistamines: There are anti-itching medications which doctor may prescribe to alleviate your itching. These medications are called anti-pruritics or anti-histamines.
Light Therapy or Phototherapy: In severe cases of pompholyx, when no other medication works for the patient, doctor may prescribe ultraviolet light therapy which is called psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA). Medicine is applied on the skin to allow the skin absorb UV light more effectively.
Botulinum toxin injections are also recommended to treat severe cases.
There are certain self care measures which can help you manage pompholyx.
Try to avoid scratching of rashes. Do not spend much time in water or avoid excessive exposure to water. Always keep your hands and feet moisturized after washing. Avoid the contact of materials which may cause pompholyx to your skin.
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