Pompholyx is a skin disease characterized by the appearance of small, fluid-filled blisters, especially on the sides of the fingers, palms and soles of the feet. In general, the blisters last for 3 weeks and cause severe itching and burning.

Pompholyx is also known as dyshidrotic eczema. If not handled properly, pompholyx sufferers can get a bacterial infection due to scratching the area of ​​the skin affected by the blisters. Infection is characterized by blisters that ooze pus, or are covered with hardened skin.

Pompholyx Causes and Risk Factors

The cause of pompholyx is still not known with certainty. However, the disease is thought to be associated with atopic dermatitis and allergies, such as allergic rhinitis ( hay fever ).

Pompholyx is also thought to be triggered by several factors, such as:

  • Weather conditions are warm, hot, or humid
  • Sensitive skin conditions, easily irritated, sweaty or wet easily
  • Family history of pompholyx
  • Medical conditions, such as fungal skin infections or HIV
  • Use of neomycin -type antibiotics
  • Treatment procedure with intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG)
  • stress
  • Exposure to metals such as nickel and cobalt
  • Exposure to chemicals from detergents, household cleaners, soaps, shampoos, cosmetic products or perfumes

Pompholyx symptoms

Symptoms that are common in people with pompholyx are blisters on the palms and on the sides of the fingers. Blisters also sometimes appear on the soles of the feet.

Initially, sufferers will feel intense itching accompanied by a burning sensation. The fluid-filled blisters will then start to bulge. In severe pompholyx , the blisters may coalesce to form larger blisters. The blisters can also spread to the backs of the hands, feet and other parts of the body.

If blisters appear near the nail, they will develop a bump on the nail or swelling at the nail bed. The blisters can sometimes become infected. This condition is characterized by pus in the blisters, swelling, skin redness, burning, or crusting.

The blisters usually heal within a few weeks and are characterized by dry, peeling skin. However, pompholyx generally relapses within weeks or years.

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you have a rash or blisters that are bothersome, red and oozing, and don't go away.

Pompholyx diagnosis

Doctors can suspect a patient has pompholyx through questions and answers about symptoms and medical history. A physical examination will also be carried out by looking directly at the hands, feet and nails of the patient to ascertain the symptoms being experienced.

To be more certain, the doctor can carry out further examinations, such as:

  • Swab test ( swab ) or blood test , to detect an infection, for example a fungal infection
  • Patch test, by attaching an allergy-triggering substance, such as nickel or another metal, to detect allergies
  • Biopsy, by taking a sample of the patient's skin tissue to be examined under a microscope

Pompholyx Treatment

Pompholyx treatment depends on the severity. Patients can apply a moisturizing cream to prevent the skin from drying out. The use of cream can be assisted by wearing gloves at night so that the cream is more easily absorbed.

To help moisturize the skin, patients can soak the hands affected by pompholyx in a solution of potassium permanganate (pk water) for 10-15 minutes. Do this effort 1–2 times a day for up to 5 days.

Doctors can also give several other drugs, namely:

  • Antihistamines, to relieve itching
  • Antibiotics , to relieve infection

If the pompholyx you are experiencing is quite severe or continues to recur even though you have been treated with the above treatment methods, your doctor may suggest the following treatment methods:

1. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid creams can help the blisters go away faster. To help absorb the drug, dress the blister area and apply a moist compress after applying the corticosteroid cream.

In severe pompholyx , the doctor will prescribe corticosteroid tablets such as methylprednisolone . Keep in mind, the use of corticosteroids must be under the doctor's instructions so that side effects do not arise.

2. Immunosuppressive drugs

Immunosuppressive drugs or immune system suppressants, such as tacrolimus, may be an option in patients who wish to limit their use of corticosteroids. It's just that, this drug can increase the risk of infection of the skin.

3. Botox injections

Botulinum toxin or botox injections are used to treat severe pompholyx . Botox can help stop the sweating of your feet and hands to prevent blisters from forming.

4. UV light therapy

UV light therapy or phototherapy is used when other methods are not effective in treating pompholyx . This procedure can be combined with medication to make it easier for the skin to absorb the effects of UV rays.

5. Fluid discharge

The doctor can drain fluid from inside the blister. However, this procedure should only be performed by a doctor. Patients are not advised to pop the blisters themselves at home, because of the risk of infection.

Pompholyx complications

Pompholyx generally only causes annoying itching. However, in some cases, this condition can cause pain and itching that is so severe that it limits the movement of the hands and feet.

Bacterial infections of the skin can also occur due to the habit of scratching too hard. Such infections have the potential to cause cellulitis , lymphangitis, and bloodstream infections .

In addition, pompholyx can also cause indentation, thickening, and discoloration of the nails. Large blisters can also interfere with the patient's movement in activities.

Pompholyx prevention

There is no known way to prevent pompholyx , because the cause is uncertain. The best thing that can be done is to avoid triggering factors for this condition, for example by controlling stress and avoiding exposure to chemicals.

Skin protection can also be done by caring for skin health, such as:

  • Use a mild soap and warm water to wash your hands, then dry your hands well
  • Use moisturizer regularly
  • wearing gloves
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