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How I Treated My Pompholyx Eczema (Dyshidrotic Dermatitis)

Updated on April 26, 2016

A Tale of Pain and Suffering

My hands have always been wonderfully soft and smooth, regardless of working in a job that requires me to wash my hands a lot. I always assumed it was because I took great care of my skin. I moisturise frequently 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’s weird that it only developed on my left hand and nowhere else!

I figured it was the brand of hospital soap at first 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 Bees Wax 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!

"As Soon as I Got Home, I Contacted My Occupational Health Department"

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!!

"The Good News Is, These Types of Allergies Can Be Tested and Confirmed"

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.

Cotton Glove Liners Were a Real Saviour for My Pompholyx Eczema

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 an adult food 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 Pompholyx Eczema 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!


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.


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    • Sarah 4 years ago

      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


    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 4 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • janey 4 years ago

      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


    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 4 years ago from Haywards Heath

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

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.


    • Natalie 4 years ago

      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:

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 4 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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,


    • Alvin Philippines 4 years ago

      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!

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 4 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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 :)

    • 3 years ago

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 3 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • Ray 3 years ago

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

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 3 years ago from Haywards Heath

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

    • like the handbag 2 years ago

      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

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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!

    • Ellen 2 years ago


      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 :-)

    • Rachelle 2 years ago

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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?

    • Jagmohan 2 years ago

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

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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

    • Kristee 2 years ago

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • Chauncey St Clair profile image

      Chauncey St Clair 2 years ago from New York City

      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!!!

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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! :)

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 2 years ago

      Sorry to hear all the things that have happened to you because of eczema - it's a terrible skin condition that one of my friends suffers from. If you have a moment, you might really want to consider researching the effects of diet on eczema; although there are many different topical treatments, diet is one that attacks the underlying causes - your body may not process grains (for example) and deep-fried foods, etc, very well and these can exacerbate eczema. I've read reports of people recovering completely with judicious diet choices...

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      Thanks for the link Taranwanderer! :)

    • John 2 years ago

      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....

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • Eel 2 years ago


      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!

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

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

    • Eel 2 years ago

      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"

    • Peachi 2 years ago

      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 :(

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      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!

    • Phobos91 2 years ago

      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

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 2 years ago from Haywards Heath

      Great news :-) glad to be of help!

    • Emily 24 months ago

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 24 months ago from Haywards Heath

      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!

    • J Cheeka profile image

      J Cheeka 23 months ago

      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.

    • jesimpki profile image

      jesimpki 22 months ago from Radford, VA

      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.

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 22 months ago from Haywards Heath

      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!

    • jesimpki profile image

      jesimpki 22 months ago from Radford, VA

      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!

    • Wm 19 months ago

      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)..

    • geek_princess profile image

      Laura 19 months ago from Haywards Heath

      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.

    • AK 18 months ago

      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.

    • Mindy79 13 months ago

      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!!!!

    • Maria 11 months ago


      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)

    • Tash 8 months ago

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

    • Cathy 6 months ago

      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.

    • paul HUSSEY 6 months ago

      ITS alway the simple things ,and life could be simple but we got money ,cures dont make money or doctor have come uo with nothing really we been to the moon we cant cure skin problems all my life there hormone related witch doctors hardly ,even look at but in my itchen day a year ago i studying baking soda ,i thinging that a ph nutal lizer for 1 dallar but tea spoon baking soda in 8 ouzes of water it really taste good ater a while people with gout it will stop the pain before you set down keep teeth white and rodar rooter o god you feel like dame my bloods flowing so may things ifact there nothing this know and day get this hulk hogan reselers athlets well were i vacation there legal in most of the world ,well i am 61 i started in i was in avage shape ,a moth later this no die pill this is anoblic your food is anblic read read read dont read the first one the goverment but that ther so lasy people do you know or hurd any sterid peole over dosing , i just add 20 years of good health to my body unbalivable everthing in our store are killing us i dont eat nothing man made veg frut watch sugar with frit and mean wild amiaml no chemicals so buy grass feed beef cattle wer never meant to eat grain and drugs thay give them , go have a drink with your neabor and stat tking and loveing peole not money there is a movement going on no one can tell were its coming from people on computer socializing and in school a class know social izing history learn drom the past good and bad

    • johanna 5 months ago

      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.

    • Sweet-Life profile image

      Sweet-Life 4 months ago

      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!

    • A.R (India) 3 months ago

      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.

    • Tatu 3 months ago

      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

    • Natty 2 months ago

      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.

    • Dani 4 days ago

      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.

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