Sharing my experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema, also known as Pompholyx, as well as, how I’ve treated it thus far, what it even is, my symptoms (complete with photos), & the potential causes of this hand & foot eczema.
This post (originally posted in March 2021) documents my experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema, also known as dyshidrosis or pompholyx (which is an ancient Greek word for bubbles). Dyshidrotic eczema was something I struggled with for over 2 years. My eczema first showed itself in October of 2020 & I had no clue what I was dealing with for the first 5ish months until I received a diagnosis.
At the time of writing this post, I was living in Norway. I finally received the diagnosis after months of searching to find answers into what was going on. Below I will share my entire experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema which is a foot & hand ezcema, more in depth throughout this post. Long story short, this experience was nothing short of exhausting dealing with the brutal itching & painful flares on my left hand. After learning that what I had been dealing with was in fact eczema, I began to do a handful of research to help assist me in healing my eczema naturally.
My Experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema
Overall, I want to share my entire experience dealing with my Dyshidrotic eczema in case anything I did can potentially help someone else along with their own personal eczema journey. Eczema is something that is very personal. I’m almost certain that no two people have the exact SAME case. With that, please take what I say with a grain of salt. I am NOT a doctor or medical practitioner. I am solely sharing my experience, complete with photos of my Dyshidrotic eczema (which aren’t pretty) & will continue to share what works well for me on the journey of healing my eczema naturally.
Check out these posts next:
- Part 2: My Experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema
- 369 Medical Medium Advanced Liver Cleanse Review
- How I Healed my Eczema Naturally
Early October 2020, I woke up one morning & noticed a strange red pimple-like bump on the inside of my left ring finger. Slightly above where my wedding band & engagement rings sits. The bump was prominent & hard. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t painful or itchy. My energy healer, not knowing what we were dealing with, suggested applying baking soda onto the area. As well as, a band aid in an attempt to dry out the area. At first this seemed to work.
About nine days later, the single red bump was now surrounded by multiple little red bumps in an almost perfect circle. I was nervous it was ring worm. My energy healer confirmed it was not. Although the area changed, it still wasn’t itchy or painful. It just felt a little weird. These new bumps stayed around for a few days but leading up towards my birthday which was on October 20th, they appeared to flatten & dry up. Although I didn’t know what it was, I thought it was getting better & it actually seemed to almost disappear. BUT, I woke up on my birthday & I could feel new bumps under the skin & since then, the bumps only got worse.
I arrived to Norway on October 26th, 2020 & after arriving, the area on my ring finger progressively got worse & worse.
Even though the bumps were spreading, changing color & becoming very red & inflamed, they still were not very painful (only uncomfortable), nor was it itchy until December 2020. December was the first time I sought a second opinion because my finger flipped a switch & appeared to be getting much worse. My skin was starting to itch, was very scaly, & was extremely red & inflamed.
We went to the emergency room because that was the only option we knew of in our city. I felt like the doctor I saw did not fully understand the severity of what I was trying to explain to him. There was definitely a language barrier. Regardless of what he understood or not, he mentioned that he thought it was eczema & prescribed me my first steroid cream. He said it was a strong steroid. So after two weeks of applying it daily, I should experience relief. However, it only got worse.
After not experiencing any relief (whatsoever) with the first prescribed cream, I began to doubt if it was indeed eczema.
I have never had eczema or any skin condition really, aside from acne. Honestly I didn’t think eczema could be this extreme.
One night I went down a rabbit hole & came across scabies, which is coincidentally very prevalent in Norway. My extreme symptoms linked up almost exactly with symptoms of scabies – specifically the intense itching (especially at night) & the way the bumps were forming. I truly thought I had scabies & went back to the emergency room to hopefully be told I did or didn’t. After being seen by another doctor, I did not receive an answer. But I was told that I could do a full body scabies treatment to hopefully kill off all of the “bugs” if I did in fact have it. It was miserable. Both Devin & I had to do a full body scabies treatment for 14 hours in an attempt to solve this issue I was having.
Obviously from the title of this post, it’s clear that I didn’t in fact have scabies.
The full body treatment I did was supposed to bring upon relief within two weeks. After two weeks of doing the treatment & still not seeing any relief, I still thought I had scabies but I was told that some prolonged cases of scabies can become immune to the lotion treatment & a second pill treatment is necessary. On the 14th day after my first scabies treatment, my mind was set that I wanted to get prescribed the scabies treatment pill. Devin found a smaller doctor in our city – so we didn’t have to go BACK to the hospital – and we booked an appointment to go see him.
It ended up working out for the best. Because although I went to see that new doctor to hopefully get prescribed the final scabies treatment, this new doctor confirmed that I did not have scabies. But rather, it was eczema with a bacterial infection on top, hence the fluid filled blisters. During this first appointment, my finger & palm were too inflamed for him to tell what type of eczema it actually was.
The doctor prescribed me a round of antibiotics to take for 10 days to take care of the bacterial infection.
Although I am not the biggest fan of antibiotics, I felt extremely desperate & did not want to take any risks with the bacteria infection spreading or growing into something worse or much more serious. The bacterial infection most likely was a result of my excessive itching. Along side the antibiotic, the doctor prescribed me yet another strong steroid cream to use for two weeks.
The antibiotic definitely helped calm the severe red inflammation & skin bubbles full of puss which showed the doctor that there was indeed something bacterial going on. After completing 10 days on the antibiotic, I went back to the doctor for a follow up. And that’s when he told me it was Dyshidrotic Eczema, also known as Pompholyx.
What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?
Dyshidrotic Eczema is a chronic skin condition that involves clusters of blisters, called vesicles, on the hands, feet, or both, that intensely itch & burn. This condition may also be referred to as foot-and-hand eczema, Dyshidrosis, Pompholyx, Vesicular Eczema, Palmoplantar Eczema, or Cheiropompholyx.
Who’s most likely to get it?
Dyshidrotic Eczema is most common in people ages 20-40. And is twice as likely to affect women rather than men. If you already have another form of eczema, you unfortunately might be subject to getting Dyshidrotic eczema as well. Some people may experience single flare-ups. But it’s much more common for this type of eczema to come & go over long periods of time according to the National Eczema Association.
What symptoms did I experience?
Below are the most common Dyshidrotic Eczema symptoms. I had/have all of them except the excessive sweating.
- Small blisters on hands or feet
- Itching or burning
- Excessive sweating
- Pain in the effected, blistered area
- Scaly, peeling, dry skin
What causes Dyshidrotic Eczema?
The exact cause of Dyshidrotic Eczema is unknown, but several things can trigger it such as…
- Contact with certain metals, specifically nickel
- Sweaty or wet hands & feet
- Warm, humid weather, or changes in temperature
- Certain treatments for a weak immune system (immunoglobulin)
- Seasonal allergies
- Having a family history of atopic dermatitis
- Exposure to chemicals such as fragrance in personal care products
I believe the outbreak of eczema on my hands started as a result of stress, a low-nutrient diet, a weak immune system, & my history of being autoimmune compromised. Many functional doctors don’t often talk about how crucial diet & the role of food plays when it comes to healing our bodies from chronic conditions like eczema. While in Norway, I overconsumed processed foods, soy, lacked essential nutrients, & wasn’t eating enough to support myself internally or externally due to a variety of reasons. I found myself consuming more inflammatory foods & oils not necessarily on purpose. But because I lacked options overseas & many days I simply lacked energy to cook.
Long story short, I could go on & on about what I could have done differently. But the fact of the matter is I did the best I could with what I was given, as many of us do. Now being home, I have access to many more tools & nutritious food to now facilitate healing.
It’s also interesting because there is a definite link between eczema & autoimmune conditions & disease…which I have as well. According to Healio Dermatology, “autoimmune diseases that are significantly associated with atopic dermatitis includes: alopecia areata, vitiligo, chronic urticaria, celiac disease, chronic glomerulonephritis, Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, unspecified inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis & rheumatoid arthritis.” It is not unusual for people who are autoimmune compromised to also have eczema.
How long have I had it/how it started?
I first noticed a small red pimple-like bump on my ring finger in October 2020 & that’s how it started. I struggled with eczema for 2 years before I found relief after doing my first Medical Medium Cleanse.
How have I treated it?
Since I was in a grey area for so long about what I was actually dealing with, I tried over ten natural remedies including baking soda, honey, topical & oral CBD, Apple Cider Vinegar, cotton gloves, Neem Oil, Olive Oil, Oregano Oil, homeopathic remedies, & more. Nothing helped. After I reached a point of exhaustion, I sought medical advice & “treated” it topically with a variety of steroid creams ranging in strength, in addition to the 10-day round of antibiotics to treat the topical infection. I used a total of 5 steroid creams & none helped.
For many months, the only relief I experienced during an itching flare was to run my hand under ice cold water until I lost feeling. Most nights I ended up doing this in the middle of the night. Because that’s when I experienced the majority of my flares.
How do you cure Dyshidrotic Eczema?
There is no “cure” to Dyshidrotic eczema but there are things you can do to lessen your triggers, detox your body, & put the eczema into remission in a natural way. After reaching a breaking point in my eczema in the Summer of 2022, I decided to complete my first Medical Medium 369 Cleanse. Doing this cleanse changed my life because after completing it, my hand started to heal. At the time of updating this post (August 2023), my Dyshidrotic eczema is about 99% healed.
To wrap things up, if you too are currently struggling with eczema or have struggled with it in the past, I see you & I feel for you more than you know. Never did I once think I would get eczema. OR that it could be as miserable as it was. It flipped my whole life upside down. You don’t realize how valuable having a pain-free, working hand is until you have a hard time completing daily tasks like going to wash your hair, holding a grocery bag, doing dishes, typing on the computer, the list goes on & on!
At first, it was quite difficult balancing healing naturally & medically.
Especially when you feel desperate. Healing holistically & naturally can absolutely be done. But in most cases it takes trial & error & a lot of time. It’s definitely not instant by any means. And then you have the medical route. Obviously modern medicine is there for a reason. And I absolutely took advantage of it to an extent with my Dyshidrotic Eczema out of pure desperation & discomfort. But as with many other things, an antibiotic or steroid cream isn’t & wasn’t going to address the root of my problems. Which I knew, but I needed the relief. So I had to give myself a little bit of grace regarding that.
During the many hard days I’ve experienced, I found comfort & validation reading other people share their experience dealing with their Dyshidrotic Eczema which ultimately inspired me to share my journey. No two people have the same exact experience but knowing that someone is going through something a whole lot similar to what you may be going through can be quite comforting.
Don’t forget to check out these posts next:
- Part 2: My Experience with Dyshidrotic Eczema
- 369 Medical Medium Advanced Liver Cleanse Review
- How I Healed my Eczema Naturally
Sending those reading lots of healing!