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How I Treated My Pompholyx Eczema (Dyshidrotic Dermatitis)

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I had a painful case of pompholyx eczema. For me, adult-onset allergies to dairy and lemons were to blame.


A Tale of Pain and Suffering

My hands have always been wonderfully soft and smooth, despite the fact that I work in a job that requires frequent hand-washing. I always assumed it was because I took great care of my skin. I moisturise whenever I have the chance, and I always try to make my own lotions and skin creams, using the best quality organic essential oils.

Admittedly, I am a bit of a product junkie, so I figured my skin was well tolerant to chemicals and preservatives (either that, or over-sensitised)! Some of those long ingredients lists are simply horrendous. Anyway, I digress…

It was about 6 months ago, I decided to change jobs; I started working in a busy hospital where the shifts were long and stressful. It was then that I started to develop a small, bumpy rash on my middle and index finger. I always get this rash when my skin comes into contact with cheap jewellery (nickel), so I knew it was an allergic reaction to something. It was weird, though, that it developed only on my left hand and nowhere else.

At first, I figured it was the brand of hospital soap, so I decided to bring a different brand of soap with me—one that I have never had an allergy to in the past. To my disappointment, my skin continued to get worse. It really started to concern me because I couldn’t determine a cause.

I started to ask some of my colleagues about their hands—I was shocked to see that most of their hands were bad, too. Nobody seemed to know the real reason, other than the fact they suffered from severe Contact Dermatitis. “Maybe it’s the gloves,” someone said. Out of the question, I thought! I wear latex dresses; how could it possibly be that! Someone else suggested the rough paper hand towels. They did have a point; they are cheap and probably packed with chemicals.

When my allergy symptoms were really bad, the one and only thing that offered me relief, was taking a dose of Piriton (also known as an over-the-counter antihistamine, called Chlorpheniramine Maleate). Seriously, that stuff is amazing. Much better than any other antihistamine I have tried.

Moisturising with beeswax and jojoba oil also seemed to sooth my irritated, blistered skin for a little while. I had always avoided products like Aqueous Cream because it has a tendency to thin the skin by as much as 10% over a period of time; not to mention the fact it is packed with cheap mineral oil and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), which is a skin irritant. It was a miserable experience; my skin condition became to dictate my life and personal hygiene routine. Soon, I couldn’t even bend my fingers without excruciating pain.

On top of the embarrassment, I started to worry about what other people thought of my hideous hands—they probably thought I had some contagious disease. That’s all a patient needs to worry about in a hospital!


A Reaction to Nitrile?

I had a long hard think about the things my hands come into contact with on a typical day at work. It wasn’t until I was restocking the gloves cupboard that I happened to read the side of the gloves box; it read “latex-free nitrile gloves”! That’s when I became suspicious. My last job supplied vinyl and latex gloves; my hands never reacted to those.

As soon as I got home, I contacted my occupational health department. They said it’s rare for people to have an allergic reaction to nitrile itself, hence the reason why they phased out the latex gloves in the first place. However, it is the additional chemicals (accelerator chemicals) and dyes added in the gloves manufacturing process which cause skin sensitivity in some people.

The side effect of these chemicals can be the cause of skin conditions such as contact dermatitis and pompholyx eczema; severe itching and blistering of the skin, often found between the fingers! I knew I was onto something here because that’s exactly what my symptoms were.

I was then told the allergic reaction can develop for up to 72 hours after initial contact with nitrile gloves. To my horror, adding barrier creams and moisturisers actually aggravate the condition because it pushes these harmful allergens deeper into the skin!

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Getting Tested for Allergies

At this point, I was so angry and confused, but also relieved. To think that I had been suffering unnecessarily for all these months and to be told to use steroid creams by my doctor. I will tell you now, no matter what you put on your skin, it will not eliminate the allergy itself – that’s probably why so many people with this painful skin condition find Steroid creams useless; simply offering nothing more than temporary relief.

The good news is, these types of allergies can be tested and confirmed (I later found out that it was something else). Once you know for sure what the cause is, you can stay far far away from it. For those of you who don’t wear these kinds of gloves, I highly recommend getting allergy tested for other substances and foods that you come into contact with on a daily basis.

Adult-Onset Food Allergies

Because I work in health care, I have no choice but to wear hand protection. That is why cotton liners are great—they slip under the nitrile gloves perfectly.

Over a few weeks/months, my hands gradually became a lot better, but they were not completely healed. I couldn't understand why it was taking so long.

Months later, I received the biggest shock of all: I discovered I had developed adult food allergies to dairy and lemons! It changed everything for me. All this time, I had been blaming the gloves when actually I had a silent food allergy brewing. I never saw it coming.

When I cut those foods out of my diet, my hands made a complete recovery. The nitrile gloves basically added to the skin irritation, presumably because they made my hands hot and sweaty. If I hadn't have used the cotton glove liners, the inflammation would probably still be there to this day. I was simply stuck in a "healing crisis" that I couldn't get out of.

Several months later, after all traces of inflammation had disappeared, I can actually wear nitrile gloves without liners for the first time. Zero inflammation (unless I lapse and have a sneaky piece of chocolate—then I get another flare-up). Chlorpheniramine Maleate keeps this under control, though.

Never Give up Hope

When I suffered from pompholyx eczema, I was frustrated and confused. Nobody knew why I was suffering but I had faith in myself that I would find a cure, eventually.

Don't let people tell you that this condition is untreatable. For me, a newly developed food allergy was the root cause, all along. I can't explain why the skin does this, nor can I explain why it shows up on the hands or in weird little patches. All I can suggest is that you create a food diary to start with.

If you are not allergic to something you are eating, chances are you have touched something that you are allergic or sensitive to. Do a little detective work, and good luck!

More information

This is a great information resource for dyshidrosis. Worth a read.


It would be irresponsible of me to offer medical advice to others based on my personal experiences alone. I am not a doctor or dermatologist, only a sufferer of pompholyx eczema / dyshidrotic dermatitis. Everybody is different; people react to treatments in very different ways. Therefore this article is intended for informational purposes only.

Please visit an experienced, qualified dermatologist for advice and diagnosis. If you don’t get the answers you need, try another until you do.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Anky on July 27, 2018:

Yes, yes, yes. Diet without milk cured me.

Karen, from Michigan on March 12, 2018:

I also have had dyshidrotic dermatitis for over 40 years is worked in the nursing profession and it started in my later twenties. I had seen a six different dematoligests and two allergests over the years allergic to nickel and latex I have used numerous script creams over the years and gotten gloves it would always come back my newest dematoligests is staying on top of it I took a mega dose of steroids last year , gained 15 pounds had the moon face and hands cleared up so he tapered me off came right back ,used isotopic seam a whopping $180 copay didn't work so now on methotrexate 20 mg once a week lab once month,before next dose done this for six months now great results, no bumps no terrible itching use halobestasol point. And eucrisa oint. once a day and serve oint. throughout the day this has been wonderful hands haven't been like this, normal in forty years!!

China on December 27, 2017:

From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you for writing this article about your trials and tribulations with ezcema. I'm so sorry you had to go through everything you did. I too had my share of the awfulness that is called dyshydrotic ezcema. It started on the top of my right middle finger, slowly spreading its wrath down and around my finger. As the months progressed, it began to slowly spread across to the other fingers. My events were no where near as agonizing as yours must have been but they were agonizing nonetheless. If my finger wasn't itching like mad (did you ever feel like amputation may have been a possible option?) it was burning like hell. I spent sleepless nights slowly being driven insane. I didnt have the money to go to an allergist so like most people, I turned towards Google. I'll admit, I didn't find your story until months down the line and I went from one story to the next - swapping out our detergent, hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, adding water filters on water faucets - nothing worked. And then I found your story and it clicked - milk. I remember my folks told me I'd have a rash anytime I ate parmesan cheese but I figured I outgrew the reaction. Needless to say, I cut out all forms of dairy and within a week, my finger began to heal. Its been a few months and I'm back to a normal and glorious hand. ✋

Lana on December 22, 2017:

I too developed this menace after beginning a career in nursing. Six months in and I would cry at the thought of having to put my hands anywhere near anything. I struggled with that impossible itch for 10 years. Even after switching to a non threatening desk job, it persisted. Doctor prescribed topical creams etc but most of them just made it worse.

In about the 7th year I went thru a bit of financial trouble. It got SO much worse. I would irrationally angry at people who could just wash their dishes without any hesitation, and even contemplated cutting my hands off. I had gotten used to them being bound in bandages to stop me scratching that I figured I could deal with a hand less existence.

One dermo even told me of akilling possible "cure". Unfortunately it also caused cancer in many of the recipient's. Still, I have it waaaay more thought than I should have, just for an itch free, albeit shortened, existence.

So during this period of financial stress I just assumed that the problem was exactly that, more stress, worse hand. But I was living on a gluten rich diet. Every meal was pasta because it was cheap and filling and to distract my kids taste buds I would bake.... a lot. And of course I ate all that gluteny goodness as well.

Financial stress eased with a new job, hands eased off but still were as bad as the pre stress era. Then my sister, on her latest health kick, talked me into a gluten free diet. Me being the supportive sister I am gave it the obligatory 1 month (about how long my sister sticks to any new fad). By the end of the month I noticed a notable improvement on my hands. I still had flair ups between my fingers and around the tips, but no longer had any on my palms. Stoked! I've kept up the gluten free diet sort of, I'll still have a sandwich or slice of cake occasionally, and I still get the odd flair up now and again.

I combat these with vinegar or hand sanitiser. The stuff in the skin bubbles is an acid, which is why it itches. Vinegar is alkaline so it neutralizes, and hand sanitiser is neutral so it helps when you're on the go, you just have to use it more often.

I can also use a facial cream again as long as I remember to rinse my hands thoroughly after. I hand been able to moisturize my face in years. Same with washing the dishes. I can do it again but I have to rinse my hands for about 5 minutes under water after I'm done to remove any residual soap.

I also have to avoid any products with aloe Vera. Usually soothing but for my hands, it's an irritant.

It's taken three years but I have finally developed a routine that sees me only getting a flair up every few months, and it usually from too many pieces of cake.

I definitely recommend doing an elimination diet to see if anything you eat is a contributing factor. And I hope one day you'll all be pompholyx free.

Yours in perpetual itching

Lana :)

Charly Dickens on November 27, 2017:

Naturally, you have to avoid the worst external triggers / allergens. But we can still get this unbearable itching, the following scratching & rubbing, the aggravated histamine reaction, then the resultant blistering etc...

1) To instantly stop the maddening itching, over the relevant spot(s) apply heat of a hair dryer until you just cannot longer bear it -without actually burning yourself. The trick is to use a penetrating heat, over several seconds; so don't use too high a heat. Alleviation can last for hours. (You may aim to get some weird -not unpleasant- "wave" getting up your limb -total end of all itching.)

2) When the damage has been done, and the healing wounds start to crack and become VERY painful, apply a well sticking "paper" plaster, This allows breathing, is a barrier to irritants and the oxygen prevents many infections, but at the same time it stops the pain that comes from the wounds' cracking. (E.g. TENDERSKIN Hypoallergenic Paper Tape. 3M have a very good, thinner (pink) paper tape like Micropore.)

For me, I found the above two measures "life changing" and turned an impossible hell into a mere "inconvenience".

And it WILL pass.

Gi on October 14, 2017:

Will try stop consuming lemons and dairy and see if i am allergic to it. Ive been consuming lemons non-stop and had this breakout on my feet :(

Ankyheal123 on September 15, 2017:

Hi All,

I was suffering from pompholyx for about 16yrs. Thankfully it didn't spread to my hands however was just switching between figures.

Here is how it get cured. I do not know whether this will cure others or not but it worked for me.

I have quit everything that is made up of milk including milk. for eg biscuits, ice-cream, chocolates etc... now I do not have even a single blister.

Hope this helps.

Ankur on September 04, 2017:

Hi Guys,

I was suffering from this for almost 16 yes and it was shifting between fingers.

I have quit all milk related products and with God,''s grace I am cured.

Milk, biscuit.... Chocolates etc... I did this for about 1month and this worked.... But I think it can come back if I start having milk products.

So now I m not having these....

Hope this helps... on August 14, 2017:


I read you post and it was incredibly informative. You state that pathogenic microbes upsetting the immune system is what causes dyshidrotic eczema, how does someone begin to rectify this and help their body fight the eczema??

Jay on August 07, 2017:

Hi laura i have also been struggling with this for years now doctors kept on giving me creams but it never helped it would never completely dissapear and it just kept on coming back. Personally im someone with a few allergies . How do you find out specifically what causes your skin to react like this

Sanne on July 24, 2017:

I get eczemas like that if I eat anything that contains the preservative CITRIC ACID. Citric acid is made from the mold spores of Aspilligius Niger and it's in so much food, even organic food. So if anyone have this problem, try to cut out citric acid. My hands heal fully in 2 weeks and now if I ear anything with it I have a flare up.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on July 21, 2017:

Hello Maureen, I am so happy to hear that your skin is healing. It can take a long time for the inflammation to disappear (several months in some instances) so it is worth persevering with. Once your skin is healed, you could try different gloves perhaps i.e vinyl? Some nitrile gloves are laced with chemicals during the manufacturing process so look out for 'accelerator free' on the box. It is also worth noting that gloves can aggravate symptoms without being the actual cause. For example, an underlying food allergy can cause the initial rash but the gloves can exacerbate it. Thanks for getting in touch!

Obmn on July 19, 2017:

When I first noticed the spots on my hand; I was so worried that it won't go off. I researched all the internet about dyshidrosis and I found out that it does not stay permanently; and it did not. It lasted for 3 weeks just exactly all the clinic pages stated. I did not know the cause but I assumed it was because of excessive amount of caffein or tea. So I stopped drinking coffe and tea. But it did not changed a thing. So if you are reading this the only advice that I can give you don't get frustrated because it will go off eventually. If you be patient and most importantly hydrate your body (shower) by the help of humidity the spots(dead skin cells) will start to peel. Instead of trying vinegar,aloe vera etc. for the cure, if you be patient and calm I think you would speed up your healing process. Otherwise if you have any allergy for the cures that you have been trying you may trigger heavier atopic excema and consequences would be much worse. SO KEEP CALM AND HYDRATE YOUR BODY.

Maureen on July 18, 2017:

You just saved my life. Mine looked just like yours and it started when I had to take of an elderly and had to wear gloves all the time. I thought I had contracted something and all this while it was the gloves. I just got the cotton liners a few days ago and my hands are making a great recovery. It had taken over my entire hand and was spreading to my wrists. I was getting depressed and embarrassed because of it. Thank you soooooo much.

Maddy on July 17, 2017:

I got Pompholyx for the first time when i was 6 years old. My parents took me to countless different doctors and everyone diagnosed it as a different thing from impetigo to contact dermatitis. We got countless different steroid creams that were horrible to use... eventually it just cleared up on its own and with some natural hand cream. I just came to deal with the embarrassing flare-ups every 6 months or so as a part of my life...

When I moved out of home I decided to investigate the issue for myself and found 2 things that really helped me:

1. If you have a break out, soak your hands in apple cider vinegar mixed with water for 10-15 minutes at a time.

2. I completely agree, this condition is cased by an allergy and can be cured by finding out what it is. For me it is sugar. Without a doubt. If I eat excessive amounts of sugar, I will start to get a tiny break out. As soon as this happens I stop all sugar immediately and it clears up. I can't even remember the last time I had a noticeable break-out but it is at least 5 years.

I know how horrible it is when you have a break out, you just want to hide in a corner so i'm telling you don't give up! Just find out what you're allergic to, cos it's something.

Mirela on July 02, 2017:

I've been dealing with this for a very long time. Celiac was causing it in my case, as far as I determined. I get blisters now and then ( I have to wash my hand pretty often at work and the job involves chemical testing) , but they don't get as bad as they used to. I used to have the pitting nails as well. This is a very good article! Thank you

Maryam on June 24, 2017:

Do you have pitting nails too? on June 22, 2017:

This is the best available information as at 1st JANUARY 2017

Dyshidrosis (also known as Dyshidrotic eczema or Pompholyx,) is small, fluid-filled blisters on the palms and fingers of the hands in 80% of sufferers, or the soles of the feet in 10%, with another 10% having the minute vesicles 'blisters' on both hands and feet. Usually the condition starts on the interdigital skin of the ring finger and spreads to the glabeous skin of the palms and the soles. This special skin has more sweat glands, more pressure receptors, and histamine receptors. It is not unknown for ordinary skin on the arms and other parts of the body to have the vesicles.

When it is on parts of the body other than the hands and feet it is usually, tho' not always caused by contact with a substance that excites, irritates and annoys the body's immune system and usually appears within minutes of contact. This is Contact Dermatitis.

Dyshidrosis proper, affecting the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet only, comes on slowly, starting with a few itchy blisters which increase in number and itchiness for no apparent reason.. Once the blisters dry, cracks form in the skin which can be unsightly and very painful. This is Delayed or type IV response to an allergen.

GPs frequently misdiagnose Dyshidrosis as Contact Dermatitis.

Causes of dyshidrosis

If it is dyshidrosis, and not contact dermatitis, the root cause in all cases is the 'Id reaction' . The 'id' is short for 'dermatiphid' or 'dermatophyte' and the reaction is a histamine reaction (or allergic reaction) to the dermatophyte. The problem is finding the dermatophyte, which is usually a fungus or a yeast or a mold. It may be a bacterium or a virus, which are technically NOT dermatophytes. If a person has Athlete's foot, caused by any one of a number of tineas, which are fungi, then curing the Athlete's foot will cure the dyshidrosis.

1/2/15 edit: Thanks to the many e-patients who have contacted me via this site, (this is a rare condition, and live, ‘in-person’ , patients are hard to find). It is now clear that any one of the millions of different microbes in the gut/GIT can mutate in response to steroids which have been prescribed up to a year previously. Pregnancy and the natural hormones of pregnancy also are a major cause.

HRT continues to cause many cases and the hormones given as fertility inducers are also culprits.

The ‘Pill’ or any kind of oral contraceptive is a cause. Curiously, sometimes just a change of the type of pill prescribed enables the mutating effects to be eliminated. The morning after pill, a potent cocktail of hormones, has been found to cause a particularly fast onset and hard to eradicate dyshidrosis. This may be due to the potency causing more than one species of microbe to mutate.

1/117 edit: It appears that many of the SSRIs Zoloft, Lyrica etc have the ability to mutate the gut bacteria. Note that when steriods of regular strenth fail to work, many MDs turn to PREDNISONE, a powerful immune suppressant. This is to be avoided.

Dyshidrosis is almost always misdiagnosed by MD/GP doctors as contact dermatitis, but almost never by podiatrists, who see much more of it in conjunction with Tinea. aka Athlete's foot. Dyshidrosis may be seasonal due to the increase of mold in the air due to weather changes. People tend to confuse this with respiratory allergies. Antedotal reports of increases after storms and floods and with continuing hurricanes are undoubtably due to damp conditions aiding mold growth, in the air, and in buildings.

Most people have the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus on their skin, and their immune systems recognize it as present and relatively harmless. But in some cases for reasons unknown, the immune system sets up a histamine reaction to this commensal bacterium and the result is dyshidrosis or eczema. In the UK, but not in the USA, the guidelines for the treatment of eczema are 'bleach baths'. In which 2 or 3 times a week, people with eczema, including children, sit in a bath of warm water with half a cup of 4% chlorine bleach (general household type bleach) in it, no more. This kills a lot of staph and other commensals, and it can appear to cure eczema. It does not stop the histamine reaction, but it stops the cause of the histamine, the immune system searching for the 'enemy' but unable to find it as it is outside the body. 1/2/15 edit: The link between atopic dermatitis ‘eczema’ and dyshidrosis appears to be stronger, i.e. same causes, mutated gut dermatophytes or commensal bacteria but different parts of skin or different histamine receptors affected.

The greatest cause of dyshidrosis is Candida Albicans. C. Kusai, and C.Tropicalis. This is unproven and difficult to prove. Everybody has Candida as a YEAST in their body, in their gastrointestinal tract and other parts. It is the cause of Thrush in babies and vaginal infections in women. Dyshidrosis is 2:1 (different studies cite different statistics) women to men, and this may be a reflection of the preponderance of 'yeast' infections suffered by women. 1.2.15 edit: Women with a history of yeast infections, who find they have low fertility, should try to have a douche and cervical wash with Nystatin. It may be that the Candida has become established higher in the vagina, the cervix and even the uterus. Remember that Nystatin is a ‘kill on contact’ medication, and if it does not reach the Candida, it cannot kill it.

Candida is present in most people as a commensal yeast so it is difficult to say Candida must be the cause of dyshidrosis, since so many people with Candida have no dyshidrosis. The test for Candida does not differentiate between Candida Albicans in its yeast form or in its fungal form.

My hypothesis is that only the fungal form that damages the gut wall causes the 'id reaction', that flood of histamine that causes dyshidrosis.

Candida Albicans is an opportunistic pathogen. Given the right conditions this usually harmless yeast (If you have AIDS you can die from Candida infections) can morph into a fungus of great tenacity. This is definitely recognized as the enemy by the body's immune system. A histamine reaction comes into play. But: The dimorphic mycelial (ie fungal) Candida is usually hiding in the gut walls, at the bottom of the microvilli, the histamine cannot find it, cannot attract repair enzymes to the site, dyshidrosis is the result of the excess histamine going to the histamine receptors in the glabeous skin. Ie the ‘fingerprint’ skin on the soles and palms via capillaries and along nerves. The left ring finger is a common starting point.

What causes the Candida to morph?

A change in hormonal status: Puberty, Pregnancy, the Pill, (hormonal contraceptives) Pumping Iron (steroid drugs) are the most common causes. A careful medical history reveals that the Dyshidrosis started sometime after one of the 4 Ps. More and more I see the various SSRI (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors) anti-depressants having this effect.

It has come to my notice that a lot of patients have had operations and been given large amounts of antibiotics and steroids as prophylaxis and then developed dyshdirosis. The greatest number of cases have arisen due to pregnancy. A significant number arise from the use of the morning after pill.

Often, stress is cited. Stress is a false enemy. Bad eating, too much sugar, not sleeping, and stress hormones like Cortisol, and other physical factors of stress probably encourage Candida to morph into its mycelial form. But the root cause always seems to be due to some hormonal/steroidal change. 1:2:2015 edit: ALWAYS! Stress is NEVER THE ROOT CAUSE. I am fed-up with patients and their GPs insisting that stress is the cause. It is not. A pathogenic microbe upsetting the immune system is the cause.

Naturopaths talk about 'The leaky gut'. They believe that the mycelial Candida roots to the gut wall allowing food that is not properly processed to leak into the bloodstream and cause food allergies. This is unproven. It's a good theory, but at the moment, it is hypothetical. There are physiological problems to th

KathieLukas on June 16, 2017:

Using Foderma serum has completely controlled and nearly eliminated my Dyshidrotic Eczema on my feet! Amazing product. I would highly recommend to anyone!

Steph on June 15, 2017:

I COULDNT BE HAPPIER. Cured dishydrodic eczema on my hands finally after over 9 years and have been free of it for 4/5 months now. I feel I need to share, how I did it because i know it is excruciating and it really gets you down. I want to help anyone else that is going through what I went through. It is especially hard to live with it when your a mum of young children. I tryed creams from docs numerous times but it always came back worse. I tryed cutting out certain foods and got tested for allergies, But all clear. There was no pattern to certain foods, stress or products I had been using. If anything lots if things aggrivated but was not the root of the problem. When you live with something for so long your constantly thinking will this effect it? and how come it has flared up? Wat did I use? I cut out soo much, trying to find the cause. It really got me down as I struggled to hold my daughters hands or to wipe their faces as everything hurt or cracked my skin. I trailed the Internet many times and one night i found info on nappy cream so I thought I would give it a go. Nothing to loose. When my daughters were babies and got a bad nappy rash my midwife told me her special concoction which really worked miracles. So I thought maybe it might work for this too. When I was around the house or ready for bed I smothered my eczema in a mix of sudocream, vaseline and metanium nappy cream (the bright yellow one) and put my hands into little clear sandwich bag then put on gloves. So it didnt rub of all over the place. After one night it wasnt itching, burning or as raw. Within a few days I had much relief, with a week it was dissapeering and shinking. I kept on doing it every nite as I seen it was helping. until it was totally gone gone gone. For a couple of months after my skin was still dryish, so just a little vaseline helped where it was needed. Now my skin is totally healed, scars gone, I can see my lines and ceases in my palms again. Such a relief. Smooth like a baby's bum!!!. Please try it. Nothing to loose. It changed my life for the better

Dippydi on June 09, 2017:

Yes Maryam I have an allergic reaction to nickel

Maryam on June 09, 2017:

Hi I'm from Iran

In my country,the information about this egzema is very limited

Can it happen because of nickel allergy?

Dippydi on June 07, 2017:

Hi It is so upsetting to hear how many people out there are suffering with this condition , a condition I myself have been suffering for just under 24 years I am coming up to my 50th birthday soon and so have had this for half my life , I have tried every cream you can think of , & soaps , I have also tried Chinese remedies nothing has worked , I have problems walking with the pain and swelling of the soles of my feet and toes as they are covered and both palms of my hands and partial fingers mainly the palms I have seen many Dr's and skin specialist, I was given a treatment at one time was meant to be on it for 6 -12 wks then ended up on it for 6 months it was a tablet called Toctino you can only get it from a skin specialist as you have to be monitored every 4 wk"s plus your bloods tested monthly and eyes tested it is a tablet that comes with side effects and restrictions to be able to take this - you can not smoke , you must stay in the shade , avoid direct sunlight , it can effect the liver so that is why your bloods are monitored - it did start to work within a couple of weeks but then stopped working so they prolonged the treatment and then when my hair had got to a stage where it was thinned out I said no more now I am loseing my hair and it's not working they said they would try something else but could effect my kidneys so I said no no more I will stick with cream's so I have ., that was about 6 years ago . My hands and feet are still awful I ended up having to take time off work as I have a lower back issue , and with the pain of my hands and feet plus my back it has got to much for me -- any how , I do take antihistamines daily but only over last few weeks as I read some where to do that and it has helped , I have an allergy to Nickel and rubber as I had skin tests , I do not wear fake jewellery now but did for years (miss wearing outfit jewellery ) but it has helped I have noticed the difference from wearing it to not wearing it as flare ups were severe , I came across this and I am so excited to now try dairy free products I have started from this morning so I will keep all updated and get back in a couple of weeks see how I'm getting on , it would be life changing for me to be able to walk without pain something I have not felt the pleasure of for over 20 years it will be life changing for me ,

The forum is very helpful and has opened my options as I am willing to try almost anything without drastic effect to my body i.e.: like loseing my hair as before , this is an exciting time for me now thanks again xx

Alicia85 on May 05, 2017:

I use foderma serum daily to help with a stubborn case of eczema. It provides help and relief equal to or better than the steriod creams that have been prescribed by my dermatologist.

KR on March 04, 2017:

I have been suffering with dyshidrotic eczema for almost 4 years. It started when I was pregnant and has continued throughout the first 3 years of his life. I was always pretty healthy before pregnancy. About half way through my pregnancy I started eating for fun and not so much for health. By the end of my pregnancy I was eating some form of junk food pretty much every day.

About 8 months ago I started developing painful lumps in my breasts and underarms. I saw a doctor who instructed me to go on a total elimination diet. (I was on the blood type diet).

My painful lumps disappeared. For the first time in almost 4 years, I could wash my hands without pain. And the backs of my knees didn't keep me up at night with a terrible itch.

Well.....after 60 days symptom free I gave into the holidays and slowly added in some of the junk food I had recently given up.

My flare up was worse than ever before. I have dyshidrotic eczema bumps on both hands, my ears, my jawline, chest and I have almost scratched the back of my knees completely off.

I make all my own soaps. I wear cotton clothes, organic bras. The whole nine. The only thing I changed was my eating habits. I am 100% convinced that dyshidrotic eczema is caused by the foods we eat.

I am back to the blood type diet. In 2 days I have had no new bumps or flareups. As much as I love pizza and burritos, I would way rather sleep comfortably at night and shake people's hands without pain and embarassment.

I am so happy to have found this post. I hope that my story helps. You are definitely not alone!

heather on February 18, 2017:

My son is 24 now he has alsmost the same issue but the problem is his hands are so sweaty you can see it drip we were asked to try a roll on basically for hands but that made him feel like the sweat was under the skin of his palms causing it to get really hot . We went to a dermatologist who said he might have to get this equipment that sends currents to your hand and might help to resolve it but it is too costly and I am a bit worried that once this is stopped it could sweat excessively under arm pits.

This is really casuing him distress he does not want to wish anyone as he is so embassed with his hands they sweat, then blister, and starts to peel and his skin is so soft that tit tends to bleed. before the bister happens he gets small red spots like the size of a pin picrk under the skin. I am not sure if this is the cause of the excess sweat or is it another allergy trigger. and together they make it worse . the peeling and blistering happens about 4 times a year worse in summer. Please if anyone can help me resolve this it will really help us both,

Thank you and God Bless you all

Dani on January 19, 2017:

Hi. I've been suffering from Dyshidrotic Dermatitis for almost 8 years. It started when I was allergic to the soap at my new job. I tried all sorts of ointments and such. I too have a nickel allergy. I was able to go almost a year symptom free by treating it with Flonase (anti-histamine nasal spray) topically when I started getting blisters and gold bond anti-itch lotion when it was dry and cracked.

Then, about 8 months ago I started getting IBS symptoms. I was diagnosed with post viral IBS. Every time I get an IBS flair-up I also get an eczema flair-up and not only do my old solutions not work but the lotion actually makes it worse now! The flair-ups are way worse then they ever were before too. It's spread and I get deep cracks between my fingers that keep me up at night and keep me from using my hand at all! My allergist does not believe that Dishydrotic Ezcema can be an allergy issue (I told him he's wrong) and my GI specialist doesn't think a diet can trigger the ezcema. The only thing that's been helping is taking time off exercising (sweating forms more blisters and I do Jiu Jitsu so the contact and hand use can exacerbate the cracking) and using liquid bandage for the cracks which stings like you wouldn't believe! But it's better to have the 30 seconds of sting and be able to sleep. I also find staying away from caffeine can cut down on the sweating and the IBS issues. Hope this can help with anyone looking for new treatment options.

Natty on November 21, 2016:

Hi folks,

I found the best ways to instantly relieve the itching are:

1) Ice cubes wrapped in a cloth, place it on the skin for 10 minutes

2) Rubbing alcohol (70%), put a few drops on the skin and gently rub in

3) Green clay (or similar), make a thick paste with water and spread it onto the skin, let it dry, rinse off. Skin will be very dry afterwards, so pure aloe vera gel can moisturise it.

For those with a dietary nickel allergy, I had success with extra iron and vitamin C, charcoal pills to bind the nickel, and a low-nickel low-cobalt diet. I hope this helps.

Tatu on October 13, 2016:

your information shared has been the most relevant to me. Considering finding out from every single nook and corner for the cause of the irritation. And of all, I love the fact you brought out not to get discouraged whoever say eczema is not curable. I second the believe there is a cure! Thanks so much for your story...I am counting on myself based on this that yes I am gonna get rid of dermatitis

A.R (India) on October 09, 2016:

So I was suffering from this excruciatingly disturbing condition for a month and half until I visited this miraculous doctor last month. She prescribed the following to me that showed ten on ten results in just 4 days! She asked me to follow this regime for a month. Today is only the tenth day and my hand skin is new, healthy, soft and shiny. All the red, painful, itchy patches and bumps vanished. I guarantee that you will thank me later. I obviously googled the condition and carried out an extensive research including all the blogs and everybody had been prescribed some steroid creams, etc. by their docs. So I specifically enquired with my doc if her prescription contained steroids. And they don't! So the results remain permanent with very slight scope for relapse which may be treated with this again. So here goes:

Arovit (chewable vitamin A tablet)- 1 after breakfast and 1 after dinner.

Simrose 1gm- 1 after breakfast.

Zyrtec 10mg- 1 after dinner.

Uprise D3 60,000 IU- once in a week, choose any one day.

Cetaphil DAM cream- Moisturiser in the day time.

Pasitrex-C ointment- Apply before bed.

Cetaphil bar soap- To wash your hands.

Sweet-Life on September 17, 2016:

I have something I want to share & hope it works for others. Although I have always been allergy prone and have very sensitive skin.... in February 2013 horrible stress & ailments began. It was a perfect storm ... dental surgery, severe grief/stress .... abrupt life changes, etc.. All I know is within one week of Feb. 7, 2013 so much went wrong no one could believe it. I broke out in hives basically on every square inch of my body... everywhere! And I mean everywhere... & inside my mouth down my throat... tongue, everything. It was life-threatening (my throat closing up rapidly from anything) & diagnosis went everywhere, too... from lichen planus to finally urticarial vasculitis - chronic urticaria with severe angioedema.... Everything in my life changed & pain was excruciating. So, since I could do nothing but resolve my condition... I no doubt tried everything from cold baths, bleach, vinegar, natural remedies, strict diet eliminating all wheat, flours, wine, cheese ... basically almost starving at times... but drinking distilled water .. & praying without ceasing. Over the years, I did get some of the outbreaks to diminish... & I avoided the obvious which would set off a new life-threatening episode .. my face swelling up so severe my eyes were completely swollen shut. The obvious triggers were - raising my blood pressure (any & all stress), talking (it raises blood pressure), parabens, all soaps & shampoos & creme rinses, bug sprays, lawn sprays, sunlight, air pollution, heat, etc... & any industrial fermentation products - which I found out is really in everything now & if you read about the practices of this in our foods - you will definitely be shocked at how much we put our bodies through .... auto-immune actually is a legitimate way the body reacts to horrible bacterial & virus onslaughts. So, along with everything else people may recommend ... yes - please try what would work for you individually & with your doctor... as many things can help with the pain & recovery including a vegetable & seed diet.

So, after several years to 2015 - I really had the angioedema & hives under pretty good control by the Grace of God .. Thank God! However, in 2015 I contracted some kind of virus from a restaurant food I believe... which set everything off again --- but once I was through the worst... my hands began this dreaded dyshidrosis! I looked up everything I could on this.. & again tried everything... My hands were so bad, swollen, useless, painful, ... & huge social disgrace trying to hide them.

I noticed that water or getting them wet at all increased the breakouts. Cotton gloves with plastic gloves over the cotton gloves was the only way I could wash my hair, etc.. During this time I kept reading how staph & strep bacteria were everywhere & always on our skin... some people being better carriers of it to slough it off on everything. I used alcohol &/or bleach wipes to keep the exposure less. I had read where cornstarch was an anti-bug natural remedy to put into the crevices of your house & floor boards ... as there were some ant problems in my house & I could obviously not use ANY bug spray or most cleaning products. Well.. Praise God! the cornstarch worked in keeping my home bug free.

During these past years, I had tried different powders .... medicated or anti-fungal, etc.... to relieve itching & breakouts.... but like Benadryl NOTHING really helped.... I bought a new Johnson's baby powder of "pure constarch" with aloe & vitamin E... & noticing it said it absorbs moisture... I determined that my hands were only better when they were overly dry... So, I put some in a plastic bag *so I wouldn't inhale any powder)- & "washed" my hands in this pure cornstarch. Wow! it really began relieving my hands! I kept this up... & like I would go out of my way to NEVER get my hands wet.. but just leave them totally covered all the time in cornstarch rubbed in constantly. Within about two months, my hands were really pretty good... by three months it was a regular routine & I was actually excited & amazed to have my hands back at all. It has now been over 7 months & no outbreaks! Thank you Jesus!

When I start to feel anything ... especially two fingers often start-up & sometimes my palms get the characteristic bumps... I immerse & rub in the cornstarch! It stops the new eruption / breakout cold!.. I have also found it stops most of my hives on my face, too - if they ever get in contact with whatever might trigger the angioedema /urticaria problem.

My theory on this is strictly an opinion, but I believe my body's immune system is re-acting to real threats of bacteria, virus, etc.. from contact on my skin to my internal intestines. Since I have a very strict diet - I am not exposing myself to huge amounts of industrial fermentation - bacteria, etc.. inside... and as far as outside contact.... I believe when I touch something on my skin or hands which no doubt contains the typical staph / strep bacteria everywhere. the cornstarch somehow surrounds the bacteria & prevents the site from getting further deep into my skin..... whereas washing my hands in water & any soap... kind of opens the skin pores more allowing the bacteria to go deeper into the skin. I also ALWAYS wash my hair, hands etc... in the coldest water I can stand as otherwise the heated up skin/ scalp will have a re-action.

As this remedy has worked for me (& my daughter, too - who has some skin problems) - I have been meaning to post it for others to find - since I gained a lot of insight during all these years from the support groups etc.. for severe skin & auto-immune disorders.

Best to all of you & much love! ... & may God bless all!

johanna on July 28, 2016:

I'm glad i've arrived on this link - very informative and supportive. I started working at a restaurant as a server 4 years ago. after a year went by i developed dishidrotic eczema, hands only. i've been researching and testing for the last three years. i have been experimenting with elimination diets. use the powder-free gloves, not the powdered gloves....okay, maybe it's the nitrile gloves in general, don't use them, no, not that....eliminate dairy for a few months, eliminate gluten for a few months, eliminate shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, clams (it's a seafood restaurant with a lot of PERKS so that was hard) ....

nothing helped.

the rash travels. it started in the palm of my right hand (the cracking and bleeding were awful), after a year of that my left palm became bad as well. almost a year later my fingers were on fire but my right palm was starting to not be so bad. then a couple of months ago inflammation/itching/cracking/bleeding started on the back of my right hand, and last month, a patch started on the back of my left hand. Currently, there is one tiny patch on my left palm and nothing on my on my right palm.

i use lemons EVERY day. i'll eliminate that next. if it helps, i'll get back to you. great feedback, everyone. thank you.

Cathy on July 23, 2016:

My problem was caused by food allergy - eating tofu from soya for 3 months daily (250 gramms of tofu daily) plus a lot of stress. I developed allergy for soya products after too much eating it everyday.


When I stopped eating soy and added vitamin called biotin 5 microgramms a day it quickly improved. Biotin helps in wound healing a lot. It was a breakthrough for me. You can buy it in a pharmacy, as a drug or food supplements.

Jennifer on July 15, 2016:

Hi i've had dyshidrotic dermatitis since 2009 although i didnt know it at the time. i went to a few different doctors and they would give me regular cortizone cream and antifungl creams to help but like people have said they dont help so i suffered in silence and just treated as best i could on my own with different creams and changed soaps constantly to see what helped, in 2011 i got pregnant and for some strange reason (im guessing hormones) my condition was in remission for 9 months omg it was the best feeling, but a few months after having my son it came back with a vingance like it had a score to settle, to start out with it was on one hand and on the index finger, but after i had my son it came back on both hands and was so painfull i was hard to hold my baby, so i started treating on my own again with different creams and soaps, to no avail, finally when i was pregnant with my second baby i went to a dermatologist and he gave me a diginosis of eczema and a prescription for this big tub of a steroid cream and sent me on my way with no other explination, using the ointment didnt work all it did was helped with the itching but i had to wear cotton gloves to bed and the oitment ruined my sheets. so finally having enough i did a little digging and found another dermtologist in my area with raving reviews this past december 2015 i got an appointment and she did 2 biopsys to check everything out for me and gave me a prescription for a special ointment and anti itch medication to help with the itching also gave me sample of soap and lotions for me to try that were made for eczema....with everything she gave me i was able to get my hands clear and so soft (its the best feeling in the world) when she got my biopsy results back it showed that i do have and alergen to somthing but i havent gone back for the patch testing yet as i wil have to because my hands are begining to flare again but heres hoping that i can find out what it is that im alergic to exactly and get it out of my life

sorry for such a long post but i finally got it off my chest and mybe someone will find hope in reading and find a way to find some comfort in there own condition :) cause we all know having this is SO painful

Tash on May 02, 2016:

Oh man if I'm allergic to lemons (entirely possible now you mention it) I will die!!

Maria on February 05, 2016:


I'm 30, and from Spain. My dyshidrosis started on a finger on my hand just like you described 2 years ago. It was also after I moved to my current job. I was under a lot of stress so I think that started it. Now I'd say the only thing that stresses me is this horrible condition. It's 8 am and I'm writing from my bed as I couldn't sleep. I got 3 or 4 outbreaks during this time, my hands itched and I'd scratch them but it was never as bad as now.

Like 3 weeks ago it started on my feet as well. I haven't been able to sleep well in the last few nights because my hands and feet itch really bad. I've been to several doctors and on Tuesday I expect to take the patch allergy test.

I know I have allergy to nickel (jewelry) and spring allergy (but it's not acute at all). I've never had food allergies and I actually eat all kinds of stuff.

Doctors only prescribe corticoid ointments with antibiotics for 2 or 3 weeks and then a corticoid ointment after that. It helps control infected blisters but that's all. They also prescribe antihistaminics but it itches. The last time I went to the doctor they prescribed an ointment called Protopic 0.1% that cost 70 € (60 gram) and has scary side effects. I'm starting with it in a week after I'm done with the antibiotics.

I've been looking on forums (glad I found your post :) ) looking for any alternative as in this case I've seen medicine won't stop it, and found some interesting things I'm trying: evening primrose pills (started taking them 2 days ago) and yesterday I read that soaking the affected areas in a mix of 1/4 white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and 3/4 water for like 20 min a day helps. I started yesterday so let's see if it helps.

During the day I can control the itching most of the time but at night when my hands and feet are warm it starts itching like crazy and I can't sleep :(

All I know is I'll be looking for natural remedies as medicine isn't helping a lot and I am very concerned about side effects. I'm also looking forward to the allergy test (even though the doctors I visited say they don't believe it's an allergy).

Thanks for sharing your story. I'll come back to tell you how it goes (and to get it off my chest)

Mindy79 on December 05, 2015:

I have had dyshydrotic for over a year now. I fist thought it was gloves that I was using at work but then ruled that out. I now think it has something to do with soaps and shampoos. It has gotten better since I bought natural shampoo that is organic.

I still have out breaks but not as bad. I did go to the doctor and got prescribed steroid cream for my hands. I just try not to use it because it thins your skin.

I have tried so many things to make this go away. Coconut oil dried out my hands, neem oil, jojobo oil, and organic lotion. I find that after each break out my skin is very dry. I am just so fed up with it. Almost losing hope but cant until my hands are somewhat normal. Any feed back would be great!!!!

AK on July 08, 2015:

I've been suffering from this since I was 2 and I am 15 now. It's honestly the worst seeing so many skin doctors and having them tell me to use so many different ointments/creams that don't work. As I am typing this right now, it's the worse I've had it. Both my right and left hands are COVERED with tiny blisters and my hands are itching like crazy. It was only a few days ago where I itched my hands and tiny blisters would form within minutes. Before, my hands would get extremely read and my skin would open up and crack. Now, everytime I itch my hands, blisters form. My eczema comes and go very very often and it happens on both my hands and feet. Also, on top of that, my skin and whole body in general is extremely dry and sensitive. I honestly don't know what to do and it SUCKS that I'm going to have this eczema for my whole life.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on June 15, 2015:

Hi Wm, you have described the exact same thing I experienced. It will gradually spread across your hands, unless you determine what the problem is. Mine started as a small patch on my index finger. Then it spread to the bottom of my fingers, and over my palms at one point. It blisters and peels, leaving your fingers wrinkled and dry.

I too tried fungal creams but to no avail. For me, the problem was a sudden reaction to cows milk and lemons (never been sensitive to them before). It took me a couple of years to work it out. It was then, I realised that the problem was caused by my diet rather than the products I was using on my skin.

It might be worth cutting certain foods out of your diet to see if your hands improve. I would be interested to know whether cutting out dairy would make any difference. I know a few people who have had this happen to them.

Wm on June 14, 2015:

I think i have pompholyx... but mine arw not very big blisters, they are extremely tiny and they dry up, peel on the area between my pinky and fourth finger, then they show up again, and the cycle repeats itself. It has been more than a month, and it only seems to be spreading towards my third finger. Oh it itches so much at times and i can't even bend my fingers when it itches because it feels so sore, since the peeling and blistering extends to the bottom of my pinky and fourth finger.. it started about 3months ago, as a dry patch and a gp prescribed me chloematrizone(anti fungi) and it made it worse... then after some usage of steroid cream it went away but now its not working! I do not wear any gloves and have not used anything new(except changing body wash to cetaphil)..

Jeremiah Simpkins from Pulaski, VA on March 15, 2015:

Hey geek_princess, the doctor did claim that it was an allergic reaction to something. She didn't perform an allergy test on this visit saying it may have been a fluke, but if it reoccurs after this round of prednisone, I'll be insisting on it on the next visit. I can't eat myself out of house and home forever and generally just don't like the way it makes me feel. It seems to be drying up so far and the blisters have receded from my wrists and ankles. We'll see where this goes!

Laura (author) from West Sussex on March 15, 2015:

That sounds really painful, Jesimpki. I was in a similar situation where my skin would blister and peel off in sheets. I too, tried anti fungal cream but it didn't really make much difference.

Food allergies seem to be the big culprit for me personally. The other day, I indulged in a few chocolates and sure enough, my hands have started to crack and blister. If I have lemon juice, I get patchy rashes on my chest, in a similar way to what you have described on your ankles.

I would be interested to know the verdict of your allergy test!

Jeremiah Simpkins from Pulaski, VA on March 11, 2015:

Glad to come across this! I had an episode of dyshidrosis in middle school, and the peeling got so bad I had to wear bandages wrapped around my fingers. It went away on its own eventually after the anti-fungal cream I was prescribed did nothing but make it worse.

Unfortunately, its returned full force on both hands and has spread to my wrists, and is present on both feet, spreading over the top of both feet and up my ankles.

The blisters have only begun to form, but are already causing discomfort and itchiness. Have my appointment this weekend and hope to have an allergy test done.

J Cheeka on February 11, 2015:

I stumbled onto this article after searching for a low FODMAP chart and reading your article about IBS. I have recently been put onto a low FODMAP diet for IBS and then suddenly, over the holidays when stress was high and my diet poor I developed a patch of pompholyx on the palm of my left hand. I never considered the two might be related. More incentive to be better with my eating, I guess. Thank you.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on January 29, 2015:

Hi Emily! It is disgusting that your doctor did not warn you of the side effects. Everybody should be able to make informed choices regarding their own health. It is sad they deprived you of that right.

34 years is a long time to suffer from an allergy. How do you cope? Many years ago, I read about a pill that could banish allergies all together - it was going through a rigorous testing process before being sold to consumers. Nothing has materialised from it yet though, so maybe it will take a few more years. Even then, I am not sure I would trust it!

Emily on January 28, 2015:

This is really interesting. I am trying to get an appointment with an allergist, as I have had chronic eczema since I was a baby. 34 years is enough :P I would just like to warn people about steroid creams over time, I used a strong corticosteroid for too long (without warnings from my doctor) and it caused some serious upset to my endocrine system that I am still dealing with more than a decade later. Please, read all the side effects and use things like this sparingly! I have also had good luck with sulpher soaps and natural, locally made beeswax based ointments.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on December 28, 2014:

Great news :-) glad to be of help!

Phobos91 on December 28, 2014:

Thanks to you geek_princess i found out i was having a nickel allergy :) I work at my dads company a few days a week where i count coins in huge volumes and i was basically getting an overdose and having huge breakouts of Pompholyx and itching and LOADS of peeling skin... THANK YOU!!! :D

Laura (author) from West Sussex on December 22, 2014:

It is weird how it seems to appear in random places - when I have an overload of allergens in my body (from foods I am allergic to), I tend to get breakouts on my fingers and all over my chest. It usually occurs in the same places, time and time again.

Maybe you should get an allergy test done, Peachi? If you have developed a new allergy to something, that could explain why it has only started affecting you now. The same thing happened to me. Lemons and milk are problems for me...never used to be a problem before though. I just suddenly became sensitive to them. The human body is so strange sometimes!

Peachi on December 21, 2014:

Hi, i also suffer from this. I just can't seem to find the cause :( But more strangely i also now get them all over my upper arms, my knees, well and my feet.

The doctor keeps saying i have eczema and should accept it. but they just appeared out of nowhere :(

Eel on November 13, 2014:

Any kind. I used generic Walmart and another brand when at work.

It seriously worked like a miracle. It sounds counterproductive to do but OMG it works!

My son (a chemistry student) said, "hmmm makes sense, bleach is a base"

Laura (author) from West Sussex on November 13, 2014:

That is Brilliant, Eel. What kind of bleach do you use?

Eel on November 12, 2014:


I had been suffering from this for months. It is so painful, I couldn't work. The blisters, thick peeling skin, and the itching was unbearable! I tried everything, creams, anti fungal treatments, hydrogen peroxide, changing diet, soaps, etc. Nothing worked and it was spreading.

Finally a friend suggested bleach baths. A splash of bleach in a couple cups of water. Sounds too simple right? I swirled my hand, rubbing the affected parts for a couple minutes, then rinsed. The next day there was such an improvement, it was a miracle! Continued doing the bleach baths 2-3 times a day for a couple days (moisturizing in between) and my hand is back to normal!!!!!

It's THE only thing that worked! It's amazing!

Laura (author) from West Sussex on November 08, 2014:

Hi John. Maybe you should visit a sexual health clinic to get screened? They will test you for everything, including a blood test for HIV. If you have open wounds on your hands, you are at risk of infection, this is true but whether it is the cause of the Pompholyx...I wouldn't like to guess. Get screened if you can. It will put your mind at rest,

I have read all sorts of things on the net about Pompholyx. Some say it is linked to fungal infections. Some say it is linked to the things you touch. Others say it is linked to foods you eat or reactions to Nickle allergies. All I know is, for me personally, it was a dietary allergy causing it.

John on November 07, 2014:

The same signs of blisters shows in my palm and fingers, which started more than a year now when I started working in Myanmar. My wife and I really were troubled since we read some posts in the web that these signs of blisters in the hand are susceptible of HIV. Is this pompholyx or dyshidrosis can be a symptom of HIV? I have unprotected sex last year to some night clubs girls here in Myanmar. I'm really worried now, don't know what to do. Hope this is just same allergies as you have....I will try one of your advises and hope my blisters will be treated....

Laura (author) from West Sussex on October 24, 2014:

Thanks for the link Taranwanderer! :)

Laura (author) from West Sussex on October 14, 2014:

Hezekiah, This is really interesting. Thankyou for your post.

I wonder if dairy is one of the biggest causes for people in Japan too? I have heard that lactose intolerance is a lot more common with Asians due to absence of dairy in the diet.

This article published by the NHS, says "this may be because people from places where there has historically been no ready access to milk, such as Africa or east Asia, may not have evolved the ability to digest lactose as there was no significant benefit in being able to do so."

The moment I gave up milk and dairy products, my Pompholyx disappeared.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on October 14, 2014:

I love Salicylic acid! I use 20% as a strong facial peel, although I have never tried a weak solution in a body wash before. I will give it a try. Thanks! :)

Hezekiah from Japan on October 12, 2014:

Well done there. This type of skin condition is very common here in Japan with a lot of sufferers. Many do struggle and get full body eczema. Some even commit suicide because of it. There is always good doctors here though that can provide good creams.

Chauncey St Clair from New York City on October 07, 2014:

American here., I use dermarest with a 3% salicylic acid solution that is a miracle worker. I also use the acne pads like stridex or oxy with a 2% salicyclic acid solution. It might sound weird, but once I stopped using wet wipes--a lot my skin problems lessened in severity. I was apparently allergic to a chemical in the wet wipes. In addition to skin problems i also had horrible hemorrhoids as well! Now, I use the dermarest as an entire body wash and it keeps it all at bay. I swear by this stuff. It's weird but I'm learning all it takes is some kind of random chemical to trigger these awful outbursts. Thanks for sharing!!!

Laura (author) from West Sussex on October 01, 2014:

20 years!! Oh my god. How awful. :( That must make you feel so miserable.

If it is pollen, I have heard that consuming locally produced honey helps to reduce sensitivities. Also, putting vaseline/pollen barrier cream under your nose supposedly helps 'trap' pollen before it has the chance to enter your respiratory system.

Here is a link to the balm, in case you are interested:

It was so difficult for me to determine what my food allergies were, until I did a raw vegan diet for two weeks. I then introduced foods into my diet again and it became clear that dairy and lemons were problems for me. Now days, I try to avoid them but when I do occasionally indulge, I make sure I take a Piriton before hand. It works a dream. Other antihistamines are useless but Piriton gives me a good 6 hours relief from my food allergies.

I really hope you find out the root cause, Kristee. You are right though, speaking to other people with the same condition is a great comfort when you feel down. Best of luck.

Kristee on September 12, 2014:

I have suffered from Dyshidrotic eczema for 20 years!!! I am soooooo over it. I get it on both my hands and feet. It is painful to walk sometimes and now i have developed cracked heals on top of all that and it's miserable. I find that mine flares up seasonally. It is pretty much year round for me, but flares up more during Spring and Fall. So i think i have a pollen allergy. I don't know that there is much i can do about that except to maybe take anti-histamines. But i definitely need to do the allergy testing. I've been to numerous dermatologists and tried steroid creams, over the counter lotions, drank more water, ate better etc... I think mine is an allergy to certain foods too, because i didn't have such big flare ups when i was on certain diets.

Thanks for sharing your story. It's nice to know i'm not alone.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on September 10, 2014:

Hi Jagmohan, I wish I could give you a straight answer because it really is different for everybody. Milk and lemons are the foods which affect me personally but it could be different for you. Write down all of the foods you eat, daily, in the form of a food diary. Chances are, there will be certain days when your skin is at its worst. Eventually, you will be able to pinpoint the foods you are sensitive to, then you will be able to avoid them. I hope this helps

Jagmohan on August 26, 2014:

Hi, me suffering from last 4 years , Please let me know what to avoid in food ...

Laura (author) from West Sussex on August 10, 2014:

Yeah, I have been allergic to Nickle since a small child. The weird thing for me personally, is that I didn't develop the Pompholyx until my late twenties. Nor did I have an allergy to milk and lemons until 2 years ago. It just suddenly started out of nowhere. Oranges are fine...not sure about Limes though because I usually take a Piriton just to be safe.

That is a shame that your son is not willing to try Chinese medicine. Maybe he will come around to the idea if nothing else works?

Laura (author) from West Sussex on August 09, 2014:

Thanks for your post, Rachelle! Isn't that a sign of the times? I am convinced that manufacturers just randomly add ingredients to their products to make people's lives miserable. What Country do you live in, if you don't mind me asking? I am curious about this Rosin stuff. I haven't seen it listed in ingredients here in the UK (but that doesn't mean to say it is not there I suppose).

I too am allergic to Nickle so you might be onto something there. I know that lemons themselves seem to be a problem because I discovered the allergy after making homemade lemonade. That was a sad day!

Fortunately for me, I was able to pinpoint the problem foods and erase them for my diet and (touch wood) I haven't had any flare ups at all. I will be checking products containing Rosin though, so thank you for that.

I hope your son's trip to the Chinese Doctor is successful. I would love to hear both your experiences.

Rachelle on August 08, 2014:

Interesting post. My 17-year-old son has suffered since age 10, and we always thought it seemed related to diet as he would get a bout of diarrhea before every flare when he was younger. Anyway, after years of suffering we finally convinced the doc to do a few patch tests on him, and it confirmed my suspicion of a nickel allergy, as well as an unknown allergy to colophony/rosin/abietic acid/ester gum.

I thought I'd mention it, not to discount your dairy and lemon allergies (I have many adult-onset allergies too), but just for something to consider. Ester gum is used in almost all lemon/orange/citrus-flavoured drinks (Margarita mixes, pops, slurpees, sports drinks, etc.), as well as in many ice creams and some dairy products. Once I learned of it, I read online of many people suffering from dyshidrotic dermatitis/pompholyx who shared this rare allergy. We had already learned high-nickel foods as well as contact could cause the disorder in many people and noticed eating chocolate, oats, and nuts would almost always result in a breakout for my son 1-2 days after ingestion. But he had a stronger reaction to colophony, and all those breakouts shortly after sporting events began to make sense (thanks a lot, Gatorade!).

So while this knowledge has minimized the outbreaks, it is impossible to completely eliminate his allergens. Rosin is used in furniture/seat waxes, in paper, inks, lotions and other personal care products, OTC medicines, etc., and there may be other factors.

We're going to see a Chinese medicine doctor next week that has heard of the disease and treated it before. Our experience has been all doctors, including the allergist, believe it can only be treated, not prevented so we are looking outside the box.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Very glad you have found what worked for you. Thanks for sharing.

Ellen on July 26, 2014:


I found your post really great!! I too work in the health industry and have several flare-ups a year. I never did find anything that could help with the discomfort (steroid creams being next to useless), so your suggestions have given me a new direction to try! Thanks :-)

Laura (author) from West Sussex on March 12, 2014:

I hope the dermatologist gets down to the bottom of it, like the handbag!

That is curious about the sore skin on your hands and feet - my colleague experienced something similar when she had a really bad kidney infection. The practitioner she went to even asked if she had symmetrical sores on her feet; as if it was a common thing.

When the kidney infection was treated, the skin problem went away. I am not suggesting that you have the same issue but it just goes to show you how different health complaints are all linked together.

For me, it is diet related. If I eat dairy or lemons, my fingers begin to itch really bad - they soon develop blisters, shortly followed by cracking and peeling. I never used to be allergic to lemons or dairy. It happened all of a sudden.

Let us know how you get on!

like the handbag on March 12, 2014:

Mine started 3 months ago, but I had it on one foot on and off for a few years with no idea what it was. I was told to use double base gel. Started up again on my left thumb and has spread to both hands palms and fingers but this weekend my thumb and two fingers have swollen to fat sausages and won't bend! Using Betnovate cream and soaking in potassium permanganate, it eases for a day or two but is back again on the edges of both hands. I can't stand the pain and even holding a toothbrush is difficult.

Does everyone else get the constant tingling and itching? Seeing a dermatologist next week, so fingers crossed, if I can!

Thanks for all the good tips.x

Laura (author) from West Sussex on January 07, 2014:

Good suggestion Ray :) funnily enough, I purchased some Sulphur soap a while back. I smelled god awful but it was good!

Ray on October 25, 2013:

I've found that taking MSM powder (Organic Sulphur) helps ..... Google it, there's plenty of info on it....

Laura (author) from West Sussex on August 19, 2013:

Hi there! I am so glad you are seeing results. The problem with products these days is that they contain so many chemicals. Maybe you could try some unfragranced products to see if it makes a further difference?

I love Aveeno products - they are so soothing on my skin. I think its the colloidal oatmeal that works so well. They do a gorgeous handcream too for about £4.00. If you can afford it, Dermalex is also amazing. They do a range of products for problem skin, including skin allergies, Psoriasis and Rosacea.

R on August 11, 2013:

Hi, just want to say thank you very much. My hands have struggled a few times with contact dermatitis (it was originally thought it was staff and I was on antibiotics for 3 months!) and when reading your blog I realized; 1. stop putting anything on (steroid creams) - as they drive things deeper into your skin & 2. don't use any products for a few days to weed out if it is indeed a product (usually soap) in the house that is causing it. BINGO. 2-3 days later and redness, swelling and itch are ALL much better (really bearable) while before it was very itchy, swollen and not nice. Now to find out which product it is, but I have a feeling it's a combination of 1) the antibacterial handwash and it may be 2) the cheaper green fruity shampoo (from ALDI) I've been using. Thanks again HEAPS. It changed so much.

Laura (author) from West Sussex on January 07, 2013:

Oh my! I had no idea that phone covers contain Nitrile too! Thanks for letting me know Alvin - it is a good job I have a cheap Nokia :)

Alvin Philippines on August 31, 2012:

Thanks for sharing. I'm suffering same pain for 10 months and after reading your story I searched more info about Nitrile and found that my phone I bought 10 months ago has material made of Nitrile at the back cover ( BlackBerry Bold 9780 ). Again, thanks!

Laura (author) from West Sussex on August 07, 2012:

Hello Natalie,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Wow, who would have thought that vodka acts as an alternative to steroids?! That is amazing information, thanks for sharing! I have some Grey Goose Vodka in the house but I think it would be a bit of a crime to use that on my hands ;-) I will definitely buy some cheap-o Vodka to control my flare ups though.

The bicarb sounds just as impressive, especially for use at work. I wouldn't want people to think I had a drink problem!!

Keep in touch, I would be really interested to hear if you discover any more effective natural treatments.

All the best,


Natalie on August 05, 2012:

Hi Laura,

I'm shocked, reading your story is like reading my own story, my hands look like yours on those awful pictures.

I found relief by washing hands with vodka until now as an alternative to steroid cream (Diprosone), however last week came across some internet reading about this Dr in Italy who treats cancer with Bicarb Soda and while reading those articles thought what if my condition can be fixed with soda too, well... last few days feel great, highly recommend trying.

My condition also started when i started new job, don't wear gloves though.

Some main causes i guess is tress and hormones.

Good Luck, never lose hope.

P.S. found this interesting:

Laura (author) from West Sussex on July 04, 2012:

Wow, that's great information Janey! I will definitely read your story.

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.


janey on July 03, 2012:

I too fixed my pompholyx by doing two things

1 taking 2 drops of iodine per day

2 fixing my low body temperature

BTW I also got mine whilst working in a hospital, but not from wearing gloves.

see my story


Laura (author) from West Sussex on May 23, 2012:

Sarah, I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering. It is indeed an awful skin condition; I never realised just how painful and uncomfortable it was until I developed it myself.

There could be something in your environment disagreeing with your skin? It could be anything from laundry detergents, food, perfume, soap to cleaning products. Getting allergy tested might be a good start if you haven't done that already.

Chances are you have developed a sensitivity to something; something really ordinary that you use all of the time. Maybe one of your favourite products has changed it's formulation?

I have never tried oral steroids but I found antihistamines particularly good. They really helped me through the painful healing process until I discovered what the root cause was. When I removed the thing causing the irritation, my skin started to heal.

Keep us all updated won't you? I hope your discomfort comes to an end soon.

Sarah on May 23, 2012:

This condition is pushing me to the edge. I am miserable and need help to's been months. The only thing that heals my skin is oral steroid soon as I get to my last doses the itching, bumps, and oozing come back again full force... Thank you for sharing your experience. Please if anyone has any treatment suggestions send them to me


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