What is Pompholyx?
Pompholyx, also known as dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular endogenous eczema, or vesicular dermatitis, is a type of eczema. It may also be called cheiropompholyx when it impacts the hands or pedopompholyx when it affects the feet.
This condition manifests as the development of small, itchy, watery blisters, typically occurring on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. These blisters can rupture, leading to dry and cracked skin, and in some instances, bacteria can enter the compromised skin, causing infections.
Pompholyx commonly affects individuals under 40 but can occur at any age.
What are the Symptoms of Pompholyx?
Pompholyx typically presents with symptoms initially appearing on the palms of your hands or the sides of your fingers. It can also affect the soles of your feet or your toes. Initially, you may experience a burning sensation, followed by the formation of tiny, intensely itchy blisters.
The symptoms of pompholyx can be distressing and painful, and the skin is likely to become infected. If you observe increased redness, crusting, the presence of pus, or swelling on the affected skin, it's advisable to consult a doctor. They will assess the affected area and determine if you have pompholyx.
How is Pompholyx Diagnosed?
During a video consultation, our doctors will typically be able to diagnose pompholyx based on your symptoms and visual observation of the affected area.
If further testing is needed to confirm the diagnosis or rule out a bacterial infection, our doctors can refer you for patch or swab tests.
What are the Causes of Pompholyx?
The precise causes of pompholyx remain uncertain. However, there are several factors believed to be potential triggers for this skin condition:
- Untreated fungal infections.
- Skin irritants include soap, detergents, perfumes, and metals like nickel and cobalt.
- Emotional stress.
- Many individuals either have atopic eczema or a family member with this condition.
- Excessive sweating, which is particularly common in individuals with hyperhidrosis.
- Exposure to heat.
Is Pompholyx Contagious?
Pompholyx, being a form of eczema, is not contagious. It cannot be transmitted from one person to another, and there is no risk of passing it on. For most individuals, the condition typically resolves within three to four weeks of treatment and may not reoccur. However, in some cases, it can become chronic or have recurring episodes in specific individuals.
What is the Treatment for Pompholyx?
The Treatment for Pompholyx may include:
Treatment for pompholyx may encompass the following approaches:
Moisturizers (Emollients): These can be obtained without a prescription, but it's advisable to consult a doctor for recommendations tailored to your skin condition. Emollients help prevent excessive skin dryness.
Steroid Cream: Typically used as a short-term measure, steroid creams help reduce inflammation and bring pompholyx under control, facilitating skin healing.
Antihistamines can relieve the itching and burning sensations associated with pompholyx blisters.
Antibiotic or Antifungal Medications: If signs of infection are present, your doctor may prescribe medication to address the condition and prevent further complications.
In more severe cases, you might be advised:
- Oral Steroids (rarely).
- Light Therapy: This treatment employs light or lasers to manage the condition, which may take a few weeks to show results.
- Immune System Medications: These can help reduce inflammation.
- Alitretinoin Capsules: Designed for severe hand eczema, these are typically prescribed if other treatments have proven ineffective.
Additionally, there are self-help measures and home remedies for pompholyx, such as:
- When handling detergents, minimize contact with irritants, such as gloves and liners.
- Opting for breathable materials like cotton or silk socks or tights for pompholyx on the feet.
- Wearing breathable footwear to prevent moisture buildup or using multiple pairs of socks to absorb excess sweat.
- Applying compresses or soaks to blisters to alleviate itching.
- Avoiding the temptation to burst blisters or scratch them, as this can lead to infections.
How Mobi Doctor Can Help?
You can have an online consultation with a doctor at a convenient time and location, 365 days a year, using any device. Our compassionate doctors at Mobi Doctor can examine your hands and feet, listen to your symptoms, diagnose, and recommend the most appropriate treatment. They can also direct you to a specialist to further evaluate your condition.