Suffering from the blistery, itchy patches on hands and feet known as pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema? If you’re wondering if they’ll ever go away, read on!
The good news is that most incidences of pompholyx/dyshidrotic eczema resolve themselves without needing medical treatment, and last about two to four weeks. Although pompholyx can be uncomfortable and itchy while it’s happening, you might find that once it’s gone, it’s gone. Most treatments are designed to manage and soothe the irritating symptoms of the condition, rather than curing it.
However, some people suffer from almost continual cycles of pompholyx, or can find that a flare lasts for months rather than weeks.
Unlike some other forms of eczema, which are chronic rather than occasional and need to be managed rather than cured, it’s possible to have one attack of pompholyx, and then no more ever again. However, people who are already vulnerable to other skin issues are more likely to suffer from this condition as well, and there’s still no clear explanation as to what causes the little fluid-filled vesicles of pompholyx to flare up in the first place.
It may be contact with irritant substances, it may be heat, allergies, diet, stress, or fungal infections, but what triggers or exacerbates an individual case of pompholyx is notoriously hard to pinpoint. It does seem to be more common in the summer, so you might find that if you're susceptible to pompholyx, you'll get it during the hotter months of the year, and be clear during the winter.
The usual strategy for treating pompholyx to institute management strategies which can stop things getting worse, and make sure that sufferers treat their skin carefully, so that damage is limited and symptoms are eased.
Tips for managing pompholyx flares
- Keep the area clean and dry
- Avoid irritant ingredients, especially perfumes
- Keep skin cool, with cold water baths, ice packs, etc.
- Keep skin moisturised, especially when it starts to dry up and crack
- Talk to your pharmacist about treatments such as potassium permanganate
- Treat any fungal infections as soon as possible
- Don’t use potent steroids for more than two weeks
- Treat your body holistically with a good diet, stress management techniques, and adequate sleep.
For more information a bout pompholyx/dishydrotic eczema, see our blog How To Cope With Pompholyx Eczema. We alsohave an informative article for you if you’re wondering Is It Ok To Pop Dyshidrotic Eczema?!
Recommended products for skin prone to pompholyx:
Choose products that won’t exacerbate the condition, ie moisturisers and washes that are scent-free and nourishing to the skin. From our range, we’d suggest washing your hands and feet with our Natural Shampoo & Body Wash, and moisturising your skin with Skin Salvation if it is very cracked and sore. If it is itchy but not broken, try our Cooling Cream to take the heat down a notch, or our tea tree-rich Scalp Oil to keep the area clean and fresh.
Balmonds Skin Salvation intensive balm with hemp & beeswax (from £7.99 for 30ml): good for very sore or broken skin.
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash with calendula & nettle (£19 for 200ml): an all-purpose SLS-free unscented wash.
Balmonds Cooling Cream with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender (£19 for 100ml): a light lotion designed to take the heat out of flushed or itchy skin.
Balmonds Scalp Oil with tea tree, hemp & borage (£14.99 for 50ml) as a topical rescue oil if the area is prone to fungal infections.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.