Site Map

Pompholyx eczema

Cheiropompholyx; Pedopompholyx; Dyshidrosis; Dyshidrotic eczema; Acral vesicular dermatitis; Chronic hand dermatitis

Pompholyx eczema is a condition in which small blisters develop on the hands and feet. The blisters are often itchy. Pompholyx comes from the Greek word for bubble.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a long-term (chronic) skin disorder that involves scaly and itchy rashes.

Images

Eczema, atopic - close-up
Atopic dermatitis

I Would Like to Learn About:

Causes

The cause is unknown. The condition seems to appear during certain times of the year.

You are more likely to develop pompholyx eczema when:

Women seem to be more prone to developing the condition more than men are.

Symptoms

Small fluid-filled blisters called vesicles appear on the fingers, hands, and feet. They are most common along the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles. These blisters can be very itchy. They also cause scaly patches of skin that flake or get red, cracked, and painful.

Scratching leads to skin changes and skin thickening. Large blisters may cause pain or can get infected.

Exams and Tests

Your doctor may be able to diagnose this condition by looking at your skin.

A skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other causes, such as a fungal infection or psoriasis.

If your doctor thinks the condition may be due to an allergic reaction, allergy testing (patch testing) may be done.

Treatment

Pompholyx may go away on its own. Treatment is aimed at controlling the symptoms, such as itching and preventing blisters. Your doctor will likely recommend self-care measures.

SKIN CARE AT HOME

Keep the skin moist by lubricating or moisturizing the skin. Use ointments (such as petroleum jelly), creams, or lotions.

Moisturizers:

MEDICINES

Medicines that help relieve itching can be bought without a prescription.

Your doctor may prescribe topical medicines. These are ointments or creams that are applied to the skin. Types include:

Follow instructions on how to apply these medicines. Do not apply more than you're supposed to use.

If symptoms are severe, you may need other treatments, such as:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Pompholyx eczema usually goes away without problems, but symptoms may come back. Severe scratching may lead to thick, irritated skin. This makes the problem harder to treat.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have:

Related Information

Vesicles
Secondary infections

References

Camacho ID, Burdick AE. Pompholyx Hand and foot eczema (endogenous, dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx). In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 99.

James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM. Atopic dermatitis, eczema, and noninfectious immunodeficiency disorders. In: James WD, Berger TG, Elston DM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 5.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 7/25/2017  

Reviewed By: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2019 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.