Pompholyx eczema is a very particular form of eczema and therefore quite easy to identify. It is also known as dyshidriotic eczema and vesicular eczema. In addition to the regular redness, inflammation and itch of regular eczema, with pompholyx eczema you also have to contend with liquid filled blisters. This makes the management of this condition a little different than with other forms of eczema. In this article you will learns more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of pompholyx eczema.
As with all other forms of eczema, the cause of pompholyx eczema is not clear. A flare-up of pompholyx eczema often happens as a result of a lot of sweating and very hot weather. Other trigger factors are also similar to those of other forms of eczema. Certain allergens such as animal dander, dust and pollen can trigger or aggravate pompholyx eczema. Environmental irritants such as strong soaps and detergents, perfumes, household chemicals can irritate the skin and cause an eruption of pompholyx eczema.
The blisters of pompholyx eczema make it very easy to identify. The blisters appear on the palms of the hands and side of the fingers and sometimes also on the soles of the feet. The blisters are usually quite small, but may merge together to form bigger ones. The blisters develop quickly and cause very intense itching. They normally subside without rupturing but in some cases they do become tense and discharge their watery content. The blisters last for up to two weeks after which they subside and along with them much of the itching. Before the blisters come out patients usually complain of a burning and prickly sensation in the hands or feet. After the blisters have subsided the skin is left dry and scaly that should clear up with thorough moisturising.
When it comes to treating pompholyx eczema, one of the main objectives is to prevent a secondary infection while waiting for the blisters to subside. In severe cases the blisters and lesions may be covered with an occlusive dressing combined with oral corticosteroids. As usual, moisturising the skin plays an important role to keep the skin soft and supple. Topical corticosteroids may be employed to combat the itch and inflammation and it is important to match the potency of the corticosteroid with the severity of the eczema and that it is not used for a long period of time to avoid unwanted side effects. Should bacterial infection occur in the ruptured blisters it should be treated with antibiotics. Other treatments for pompholyx eczema include exposure to ultraviolet light and more potent immunosuppressive agents like methotrexate.
The flare-ups of pompholyx eczema usually appear very abruptly and the blisters appear in clusters that may last for up to two weeks. The best way to manage this condition is to prevent it in the first place and to do this you must know what your trigger factors are. Remember that incidents of stress characterised by emotions such as anger and anxiety play a large role in the cause and aggravation of any form of eczema. With a basic knowledge of your condition you can really be eczema free and remember to always consult with a professional to get an accurate diagnosis because eczema can be mistaken for other skin conditions.