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Pompholyx - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

 

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Pompholyx is a common type of eczema. It is also known as dyshidrotic eczema or vesicular eczema of the hands and feet. Pompholyx will often appear after a person experiences a high level or stress, or abnormal amount of sweating due to the weather. There is an indication, that some change triggers this skin disorder. Pompholyx is a form of hand eczema more common in women which starts on the sides of the fingers as itchy little bumps and then develops into a rash. The condition can also affect only the feet. Some patients have involvement of both the hands and feet. Pompholyx can occur in any type of breed secondary to other skin disorders, but the inherited primary form is seen almost exclusively in the dachshund. The name pompholyx comes from the greek word for bubble, which accurately describes this disorder. The vesicles tend to erupt on the sides of the fingers and palms, and often on the dorsal aspect of the distal fingers, where the skin is anatomically similar to that of the palms. The condition can also affect only the feet. Some patients have involvement of both the hands and feet. Pompholyx can affect individuals of all races. It is most common in individuals between the ages of twenty to forty.

Pompholyx often runs a chronic course, but may go away for long periods. It often reappears after a period of nervous tension, worry or stress. Dyshidrotic eczema can affect individuals of all races. 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. 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. Treatments vary for individuals depending on what stage of the skin aliment they are at. There is no quick treatment for Pompholyx ; it will take a combination of treatments to bring relief to the person. Cool compresses and soaks are used to relieve and dry up the blisters. These soaks should be a solution made of vinegar and water. A topical steroid is also at times prescribed to use at night to help with the inflamed area, and the itching.

Causes of Pompholyx

Pompholyx is caused by abnormal sweating. Pompholyx can occur in any type of breed secondary to other skin disorders, but the inherited primary form is seen almost exclusively in the dachshund. The condition may be mild with only a little peeling, or very severe with big blisters and cracks which prevent work. Pompholyx is aggravated by contact with irritants such as water, detergents and solvents. Pompholyx often runs a chronic course, but may go away for long periods. It often reappears after a period of nervous tension, worry or stress.

Common causes and risk factors of Pompholyx:

  • Emotional stress or grief.
  • Infection at a distant site e.g. the feet or scalp.
  • Scratching.
  • Use of certain detergents in washing dishes or clothes.

Signs and Symptoms of Pompholyx

Pompholyx can occur in any type of breed secondary to other skin disorders, but the inherited primary form is seen almost exclusively in the dachshund. The later and more chronic stage shows more peeling, cracking, or crusting. Then the skin heals up, or the blistering may start again. One site may be blistering, while another is dry and cracked. Some individuals could experience mostly one stage of the aliment or the other, and sometimes both at the same time. Severe pompholyx around the nail folds may cause nail dystrophy, resulting in irregular ridges and chronic paronychia.

Sign and symptoms may include the following :

  • Pain may occur with larger blisters.
  • Swelling at the rash site.
  • Itching at the site of the blistering.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Fissures.
  • Crusting skin lesions.

Treatment for Pompholyx

Treatments vary for individuals depending on what stage of the skin aliment they are at. There is no quick treatment for Pompholyx ; it will take a combination of treatments to bring relief to the person. Cool compresses and soaks are used to relieve and dry up the blisters. Potent topical steroids should be applied to the affected areas nightly. They help reduce inflammation and itching. The more potent products should not be used for more than two weeks unless your doctor advises otherwise. Steroid creams are used when the skin is blistered or weeping. In more extreme cases, medications such as methotrexate and botulinum toxin are prescribed for this condition.

Treatment may include:

  • Potent topical steroids should be applied to the affected areas nightly.
  • Protect your hands from direct contact with soaps, detergents, scouring powders, and similar irritating chemicals by wearing waterproof, cotton lined, gloves.
  • Antibiotics such as flucloxacillin should be prescribed by your doctor for secondary infection caused by scratching.
  • Apply shea butter or another active moisturizer liberally and often, particularly after bathing, and when itchy.
  • Use only the prescribed medicines and lubricants such as Cutemol Emollient Cream. Do not use other lotions, creams, or medications--they may irritate your skin.
  • Oral anti-pruritics such as Atarax or Benadryl may alleviate itching.