Dyshidrosis / Dyshidrotic eczema / Pompholyx

Dyshidrosis / Dyshidrotic eczema / Pompholyx

Just a-wondering... are there a few fellow sufferers of this delightful condition here? That's a library photo below, not my finger, though it looked similar a few days ago. Now it's a lovely scabby peeling mess, lucky me. 😢I also have a big patch on my big toe at the moment, where the bubbles have run together and formed big blisters. It itches like crazy!

Has anyone found anything that helps? I've read that some people find that avoiding the consumption of nickel helps. I am allergic to nickel in jewellery, so I can well believe it might be a factor!

19 Replies

  • Jazz, that looks very sore. You have my sympathies. I had chilblains as a new delight Dec-April, pinkie is still thick and swollen at the first joint. Antihistamines helped with the itching.

  • Thanks for the sympathies. :) I think the outbreaks might be stress related to some degree - immune system goes down I s'pose.

    Ouchy ouch ouch to the chilblains - that sounds grim!

  • Jazz, any blistering itching skin is grim :(

    If you think it's immune related maybe swamping it with vitC might help.

  • This is the type of eczema I get on my hands - mostly my fingers and thumbs but also sometimes on my palms.

    I also get more "normal" eczema on other parts of my body - red, scaly dry skin which looks more like dermatitis.

    The biggest issue for me is that I can't tolerate the base cream of steroid creams - I can cope with the active ingredient but not the supposedly inactive ingredients e.g. lanolin and vaseline/petroleum jelly.

    If my skin is in one piece though, and is perfectly healthy, then I can use lanolin and vaseline on my skin. It is only when my skin is sore and broken that I have a problem.

    Because of the problem of the inactive ingredients I use this stuff for dealing with my eczema and I use it very, very sparingly indeed - I make every drop go as far as possible because it is much more powerful than normal eczema creams :


    I don't actually have a problem with my scalp at all. I use the lotion in place of steroid creams. It is so powerful that I only need to use it two or three times for a bad outbreak, and by that time the outbreak has turned the corner and is getting better. Continuing to use it after it has turned the corner is a waste of time - it doesn't heal any faster. It's brilliant stuff and I've been using it for about the last 10 - 15 years.

    The only thing I do to cut the insane itching on my fingers (which I'm not going to recommend!) is I run the hottest water I can stand over the eczema, for as long as I can stand it - which is rarely more than about 10 seconds. It hurts like hell but the itching stops for as long as an hour sometimes. I have read this is the worst possible thing I can do to my skin, but when the itching is intense I know of no other way of stopping it. I prefer the pain to the itching.

  • I put a ice cube on mine and it works the same way as your hot water, intense pain, etc. I suggest you try it because although it hurts just as bad as hot water there is no chance of a sever burn like with hot water.

  • I'll try that next time I get driven demented by the itching. Thanks for the info. :)

  • I have that on (mostly) just my right hand. I used to get it on my arms, legs and neck. I found a huge decrease in my 'eczema' when I moved from a carpeted house to a laminated flooring place/moved down south/stopped getting baths and stuck to showers. I get those blisters on my fingers at the start of an outbreak-mostly in winter but I get flare ups when I stress and sometimes in summer 'just because'. I find that drinking lots of water and using cocoa butter hand cream throughout the day helps. I use steroid cream when I have to, my hands are showing signs of looking old though due to the damage! I get the outbreaks less now I am medicated on NDT( The thai one)

  • Hi jazzw,

    Ouch, that photo brought back some bad memories!

    i use to suffer like this many years ago. Blisters all over my hands and red raw skin up to my elbows.

    Mine was due to contact dermatitis, i was training to be an hairdresser but sadly had to give it up.

    I still suffer with dry skin, face, legs, arms and still dry hands.

    I've tried all emollient creams and only Cetraben agrees with me. I also like humanbean find Elocon cream the only cream that works, don't like the ointment and never used the scalp lotion.

    Hope you find what works for you soon.

    Sparkly x

  • I don't actually know the difference between ointments and creams - I use the words interchangeably, I thought they were two words for the same thing. The Elocon scalp lotion is the only thing I can put on eczema, even though I never use it on my scalp because I don't get eczema there. I use the lotion on any particularly itchy, painful patch of eczema wherever it may be. :)

  • Ointment is very greasy and doesn't adsorb as well into my skin like cream does.

    It most probably works just as good but i don't like the feel of it.

  • They are different. Sometimes one will work when the other will not.

  • I feel your pain. Mine looks and acts exactly like yours. It started on my hands, for a year it was on my ears, now I mostly get it on my feet but haven't had big flare ups for years. Recently it got really bad, blisters all over my feet, between toes, top, sides, bottom everywhere. The itching can be so severe I would itch my skin off. I found that if I can keep from busting the blisters open they will dry up on there own. Using ice cubes to numb the itching works. But this time I had to go on steroids. After that one I had one just as horrible all over my hands, it was caused by contact with polymer clay and baby oil mixing with my hands. I've also found that sometimes acidic foods seem to cause flare ups, especially peppers, tomatoes, oranges, lemons etc.

  • Hi! I'm interested in your comment because I have Dyshidrotic eczema all over my hands and feet and I was wondering if Polymer Clay could have caused it. I started working with clay in May of 2014 but never had this problem until about three months ago!

  • I believe the clay could have caused the flare up because it was so hard I put some baby oil on it to make it softer and had to condition it for a very long time to make it soft enough to go into my extruder. It was black clay and I believe the amount of time it was in my hands and using the oil made it easier to penetrate my skin because I had black dye smeared all over my hands while I was working with it.

    Also, having to wash my hands a lot seems to irate my hands and make outbreaks more often.

    When I was in my teens I had it so bad on my ears it would stay raw and weep so bad that my hair would be stuck to them and crusted over. It was a horrible time.

    I do believe there are certain things that we eat or touch that can cause flare ups. I really had to pay attention to what I did before the break outs. Keeping a list helped.

    Eucerin cream seemed to help my ears.

  • I have suffered from this a couple of times although I was shocked at the picture because mine has not been that severe. For me the trigger appears to be getting overheated as it has started when abroad in high temperatures.

    The GP told me it was Pompholyx and I was given a cream to apply (sorry don't know the name now) which did clear it up (or maybe it cleared up on its own once the trigger was removed?).

    My sympathies for your suffering :(

  • I get blisters like that when I am in contact with wheat. Sometimes more sometimes less. By contact I mean handling wheat for example baking.

    Most annoying part is that I sometimes have it on my lower lip and then it is many tiny blisters. Goes inside of my lip and hurts and itches. I just pop the blisters and use cream and takes two days for it to heal. That I usually get from paprika powder added to food.

    Doctors have never said anything about this so I just live with it.

  • I had this mainly on my hands, and occasionally my feet for over 45 years. It was relentless and I am not exaggerating when I say it literally ruled my life. The itching is unbearable. The blisters, weeping, itching, crusting, then skin falling off leaving raw skin underneath. My thumbs were bandaged for over 5 years, because they constantly wept, and as soon as I removed the dressings, they bled. I tried everything, even experimental drugs, and injections, even cortisone directly into the dermatitis, all to no avail. The only thing to ever help me was homoeopathy, though I was fortunate in having a really good homeopath. It did return and plagued me until menopause. I only get the blisters in the palms of my hands nowadays.

    I wish I had some real answers for you as I know just how debilitating this is. The only cream/ointment to soothe has been Calendula. It helps but it isn't a cure. I really hope that someone somewhere can help you.

    hugs Em x

  • Hi Jazz, this is how my Graves first showed. had a very good GP then. Had three days on Hydrocortisone cream and it was gone after suffering terrible itching and disfigurement on palms of hands and soles of feet for two weeks beforehand. Have never had hydrocortisone cream work as quick lately for other things, but suspect it is not as strong these days. This was way back in 1972.

  • Thanks to all of you for your replies - it's interesting that so many of us have suffered the same or very similar - what's going on there, then?

    Like others, I've found that if I can leave them alone they do dry up. But eventually big strips of skin fall off where the patches once were - lovely sight! 😝 I've tried various creams, but when it comes to blistering undersides of toes, none are very practical. It really is everywhere at the moment - and it's funny there was a mention of ears, as there's a patch of something behind one of mine right now - it's only just occurred to me it might be more of the same thing. Bah. I can go for months with barely any outbreaks, and them bam, all over the place.

    I've eaten too many Magnums lately. It could be dairy (though I hate that idea, as I'm already wheat intolerant 😥).

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