Author Topic: Pompholyx - Dishydrotic Eczema 10 year survivor!  (Read 10890 times)

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Offline Huckleberry BlisterHands

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Pompholyx - Dishydrotic Eczema 10 year survivor!
« on: Wednesday November 28, 2012, 10:03:21 PM »
Nice to meet you everyone!! ;)

I found this board this week after searching through the internet for Pompholyx home remedies and treatment.  I first broke out with the condition in 2002.  It started following a reaction and fever to medication I had with blisters on the hand.  My other hand became affected shortly after, and then after a few cycles with the hands it slowly spread to one foot, then the other.  I had no idea what was going on, or how to treat the blisters, or the painfully dry and cracked skin that followed.  It was always so frustrating to see the dry cracked skin finally start to heal, only to soon notice new blisters starting under the healed skin.  The cycle repeats like a bad nightmare.

I've seen many dermatologists.  Some seem genuinely interested.  Some try to lump Pompholyx in with other eczema, and those doctors want to give you the standard creams and lotions to send you on your way with as soon as possible.  Others seem to feel there is nothing they can do for the condition, so they're very rude and unhelpful.  Others take the time to carefully explain what can be done, and what they've seen success with. 

I have had many breakouts.  Some so bad I could hardly walk.  There have been a few times when the sores on my feet got so bad for so long that I got terrible, and dangerous staph infections from them.  I've also had periods of remission and success.  Rather than go through every trip to the doctor, or emergency room for antibiotic shots, I thought I'd explain what has been working well for me.  I'll share what I know with anyone, and try to help people benefit from my experience.

For the past 3-5 years I've had a pretty easy time.  Very few major flare ups.  While some form of the condition never completely left my hands and feet, they've definitely become less noticeable.  Most weeks I haven't had to use my steroid cream, or any other medications.  I attribute most of this to moving to a cleaner place.  When I was breaking out bad I stayed with my parents.  They have a very dusty house, with several cats.  I am very allergic to both dust and cats.  These triggers were not the cause of my eczema, however, I grew up in these conditions, and never had an outbreak until my early 20s.

It has been very smooth sailing for me, even in stressful situations.  I did find out I'm allergic to latex, and latex based glues.  They use this type of glue in shoes, so sometimes in older shoes I feel my feet itch.  I try to replace them as often as possible.  They make special shoes with no rubber products, but they are very expensive and ugly.  I've been able to work out constantly, run for several miles at a time without behind held back by cracked, blistered, infected feet.  It has been awesome  :laugh:

Things changed a bit on Friday November 23rd.  I went to a friends house to hangout for a while.  We were outside quite a bit, and it was cold.  I was also getting over a cold that lasted a couple weeks.  Colds are rare from me, I hardly get sick.  After leaving his house, I noticed I could not get warm, even with the heat cranked in my car and the seat warmers on.  When I got home I threw two sweaters on, put a heating pad on my chest, and cranked the heater.  My wife thought I was nuts.  I stayed like this for several hours trying to warm up.  I felt very achy, no appetite, and tired.  I couldn't tell if I had hypothermia, or if a fever was coming on.  When I felt reasonably comfortable I went to bed.

Saturday morning I woke up covered in sweat and a sore throat.  I think I got another cold-like virus, that gave me a fever.  I also noticed my feet itched, and the palms of my hands were read.  The skin on my hands and feet seemed to be thickening up.  I knew what was coming.

Things got worse Saturday, but I still felt pretty sick so I didn't care.  I was home alone with the kids as the wife worked, so I just took it easy.  On Sunday I felt better, although my hands and feet did not.  Both were very red and itchy.  Blisters began forming deep below the surface on both areas.  Red scabs and sores began to form between my toes and on top of my feet.  A few red marks began to creep down my wrist. I used the steroid cream I had at home, but I could tell it would have little effect by itself

Monday morning when I got out of bed I had to walk very gingerly.  Walking on sensitive blisters is like walking on pins and needles.  My hands had bright red marks on them, areas where the blisters were but hadn't quite made it to the surface yet.  Someone at work asked me if I burned myself with a turkey fryer.  They asked in an honest way, not in a mean manner.  It gives you an idea of how bad it looked.

From previous experience I know soaking my hands and feet in Bayer's Domesboro Soak really helps to draw the fluid out of all the Pompholyx vesicles.  I drove to a pharmacy and got a pack of 12 for $15.00.  Not the cheapest, but definitely worth it because Domesboro is works great for the blistery phase of Pompholyx.  That night at home I soaked my hands and feet in luke warm water with two packets of Domesboro, for 30 minutes.  I also also added a little dove soap to the water, and threw in about a cup of apple cider vinegar.  I've never done this before, but I read online that it helped some people so I thought it couldn't hurt to add it in the soak water.  After I was done soaking and wet compressing with a wash cloth, I put on my steroid ointment (Betamethasone Dipropionate Ointment USP 0.05%) and then put on a generous layer of non-allergenic Eucerin Intensive Repair "Very Dry Skin Lotion" over the top of the layer of steroid ointment.  I have been instructed by dermatologists to layer Eucerin on top of the steroid ointment, to help keep the ointment on the skin longer without rubbing off, and to help further moisturize my skin.  I put my socks on over the ointment/lotion mix.  It helps to put cotton gloves over the hands after putting the ointment and lotion on, but I was just careful not to rub the medicine off.  I don't have cotton gloves to use or I would have.  I went to bed shortly after.

Tuesday morning it was still painful to walk, but not as bad.  The redness that was across my palms and bottom of my feet began to recede, leaving only red and pale colored circles where the blisters remained intact.  They had flattened out from the domesboro soak, they no longer had fluid in them.  This made them a lot more comfortable at least, but they were just as unsightly.
During the day Tuesday I reapplied the ointment on my hands and feet (as well as a protecting layer of Eucerin) during lunch. Then at home last night (Tuesday) I soaked my hands a feet again.  I repeated the ointment/lotion ritual.

This morning I felt even better.  It no longer hurt to walk, and my hands were much more comfortable.  The redness has subsided more, and the red and pale colored circles of empty blisters are beginning to fade.  I really think the lotion and steroids are helping my hands not crack and itch, and keeping them from breaking out more.  The Domesboro Soak did a good job of draining the blisters so I hope most of them wont' come to the surface and break the skin.  The way my hands and feet are healing, I think I will be back to normal again within a week.  This is a huge improvement from when I first started this journey.  I'd have ongoing episodes that left me miserable for weeks and months.

My advice is to stay on top of this condition, if you ignore it, or get lazy when its not as bad, it will continue to be a bad problem.  Definitely treat the blisters with domesboro soaks, and soap 1-3 times a day.  Throw non allergenic soap (just a little bit!), epsom salt, and apple cider vinegar in the soak for an even better effect.  Afterwards apply a steroid cream, and Eucerin lotion.

During times where you don't need the cream, still keep an eye on the area where you've had issues.  Use the Eucerin cream at least once a day on the hands and feet, even when there are no break outs.  This moisterizing really helps keep the break outs at bay. 

Also stay away from allergens, this goes without saying.  I really think my outbreaks/condition is more auto-immune related.  I seem to break out more when I'm sick, there isn't a specific allergen that causes me to have this issue.  There are things that definitely irritate the skin though, so it helps to determine what those are and stay away from them whenever possible.  I also recommend staying away from steroid pills like Prednisone as much as possible.  In the beginning I took this medicine for releif, because the breakouts were so bad I could hardly function.  Prednisone works like a charm, but unfortunately as soon as you stop taking it the cycle continues again.  Prednisone is meant as a temporary fix, but not a long term solution.  There are many adverse side affects associated with it.

Stay on top of your condition, fight the symptoms, and do a good job in maintenance when the flares go down.  If you stay dilligent, you will see relief from this annoying and sometimes nasty disease!

Feel free to as questions, I'll do my best to help.

Offline t00nb0t

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Re: Pompholyx - Dishydrotic Eczema 10 year survivor!
« Reply #1 on: Friday November 30, 2012, 11:23:52 AM »
hi, im also new to this site.

imkeen to to try out this domesboro soak, does it sting much on broken skin?