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Pompholyx - Symptoms and Treatment

Pompholyx is also known as dyshidrotic eczema or vesicular eczema of the hands and/or feet. The severity of the condition can range from a few dry, red, itchy patches to huge areas of the body which can be covered in sore, inflamed, weeping and bleeding skin which can invariably become infected. The name pompholyx comes from the Greek word for bubble , which accurately describes this disorder. The condition can also affect only the feet. Pompholyx is similar to atopic dermatitis, which is common in infants and small children , but it usually clears before adulthood. The later and more chronic stage shows more peeling, cracking, or crusting. Some patients will have mostly one stage, and some patients will have mostly the other. The result is pain, redness, swelling and crusting or pustules. The first stage shows tiny blisters deep in the skin, associated with itching and a burning feeling. Sometimes both stages occur at the same time. Secondary infection is not infrequent. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), an operative treatment for palmar hyperhidrosis, has become a common procedure. Pompholyx is a form of eczema on the palms and soles, in which edema fluid accumulates to form visible vesicles or bullae.

Pompholyx can affect individuals of all races. The mainstays of treatment are topical corticosteroids or preparations containing corticosteroids plus antimicrobials, with or without an occlusive dressing to aid penetration, but the response to treatment can be unpredictable and only partially successful. The name pompholyx comes from the Greek word for bubble, which accurately describes this disorder. Pompholyx eczema is a recurrent eczematous reaction characterized initially by an eruption of very itchy vesicles on the sides of the fingers and palms of the hands and occasionally on the soles of the feet and toes. Individuals between the ages of twenty to forty are more affected commonly by the disease. Pompholyx is a form of acute dermatitis localised to the palms and soles, presenting as an itchy eruption with vesicles that can amount to bullae if severe.It occurs slightly more frequently in females than in males. The vesicles containing clear fluid, usually subside without rupturing, but in some cases they may become tense, burst and discharge. Pompholyx is generally common to youth, but it may occur to the people at any age. It is a common skin feature in patients with palmar hyperhidrosis, however, there are no reports of a patient that developed severe pompholyx following ETS.

Causes of Pompholyx

Common Causes of Pompholyx :

  • It is a long-term problem, and may recur throughout life.
  • Pompholyx may occur due to infection at a distant site e.g. the feet or scalp.
  • Stress or grief may also be a contributing factor in the development of the disease.
  • Does not appear to be directly linked to diet, though some foods may aggravate the condition.
  • Use of certain detergents in washing dishes or clothes can also cause the disease.
  • The vesicles produce intense itching. Scratching leads to skin changes with thickening. Scratching may also lead to secondary infections .

Symptoms of Pompholyx

Some common Symptoms of Pompholyx :

  • Itching.
  • Pain.
  • Weeping.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Fissures.
  • Crusting skin lesions.
  • Swelling.

Treatment of Pompholyx

Some common Treatment of Pompholyx :

  • Protect skin from dust .
  • Skin protection is an important part of treatment.
  • Oral anti-pruritics such as Atarax or Benadryl may alleviate itching.
  • Wear heavy duty gloves when doing heavy work and gardening. Also wear cotton gloves when doing dry housework.
  • Emollients :Hand creams or emollients can also provide the required results.
  • One of the most effective natural treatments is a product called Epitrex which can eliminate flare-ups.
  • Protect your hands from direct contact with soaps, detergents, scouring powders, and similar irritating chemicals by wearing waterproof, cotton lined, gloves.








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