What is Fingers Eczema and How to Treat it?

Find out all about fingers eczema including symptoms, causes and treatment.

Pompholyx, it’s also known as dyshidrotic eczema, is a type of eczema which causes tiny blisters to develop across the fingers, palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.  Pompholyx can affect anyone of any age, but it’s commonly seen in adults under 40 years.


What are Symptoms of Eczema on Fingers (pompholyx)?


Pompholyx often starts as itching and burning of your skin on the hands and fingers. Then, the palms and sides of the fingers erupt into tiny itchy blisters that can weep fluid.

In severe cases, the blisters may become large and spread to the backs of the hands, feet and limbs. Moreover, your skin can become infected. Signs of the infection can include the blisters becoming painful and oozing pus or becoming covered in a golden crust.

Commonly, the blisters heal within a few weeks. As it starts to heal, your skin tends to become dry and crack or peel.


What Causing Fingers Eczema “Pompholyx”?


Unfortunately, it’s not clear exactly what causes pompholyx; however, it can be triggered or be worse by some triggers including:

  • A fungal skin infection: this may be on the hands or at a distant site from the blisters and it requires treatment.
  • A reaction to something that touch your skin such as certain metals, detergents, household chemicals, soap, shampoo, cosmetic products or perfume.
  • Stress
  • Sweating: pompholyx is more common in warmer climates, and in people with hyperhidrosis, those how have excessive sweating.


How long does Fingers Eczema last?


In most cases, pompholyx clear up on its own within a few weeks. The common treatments below may help relieve your symptoms in the meantime.

Fingers eczema may occur once and never come back; however, it usually comes and goes over several months or years. Occasionally, fingers eczema can be more continuous and difficult to treat.


Possible Treatments for fingers eczema “pompholyx”


  • Protecting your skin


  • You need to avoid contact with anything that might irritate your skin such as soaps, shampoos and other household chemicals.


  • When you’re at risk of contact with other potentially irritating substances, you can use an emollient as a soap substitute and wear cotton-lined gloves.


  • Don’t burst the blisters – let them heal on their own. If they’re particularly big, your GP may be able to drain them.


Treating the symptoms

Your doctor usually recommends to treat the symptoms of pompholyx are similar to those used when treating atopic eczema, including:

  • Using emollients all the time and instead of soap to stop your skin becoming dry.
  • Using steroid creamto reduces the inflammation and irritation and helps the skin to heal. Your doctor may prescribe a strong steroid cream to use for a short period of time, to minimize the risk of steroid side effects.
  • Soaking your hands in a dilute solution of potassium permanganate for 10-15 minutes once or twice a day for up to five days.
  • Using antihistaminesto relieve the itching and help you sleep if the itchiness is keeping you awake at night.
  • Use Antibiotics if your skin becomes infected.


Specialist treatments

If the fingers eczema keeps returning or it doesn’t get better with the above treatments, your doctor may refer you to a specialist in treating skin conditions.

A dermatologist may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • phototherapy which is controlled exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light
  • Very strong steroid cream
  • Immunosuppressant creams or ointments.
  • Immunosuppressant tablets or capsules.
  • Alitretinoin capsules which is medication that helps improve severe eczema affecting the hands.


Similar skin conditions


There are many skin conditions which have a similar appearance to pompholyx include:

  • Bullous pemphigoidwhich is a blistering skin condition that tends to affect the elderly.
  • Bullous impetigo which is a contagious skin infection that affects children and causes sores and blisters
  • Contact dermatitis: it is a type of eczema that caused by skin contact with a substance causing irritation or an allergic reaction
  • Herpetic whitlow: it is an abscess at the end of the finger that can cause it to become suddenly red, swollen, painful and blistered
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease: it is a viral infection that affects young children, which can cause small blisters to develop on the fingers and palms of the hands
  • Pustular psoriasis: it is an uncommon type of psoriasis that causes pus-filled blisters to appear on your skin.

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