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 ingredient lists are simply horrendous. Anyway, I digress . . .
It was about six months ago that 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 soothe 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 began 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!
Read More From Patientslounge
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 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.
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.
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!
This is a great information resource for dyshidrosis. Worth a read.
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
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:
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:
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...
Sarahthompson02@hotmail.com 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?
Carolethecatlover@hotmail.com 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:
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) ....
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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biotin
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 ...so 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