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Anyone out there who suffers from POMPHOLYX? (blistery eczema of the hands and sometimes the feet)

(68 Posts)

I'm suffering terribly with it right now, my hands for once aren't too bad but the soles of my feet and the toes are absolutely covered in painful weeping blisters, making it hard to walk. Doc has prescribed some cream but it's doing nothing to help. <sigh>

Anyone else on MN who suffers from pompholyx? It'd be nice to know I'm not alone!

ComeOVeneer Tue 02-Sep-08 13:16:08

I do. I have had it since childhood and it was never properly diagnosed until last year. I fortunately have grown out of it more or less, but have had really bad episodes particularly in hot weather. Mine is mostly my hands. When it gets bad I could quite happily consider chopping my hands off.

ComeOVeneer Tue 02-Sep-08 13:19:56

Have you tried potassium permanganate soaks? Leave you with a lovely purpley tinge but I used to find them quite beneficial.

Macdog Tue 02-Sep-08 13:28:07

Wondering if this is what I have.

Had excema since tiny, but occasionally have blistering/pus/pain and itchy hands. Makes life difficult.

Thanks for bringing it up, need to get it checked with GP

Thanks COV, no I haven't tried that, it's come on fairly recently. My hands have been awful what with baby wipes and baby bath and washing up liquid. Also seems to be worse in the mornings when I've been warm in bed so maybe it is temperature related.

But yeah, it has just started on my feet and I'm not sure why as I haven't used any products on them apart from mild shower gel. I hobbled to the shop earlier (mostly because I scratched/picked at the huge blisters last night) blush

COV how do you cope? constant vinyl gloves? I've been prescribed clovate which helped with my hands somewhat (cracks have healed up) but not my feet.

macdog, if it only comes on occasionally it might just be hives or some other allergy. I suffer with eczema all over too, also since I was tiny, I get all sorts of rashes and stuff but this is different. It's like crops of bubbly blisters, fairly hard to burst, not very raised. VERY itchy, they weep when you scratch them and the skin eventually peels and can crack. It's highly irritated by soap, food, washing products etc. Does this sound about right?

ComeOVeneer Tue 02-Sep-08 14:02:51

I am very careful about getting any chemicals on my hands, I moisturises religiously with E45 several times a day. As I said I seem to have almost grown out of it. It was always worse in hot weather, some believe it is agravated by sweat which woulld explain the hot connection. The worst areas are alwaya down the sides of my fingers and the fleshy part opposite side of the hand to the thumb iyswim.

I have a reaction to e45, and most other products. There are only two or three things I can use full stop which don't produce a reaction (diprobase etc) God I hope I grow out of it too!

So this potassium permanganate stuff, what is it, where do I get it and how do I use it? thanks, btw!

Macdog Tue 02-Sep-08 15:09:14

It was the bit about the blisters that caught my attention in your OP.
My hands are really gross and I am ashamed of them because they seep fluid on to clothes etc.
I've had to soak clothes sometimes to get them off, ie long sleeves sticking to my wrist.

Macdog Tue 02-Sep-08 15:24:38

I've just taken a couple of pics of my hand/wrist and put them up....and this is it improving!

Macdog, it's hard to tell when the photos are so small. Have a look here and see if that looks like yours. (Photos are clickable, for closeups) Yours sounds horrible though, poor thing. Mine is mainly on figertips/palms/soles/toes.

ComeOVeneer Tue 02-Sep-08 16:36:42

I am fairly certain you can buy potassium permanganate over the counter but if not you will need a prescription. Either crystals or powder, add to warm water to get a deep purple colour and then soak affected area for about 10-15 mins a couple of times a day. Talk to you chemist or gp about it.

Macdog Tue 02-Sep-08 17:34:54

Thanks for the link, certainly looked familiar.
Might try GP for a Dermatology referral.

Thanks for starting the thread.
Hope you get some relief soon

NoBiggy Tue 02-Sep-08 17:39:21

DD has something that looks exactly like that - the pharmacist said use handcream.

Maybe a trip to the docs is in order, if it can get nasty.

AnnasBananas Tue 02-Sep-08 21:47:12

I had it very badly after the birth of both children, due to hands being wet so much, overwashing hands and not moisturising them. Mine was very bad at night, too, itching like 1000 red ants marching all over my skin!! Weeping and looked a total mess.

I went straight to a private dermatologist as I was visiting family back home in NZ when I had it at its worst. Was given steroid cream which I was nervous about using at first but it knocked it on the head very quickly, within two days. I do not belive that over-the-counter products will improve it, you need a steriod cream.

Don't pop the blisters if you can possibly help it.

My dermatoloist gave me the best 'moisturiser', it was pure liquid parafin (you can get it from the pharmacy) then put cotton gloves on it for overnight. It I do this when my hands just start to look dry they improve immediately. I try to always use rubber gloves in the kitchen, but to be honest now that my youngest is 2 and the bottles and sterilising etc is well behind me my hands have been much better.

Good luck!

Bluestocking Tue 02-Sep-08 21:57:46

This is so weird! My DS has eczema on his hands and for the last couple of months has had the occasional little blister like the ones in the pictures. He said "look, I have a pompom on my hand" and when I asked what he meant, he said that one of his nursery friends said it was a pompom. Do you think this little friend knows about pompholyx and has diagnosed him?!

cremolafoam Tue 02-Sep-08 22:00:28

yes sometimes.I discovered that it was mostly heat and detergent that aggrivated it.
i have eczema and nodular pririgo all my life too.
Recently started on cyclosporin and everything is getting better

kittywise Tue 02-Sep-08 22:09:45

I get this too sometimes but I think that mine is aggravated by stress.

Ok, I've soaked my feet in vinegar and water and put a thin layer of antibiotic ointment on cos I'm worried about infection. Nothing has dried out yet, the blisters are huge, swollen and weeping. I can barely walk on the swines and I'm stressing out! grr angry

PrincessButtercup Wed 03-Sep-08 00:08:08

I've had this several times and had to resort to a quick burst of a serious steroid cream (and some other cream to ward off infection) each time to get rid of it. Since the last breakout I have avoided soap and washing up liquid entirely and always use diprobase to wash hands and in the shower. I haven't had it return.

Poor you - tis truly miserable.

Thanks for the advice buttercup, and everyone else who has responded. I'm hoping it is temporary!

hughjarssss Wed 03-Sep-08 00:40:47

I have round like little spots that scab over and a horrible type rash The doctor called them blisters. I have to itch them until I take the scabs off (tmi, sorry) and then they bled and scar.

I am covered all over my arm, legs and stomach.
I've had excema since birth in the cracks of my joints and neck. But this is much worse and has only happened since birth of dd.
My normal excema is caused by stress and heat.
God knows what is causing this new version.

I've stopped using everything but they still itch and wont heal.
I've had weeks and weeks of steriod tablets and antibiotics. I've tried a number of different steriod creams, nothing works. It was so bad at one point the doctor gave me sleeping tablets as I couldn't sleep, I was so sore and itchy. He now refuses to give me any more steriod tsblets and hass refered me to a dermotologist. I'm not keen on going though and being poked and fussed over .. my idea of hell.

People keep asking me whats a matter with my arms. They think I've been bitten, presunmbley with fleas and its horrible to think they think I'm dirty.

I'm off on holiday next week, dreading getting ionto a costume covered in spots, scabas and scars. I'm getting married a week on Saturday, I'm praying I can get it to calm down enough so it won't hardly show on the photo's. I'm considering buying dermablend for the day, even though I may suffer for it afterwards.

Sorry for rambling and going off topic. But its something that really upsets me, dp helps with creaming me but I dont think he understands how much it upsets me so its good to get it off my chest.

hughjarss, your affliction sounds like what my friend has. She can't shift the spots either, as far as I know she doesn't know what it is and has tried everything, too. I'll ask her about it.

Hey, if you want any of your wedding snaps "airbrushed" if any scars/scabs etc are visible, feel free to email them to me, I do a lot of work in photoshop and it'd be no trouble at all to airbrush them out. For free, of course. Hope it all goes smoothly and congrats!

Arbuthnot Wed 03-Sep-08 09:43:44

That's what I get! Didn't know it had its own name! Betnovate is the only thing that makes much difference but I try to avoid using it too much. Am off to Google to see what else might help. Am actually slightly over-excited about knowing what it is blush

Arbuthnot, betnovate doesn't make much difference to mine. The doctor has given me an ointment called clovate which helps dry up the blisters and heal it a bit.

I slept with witchhazel sodden cotton wool wrapped around the blistery soles of my feet last night, wrapped in clingfilm and topped off with cosy socks. I slept surprisingly well! Not much improvement though.

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