The treatment for pompholyx may vary with the severity of the condition. Here is a brief overview about the treatment for this skin disorder.
Pompholyx is a skin condition that is characterized by tiny blisters on the fingers, palms, and soles of feet. Even though, it can affect people of any age, youngsters are found to be more prone to this condition. Studies show that, people in the age group of 20 to 40 are susceptible to pompholyx, which is more common in women. Even infants and small kids may develop this condition, but most of them outgrow pompholyx, as they reach adolescence.
Pompholyx eczema is a condition with unknown causes. Earlier it was thought that, this skin disorder is caused by excessive sweating. Later it was found that, pompholyx is not related to sweating. However, this skin disorder is linked to other types of eczema, like atopic dermatitis. Even some allergic conditions, like asthma and allergic rhinitis, are considered as triggering factors for pompholyx. Stress is also said to be a trigger for this skin condition. In some cases, fungal infections may lead to pompholyx. Other triggers include exposure to harsh sunlight, chemicals and chlorinated water.
Allergy to certain foods, like soy products, cocoa and chocolate, may also trigger pompholyx eczema. In some people, consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea and carbonated drinks, can trigger this skin condition. Bowel problems, like ulcerative colitis and intestinal yeast infection, are also linked to pompholyx. Dust mite allergy is considered a triggering factor.
As mentioned above, small blisters on the feet, fingers and palms, are the characteristic features of this skin disorder. Such fluid-filled blisters are mostly located on the sides of the fingers and toes. Usually, they develop as small itching bumps that may transform to blisters. In mild cases or acute stages, the blisters may not burst or merge with one another; and may subside without further problems, except a little bit of peeling. In chronic conditions, the blisters break open and merge. The affected skin may crack, peel, crust over, and harden. Severe cases are painful, along with swelling and cracks in the nails. Even secondary infections are common.
Pompholyx is a skin condition that does not have an instant cure. Instead of a single mode of treatment, a combination of different methods is usually adopted, as per the condition of the patient. In other words, a treatment plan is made on the basis of the severity and nature of the condition in individual cases. The following are some of the common methods of treating pompholyx.
- If the health care provider detects an underlying cause, treatment would be aimed at curing the same.
- In case of acute pompholyx, cool compresses are recommended to soothe and dry up the blisters on the feet and hands. Weak solutions of Condy’s crystals (potassium permanganate), aluminum acetate 1% (Burow’s solution), vinegar, etc., are used for this purpose. However, such compresses are not used for those with dry eczema.
- The compresses have to applied for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day. Apart from compresses, rest is also recommended, especially in case of foot pompholyx.
- If the blisters are very large, treatment may include draining of the blisters with needles. Antibiotics are also used for treating this condition, if the affected area develops secondary infection.
- In case of acute pompholyx, treatment may sometimes include a short course of oral steroids. For sub-acute and chronic stages, high strength topical steroids are often administered. In some cases, systemic steroids are also prescribed for a short period.
- For chronic pompholyx, PUVA (psoralen plus ultraviolet A) therapy is said to be effective. In such cases, the affected part is subjected to treatment with psoralen solution, before exposing to long-wave ultraviolet light. This is continued for a certain period.
In short, pompholyx is a condition which can recur and cause severe discomfort. So it is highly necessary that you get it treated at the earliest. Follow a regular skin care routine to avoid recurrences. Keep the skin well moisturized and avoid exposure to harsh chemicals and sunlight. Use soft clothes, especially cotton. Avoid scratching the affected area, and always keep the hands and feet clean and dry. Once you identify the triggers, make sure that you avoid them.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.