Photo Credit: Dyshidrotic Eczema / Pompholyx Source: DermNet NZ
Warning! Some of the photos shown below are very graphic!
My Experience with Eczema
Once Upon A Time in 2000, my hands developed dyshidrotic eczema (aka Pompholyx).
The condition resulted in itchy, burning, bubbly red and swollen skin that would burn and itch the more I scratched it (aka clawed the shit out of it with my nails) or rubbed it with a cloth or paper towel (rubbed it like a deeply embedded stubborn stove top stain!).
Next it would weep a clear liquid (like it was crying).
Finally, the skin would dry out, peel and shred into strips and my nail beds would become damaged mountain terraces.
Then it would begin all over again. Lovely, isn’t it?
I certainly did not think so.
I was constantly suffering this cycle of irritation, itching that made me grind my teeth, burning, skin weeping and then the sloughing of my damaged skin.
I felt frustrated, defective, embarrassed at the horror of my skin and helpless to do anything about it.
For years I didn’t even know what is was. So let’s start there …
What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?
According to the National Eczema Association:
“This common form of eczema causes small, intensely itchy blisters on the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet. It is twice as common in women as it is in men.
Because of the association with seasonal allergies, the dyshidrotic eczema blisters are known to erupt more frequently during the spring allergy season. The blisters may last up to three weeks before they begin to dry and can sometimes be large and painful. As the blisters dry, they may turn into skin cracks or cause the skin to feel thick and spongy, especially if you’ve been scratching the area.
Doctors also may refer to dyshidrotic eczema as:
- Foot-and-hand eczema
- Vesicular eczema
- Palmoplantar eczema
There is no cure for dyshidrotic eczema, but the good news is, in many cases it’s manageable. And like all types of the condition, it isn’t contagious. You cannot “catch” dyshidrotic eczema from another person, or give it to someone else.” National Eczema Association
So what now?
Science has not yet discovered why people suffer from eczema or how to cure it but we can minimize its impact on our lives by figuring out our triggers and taking certain steps.
In the next post I will tell you how to handle an eczema flare up so that you too can go from being controlled by it to controlling it.
Do you have eczema? How does it impact your life?