Pompholyx sufferer

Hi I am new here.

I have suffered from pompholyx ( dry itchy swollen sometimes pus filled little blisters cracked peeling hands and feet) I take 180mg of antihistamine per day to help take the itch away and often have to take steroid tablets ( predesolone). I wear cotton gloves under latex free gloves for any washing up. I find that if any liquid touches my hands they sting and go really red and start to swell, I don't seem to find any moisturizer that works, all I have tried - sting - and I have tried a lot over the last 20 years, does anyone have any idea what I could use to help - I really would appreciate any help.

12 Replies


Here's some info I took from a recent talk I attended in case it helps:

- If you haven't been referred for patch testing yet, it's definitely recommended (take one of the gloves you wear, and get tested for latex and food allergies amongst other things). I don't have much time for food allergy testing, but some say it can be helpful if supported by expected clinical symptoms.

- Get referred to an Allergist (allergy specialist) to check for any allergies

- Always wash your hands in emollient not soap, as well as using an emollient to moisturise

- Dermol 600 emollient is rated quite highly by many - have you tried this one? If that stings there are loads - you can probably ask your GP if he has any samples to try them out first - e.g. diprobase, ultrabase, zerobase, aquamax, hydromol, flexitol, etc, and maybe try different formulas e.g. lotion or gel (or even spray!) instead of cream or ointment? I personally find ointments uncomfortable (I have psoriasis)

- Have you tried steroid creams? If used correctly, these can help

- Is your oral tablet Toctino? This has had good results for some (although as I'm sure you know, systemic meds should be saved as a last resort, once you've tried everything else...)

- Local PUVA also helps lots of people with hand eczema - time consuming tho (2 or 3 x hospital visits per week... Could also try a nUVB handheld at home? There are some really good clinical trials for hand eczema at the moment, including ALPHA

- Once you have the condition, common exacerbating factors are:

1. Sweat & heat

2. Stress

3. Irritants

4. Drug reactions

- If hyper-hydrosis (basically excessive sweating) is the cause, try an aluminium block (GP/nurse can advise)

- You could also try exclusion diets and/or writing a journal to see if you could link flares to anything

Hope that helps!



Thank you so much for your reply _ I have tried a lot of what you say but there is 2 creams you mention that I have not tried so thank you.

I have had light treatment and that didn't help

I have had test after test but don't seem to come up with anything new, so I think that it could be a mixture of a few things. saying that I know that I have an allergy to latex and to nickel and a few others that I can not even remember.

I have tried the food route but so far still can not find any thing there, I have given up coffee and now drink green tea but have to stick to certain teas or I get sore swollen skin it's a nightmare.

I have to carry an epipen at all times, as once had a near fatal episode - full body hives - swollen feet, hands and then the throat, very scary.

I have an appointment with doctor in the morning as I have an episode at the moment so I will mention the creams and hope that he will let me have some.

thanks again Andrea


Hi Andrea

I had really bad pompholx on the palms of both hands about 15 years ago, it was awful so I really know what you are going through. I still get occasional patches on the soles of my feet and underside of toes. I found any urea based emollients really exacerbated the problem so have since avoided like the plague! In the end changing from Persil Non-bio to Fairy Non-bio washing tablets seemed to clear it up. I treat small patches on feet with Euomovate over Doublebase Gel as emolllient. As a hand moisturiser I took a holiday sample of Neutrogena non-scented concentrated Norwegian Formula on holiday last summer and found it really useable and gentle and effective so am now a convert. Lotte's post is really excellent so I do hope you find a solution.


Thanks so much for the reply - just back from doc's he has given me - Clarithromycin 500mg x 2 daily, betnovate ointment and clobavate ointment so fingers crossed.

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Hi Andrea, thanks for writing this post. You are not alone!

I am also suffering from pompholyx and am using clobavate ointment when it's really bad and betnovate when it's mildly irritating. I found Aveeno cream is a good moisturiser for it. Doublebase gel didn't seem to get through the dryness for me (my feet get especially dry!). Diprobase ointment worked on my hands but at night it just made my feet sweaty which exacerbated the itchy feeling.

Hope the new prescription is starting to make a difference.


Thanks for the reply. The new treatment is working - I can actually clench my fist something I havn't been able to do for years. I tried diprobase once but it just made my skin go really red and peel, I use E45 wash cream followed by E45 cream followed by Betnovate ointment and after just 4 days my hands are healing nicely, nice and smooth with just a redness to the parts that were bad. So now feeling blessed.


Hi Andrea

I can sincerely & genuinely help you and many other people with skin problems. It's a product that WORKS but needs to be explained. Can you please email me: and/or friend me on facebook? I am in Australia.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Helen Connellan

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Hi Andrea. I have an option for you to consider. Can you please email me:


Hi Helen I have managed to sort out the problem and I am now clear.

I will friend request you on facebook all the same.

thanks Andrea


I have the dyshydrosis as well, and the over the counter eczema creams work better than anything else I've tried (they aren't a cure-all, but they help anyway!) I have it on my hands and feet, and I can't help but wonder if it's connected to an underlying disease.


Hi I seem to have mine under control at the moment - E45 cream E45 wash Betnovate Ointment and Fexofenadine 180mg daily and been free for 3 months now. I don't think it's an underlying disease more like very sensitive skin. Hope you find your cure.


I support the leaky gut syndrome theory. after taking gluten (from wheat,rye and barley) completely out of my diet for several months it disappeared.

some peoples gut can tolerate that stuff but me, and probably some of you, cannot.

if you are thin with a healthy appetite and pompholyx or another auto immune disorder please give it a try.


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