Dyshidrotic eczema/ pompholyx...this is my experience

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So I’m 32 years old, I’ve never had any allergies never had any skin conditions until April 2018. My hands started itching right after they started peeling. And I’m not talking about the epidermis, the skin was so thin my fingers were raw. (I will add pictures) at first I thought it was an allergic reaction but I tried switching everything I thought might be leading up to this and nothing helped. Finally I went to the hospital. They gave me steroids and it’s started to heal. As soon as I stopped the dose it came back ten times worse. It got to the point to where I couldn’t even wash my hair I couldn’t touch anything, my fingers were literally raw. Finally I got a referral to a dermatologist. I went and he diagnosed me with dyshidrotic eczema. I’ve read everything I could possibly find on this condition and everything I read said that (it normally last 3-4 weeks, blisters and itching first then the dry skin then the peeling and that’s all) mine is never ending...blisters and itching, then the dry skin and peeling, and right when it’s starting to heal, it starts all over again. It’s been agony. Long story short in the last three months I’ve been to 7 doctors, the hospital 4 times, and med express 6 times. All with the same result. They all told me they know what it is BUT they don’t know what causes it and there is no cure. The first 6 doctors I went to gave  me steroids. It got to the point that they were making me sick (3 months straight of prednisone 50 mgs) finally I told them I couldn’t take it anymore so they gave me methyltrexate. It did nothing. While I

Was on all these meds I used every cream and ointment you can name....every steroid, every antibiotic. I’ve read the leading cause is stress? If that’s the case it will be a never ending battle, just the pain of my fingers and then feeling it come on again causes stress, not to mention I’m in school and I work as a single mother...has anyone found any relief at all??? Please share.. (pics posted below)

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  • Posted

    Hi Jessicak,

    If you are currently not taking any medication due to a small risk of interaction, I would recommend you to try St. John's Wort capsules.

    If there is any stress-related issue with your eczema, it should be taken care of by SJW's beneficial effects on your neurotransmitters (it will help you relax). But the actual two main reasons why you should try SJW against your eczema, are its documented abilities to combat the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus, and to help repair damaged skin. In fact, science now believes that skin colonization by a specific strain of this bacteria may be the main culprit behind the disease.

    I have completely cured my 20 year case of eczema by taking SJW capsules over a 5 to 6 month period. That was 5 years ago, and the disease has never returned since.

    Good luck,

    Greg.

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  • Edited

    Hi Jessicaak, your situation sounds a bit similar to mine. I had never had eczema until the age of 21. It started with a small patch of dry skin on one finger, and quickly became just as you describe above. It impacted every aspect of my life. I couldn't concentrate on anything or sleep because it was so itchy all the time. I also had the same thing on the soles of my feet and milder eczema on my scalp. Like you, I had several trips to different doctors and eventually ended up at a dermatologist. My allergy testing came back negative for everything tested. I had a short course of prednisone (only 10 days) which brought some much needed relief (but didn't cure it). 

    I then commenced methotrexate (basically the same thing as methyltrexate, just a different name). This didn't help initially, but I began to notice a slight improvement after about 3 months of taking it. Unfortunately with treating skin conditions, nothing really helps at all unless you stick with it for an extended period of time (your specialist has probably told you this already). 

    2 years later, I eventually got my eczema under control. Some things that worked for me;

    methotrexate

    gentle cleansers and moisturisers (I use an Australian brand called QV)

    moisturising immediately after contact with water

    avoiding contact with chemicals

    limiting sweating 

    a steroid cream used sparingly on blisters (each cream is slightly different and it took a lot of experimenting to find one that made any difference)

    After 2 years, I began decreasing my methotrexate dosage (ever so slowly). I have now been medication free for 12 months, but still follow all the items listed above. 

    Your post doesn't mention how long you were on methyltrexate. I would suggest sticking it out for at least 3 months if you haven't already. (My starting dose was 15mg). You might also like to check out 'the eczema diet' by Karen Fischer. She believes that eczema is the result of a dietary intolerance. Her book is essentially a guide for a special elimination diet. I've read many rave reviews, but it is a big commitment. 

    There's also a treatment called Puva light treatment. I haven't had it, but my doctor thought it might be a good option if the methotrexate didn't work. 

    I know it's difficult, but try to stay positive! You'll find a way to manage it eventually!

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  • Edited

    Excema

    I cured my excema in my early 20’s by a fluke. Since I was 7 years old I’d had eczema very bad on my hands and feet, especially my feet. One day while skiing I was so upset I went outside and stood in the snow barefoot. I stood there for about 25 minutes to a half hour and melted all the snow around my feet all the way to the ground! A normal person could never have lasted that long standing on what is vertically ice. It was the breakthrough I was looking for. The itching almost immediately stopped and in a matter of days (keeping my feet and hands cold) my excema went into remission. Since then anytime I have flareups I put my feet in ice, the itching instantly disappears and if I keep my feet cold and as dry as possible the eczema just goes away. I’ve told doctors this but no one takes me seriously. The problem is heat!!! Somehow the nerve stimulation creates heat which creates the blisters.

     Fill some Ziploc bags with water and freeze them and hold onto them with your hands. You’ll be surprised how long you can hold the ice pack. If the excema is bad enough you’ll be able to melt the whole bag of ice. Put your feet in ice water. Put a towel next to the bucket and keep your feet as dry as possible once they’ve gotten them cold. “Keep” your feet and hands cold. As cold as you can take it at first. And then after your feet and hands have heeled you must keep your hands and feet cool for the rest of your life or it will return. And for heavens sake never ever scratch or rub your affected area! Scratching promotes the heat. It takes vigilance. You can’t let the tingle start or it can come back in a matter of minutes. When I get the sansation and the itchy feeling I don’t care where I am, I kick off my shoes and socks and wag my feet around to get them cooled off. Then I immediately head for an ice bucket as soon as possible. Heat is the enemy. Oily creams and lotions don’t help and trap the heat. Keep your hands and feet clean, dry and above all “cold!”  Eczema sucks! This is my cure. I’ve been excema free for 30 years. Just try it. You’ll see. 

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    • Edited

      Totally agree with you regarding heat, when my feet get hot the itching and the sores start. When i were socks i have the problem so now i have to find the coolest socks. Cotton and wool socks make my feet warm, once they get warm then the problems starts.

      So i will try to get some cooling now as i had a terrible summer because of the heat.

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  • Edited

    Hi,

    I suffer for the same thing but I never had to be hospitalized for it. Almost a year ago, I used a product called Glad skin, it kills off any Staph. Infection on your skin. My feet were red, raw an the blisters were weeping. After applying the cream, the red changed to pink and my feet started clearing up. The cream is expensive and can only be bought online. After using it, I don't use steroid creams as much. Also I find if you look at every single product you put on your skin including makeup and change it to products that are suitable for eczema sufferers. I had it on my hands for years but I'm really careful and I wear kitchen gloves for washing dishes, cleaning baths, sinks etc. Whenever I'm using chemicals. I have changed all of my household cleaners to vinegar, water, essential oils, borax for cleaning. I don't use any soap on my hands when I'm in public rest rooms. The soap is too harsh on my skin. An allergy test is worthwhile to see if you are allergic to dust or any pets in your house. I hope you will feel better soon and find something that helps.

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  • Edited

    I am so sorry to read what is happening to you. I am an old age pensioner and have only just started sufferring eczema. It is not even half as bad as yours but it spreads so quickly from just one little patch to all over the body. I, too, have strong steroid cream but as soon as I stop using it my skin starts all over again. I have nothing at all positive to offer you but identify with how distressing it must be for you and especially at your age. I am just hoping you will find the right treatment for it.

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  • Edited

    I'm 32 and literally have the exact same thing! Please post an update. I've tried everything and switched every soap, etc. One day these little fluid filled blisters appear for a week, pop for a week, scab for a week, heal for a week, then start over. this has been going on for 18 months. My fingers swell as well. Heres a picture after the scabbing and dry skin phase

    image

    image

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  • Edited

    Hi. Lifelong eczema sufferer here! Started fairly mild when i was a child, but during my teen years developed into severe dyshidrotic for many years (approx age 13-19). Breakouts were incredibly severe and after visiting dozens of doctors, dermatologists and hospitals all over England discovered I did have a range of allergies, however my breakouts are totally stress induced. So, the final dermatologist i visited suggest a potassium permagate soak to kill bacteria, followed by a steriod cream and emoliant. This worked and everything cleared up by the time i was 19, with just the occasional but controlable breakout here and there. HOWEVER, at the age of 23 i have started a new sevre breakout which has now been ongoing for four month. previous treatments are giving me no improvement/relief, and it is driving me crazy. i have open sores on the entirety of the soles of my feet and can no longer walk because of it. Has anyone got any suggestions? Im desperate for an answer.

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    • Edited

      I had the same problem although my excema started when i was 7 and didn't end until i was 28. I cured my excema in my early by a fluke. Since I was 7 years old I’d had eczema very bad on my hands and feet, especially my feet. One day while skiing I was so upset I went outside and stood in the snow barefoot. I stood there for about 25 minutes to a half hour and melted all the snow around my feet all the way to the ground! A normal person could never have lasted that long standing on what is vertically ice. It was the breakthrough I was looking for. The itching almost immediately stopped and in a matter of days (keeping my feet and hands cold) my excema went into remission. Since then anytime I have flareups I put my feet in ice, the itching instantly disappears and if I keep my feet cold and as dry as possible the eczema just goes away. I’ve told doctors this but no one takes me seriously. The problem is heat!!! Somehow the nerve stimulation creates heat which creates the blisters. Once you’ve rid your feet and hands of the eczema the rest of the eczema on your body will go away on its own. Mine did. The main places for my eczema was my hands and feet.

      Fill some Ziploc bags with water and freeze them and hold onto them with your hands. You’ll be surprised how long you can hold the ice pack. If the excema is bad enough you’ll be able to melt the whole bag of ice. Put your feet in ice water. Put a towel next to the bucket and keep your feet as dry as possible once they’ve gotten them cold. “Keep” your feet and hands cold. As cold as you can take it at first. And then after your feet and hands have heeled you must keep your hands and feet cool for the rest of your life or it will return. And for heavens sake never ever scratch or rub your affected area! Scratching promotes the heat. It takes vigilance. You can’t let the tingle start or it can come back in a matter of minutes. When I get the sansation and the itchy feeling I don’t care where I am, I kick off my shoes and socks and wag my feet around to get them cooled off. Then I immediately head for an ice bucket as soon as possible. Heat is the enemy. Oily creams and lotions don’t help and they trap the heat. Keep your hands and feet clean, dry and above all “cold!” Eczema sucks! This is my cure. I’ve been excema free for 40 years. Just try it. You’ll see.

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  • Posted

    i have EVERY SINGLE symptom as well. it comes and goes consistently and appears on my sides of my fingers, palm and sole of my foot only on my left side. the cluster blisters are horribly painful and itchy to the point that if i vigorously pop them and scratch they become numb and feel better.

    two things:

    cortizone-10 intensive healing lotion for eczema, its in a red bottle with a purple line through it and works miracles for short time(WILL NOT CURE)

    AND my eczema happened after two foot surgeries that involved metalDINGDINGDING!

    numerous articles point to a nickel allergy(which i have) to be a culprit to why is randomly appears with a vengance. please check if you have had recent surgeries, allergy to nickel or are eating nickel rich foods. it might save you in the long run.

    my ezcema isnt cured and hasnt gone away but the lotion helps ALOT and having a possible answer has helped me ease the pain a bit.

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  • Posted

    This is my story and I hope it is helpful.

    I suffered for many many years with something very similar to what you are describing.

    i had it on both of my palms and down the sides of my fingers and also weirdly on on the bottom and sides of my right foot but never the left. I was told by my doctor it was Pompholyx eczema and was prescribed Dermovate steroid cream. The blisters on my hands would be quite itchy and irritating and would burst if i rubbed them too much. Then they would go crusty and flaky.

    The blisters on my right foot were more problematic, they were larger and they were prone to bursting more easily and nearly every time would get infected and incredibly painful no matter how clean i kept my feet or put clean dressings on. I had to go to the doctors and the walk in centres very regularly for a course of flucloxacillin to treat the infections and often had red tracking up my veins from the blisters and swollen glands in my groin due to the infection.

    After this went on year after year i asked my doctor for a referral to see a dermatologist in hospital but it was well over a six month wait and i was given all sorts of creams and ointments and paraffin cream with salicylic acid to dry the blisters out but it was a treatment for the effects and not a cure and never stopped them coming back.

    I have been totally free of eczema now for about 18 months, how you ask ?

    I stopped eating ALL seafood and i used to love it, first i tried just avoiding crustaceans and it improved considerably but didn't go completely. Then i stopped all seafood and it cleared totally.

    When i was working in Oman maybe 4 years ago i was having a bad flare up of blisters and i asked my driver to take me to get some dermovate ( which they wouldn't give me as they said it was evil dangerous stuff 😉) The driver told me while we were driving around the pharmacies that his Nan told him if you have eczema that you shouldn't eat crustaceans, I obviously ignored him and it wasn't for a few more years that i tried this old wives tale when i remembered what he told me and it turned out it worked a treat for me.

    The moral of the story is Always listen to your nan ( or your driver )

    Allan

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  • Edited

    Hi All,

    I've never had anything like this on my hands before but with this virus, and having to wash my hands at least a hundred times a day, I've developed this problem.

    My sister told me to boil some porridge oats, not at all thick, add cold water, and raw honey when it's cooled down. I keep my hands in it for about half an hour quite a few times a day and especially in the evening before bed. I don't rinse it off completely, just the bits of oats, very carefully because I want the liquid to remain as much as possible. I then thoroughly pat them dry and put some oil or cream on. I've been trying many different oils and creams, but the best I've found is Emu Oil and Aloe Vera.

    I've been doing the porridge for the last 4 days and it's almost gone. The porridge feels lovely and silky and it's definitely worked for me.

    I've been trying to not wash my hands so much, especially with the anti bacterial soap, and wearing gloves wherever possible to protect them.

    Good luck x

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