Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Alternative Name: Dyshidrotic eczema.

Pompholyx is a form of vesiculobullous eczema that affects the palms and soles. It could be an acute, chronic, or recurrent dermatosis of the fingers, palms, and soles, characterized by the sudden onset of many deep-seated pruritic, clear ``sagolike'' vesicles; later, scaling, fissures, and some times leads to lichenification of the skin.

Pompholyx is more common in warm weather, some patients are attacked annually in summer and these patients have intensely pruritic or burning, vesicular eruption on their palms, and soles. The course of this disease may range from mild or may progress to a severe debilitating disease and can occur at intervals of 3 or 4 weeks for months or years, or at long irregular intervals.

Pompholyx is a tricky skin disease because it doesn't limit its target. It can affect people regardless of age, sex or skin color. It is not caused by bad skin hygiene; in fact, frequent use of soaps having harsh components can even trigger this condition.

It has still not been possible for doctors and scientists to exactly discern dyshidrosis causes but a number of conditions are supposed to trigger the disease which are enumerated as the following:-

Possible causes may include:

    Excessive sweating is supposed to be one of the causes for pompholyx which is noticed in cases when one suffers from anxiety, frustration or stress related problems. Sweating is believed to trigger vesicular eruption that is a characteristic of pompholyx eczema.

  • Fungal infections like the Athlete's foot are one of the most common causes of pompholyx that causes vesicular eruption and discharge of pus.

  • Allergic agents such as carbonated and alcoholic beverages, food items high in nickel and caffeine content and also dairy products may just not cause but also intensify pompholyx eczema and pompholyx dermatitis. Some of the items that fall within the purview of such allergic irritants are cocoa, chocolate, soy, butter and cheese, etc. Allergies may also be caused by contact with compounds such as potassium dichromate. Other leather preservative may also lead to pompholyx. Dust mite allergies may also be the cause behind dishydrosis.

  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight may lead to skin disorders of several types including pompholyx.

  • It has also been observed that people who are exposed to chlorinated water, antibacterial soaps contribute to intensifying pompholyx. As is also common with all kind of skin eczemas, antibacterial soaps, deodorants and fragrances, and its contact with fresh meat and fresh fruit juices may aggravate the situation.

  • Damp conditions may trigger the outbreak of pompholyx. Certain kinds of fabrics such as nylon and synthetic types are known to encourage dyshidrosis.

  • Dermatitis of all kinds such as seborrheic and atopic may also be the reason behind the occurrence of pompholyx.

  • Immune problems such as Ulcerative colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Crohn's Disease are also known to exacerbate pompholyx.

According to previous studies, some factors might play a role in triggering this skin condition. For some reasons, too much stress, excessive sweating, family history and being exposed to harmful, irritating chemicals and products can make the blisters appear. In addition, drinking too much coffee and cold weather can worsen your case if you're already suffering from it.


symptoms of Pompholyx may include:

    The disease with intense itching at the site of the blistering.

  • There may be swelling at the rash site.

  • Cracks or fissures on the fingers or toes are generally found.

  • Weeping and crusting skin lesions.

  • Intense itching at the site of the blistering.

  • Pain may occur with larger blisters.


Pompholyx is diagnosed by the medical history and the appearance of the skin. Swabs are sometimes taken to rule out infection and you may be asked to have a blood test if the diagnosis is not obvious.

Other tests may include:

One can diagnose dyshidrosis by undergoing an allergy test where the suspected substances are applied or brought close to the body to observe if the substances actually trigger a reaction. It is best to go for an allergy test for the entire body, medically known as Alcat to determine an allergic reaction that has caused pompholyx as one of its effects.

A type of skin testing called patch testing may be used, to see if particular substances such as nickel, perfume components, etc, cause a strong reaction in the skin.


Pharmacological treatment:

    Cortisone - Cortisone is a steroid that repulses all of dyshidrotic eczema's symptoms. It is a frequent ingredient of anti-inflammatory creams and ointments. Apply as directed to cure the skin condition completely.

  • Zinc Oxide - Like cortisone zinc oxide zeroes in on eczema's symptoms, gradually treating the scaly areas.

  • Oral Antibiotics - In conjunction with topical creams, there are oral medicines that speed up the treatment process, and these drugs work fast.

Compresses or soaks: These are used when there are blisters, or if the skin is wet and weepy. Do not use them if the skin is dry. They help dry out the blisters and oozing, and have an antiseptic action.

Natural Cures:

    White Vinegar - Applying a highly acidic substance, such as white vinegar, might be painful, since dyshidrotic eczema makes your skin very sensitive. However, it can kill bacteria and dislodge the skin flakes.

  • Flaxseed Oil - Having scaly skin is a normal occurrence for those who have dyshidrotic eczema. To bring back your skin's normal condition, apply flaxseed oil on the affected areas. It will eventually smoothen out the rough and scaly parts.

  • Aloe Vera - This powerful acne repellant is also considered one of the most effective dyshidrotic eczema treatments. It smoothen scaly skin and relieves inflammation and itchiness.

  • Milk and Oatmeal - This duo might come as a surprise, but they are potent enough to cut the spread of eczema. The milk acts as the moisturizer, while oatmeal serves as the scale remover.

Light therapy or Phototherapy: In severe cases of pompholyx, when no other medications work for the patient, doctor may prescribe ultraviolent light therapy (UVT) which is called PUVA (Psoralen plus ultraviolet A). Medicines is applied on the skin to allow the skin absorb UV light more efficiently.

Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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