Pompholyx eczema is a type of eczema of the hands and feet that causes vesicle eruptions, itching, and fissures which can be quite painful. Sometimes called dyshidrosis eczema because it is thought to be caused by sweating on the palms and feet. Pompholyx eczema generally cycles in periods of flareup with vesicles and resolves with the formation of scales. Pompholyx eczema can be a very difficult conditions because it affects your ability with common daily functioning.
Chinese medicine can help treat eczema and reduce your dependance on steroids. Chinese medicine works by correcting the underlying imbalance causing the eczema. Chinese herbal treatment can lead to long term improvement.
Chinese Medicine Imbalances for Pompholyx Eczema
The goal of Chinese medicine treatment is to correct the underlying imbalance in the body that is causing your condition. Chinese medicine takes a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment of eczema by not only examining the skin, but also inquiring about your overall health such as digestion, sleep, and stress. Each of these factors is considered when determining the imbalance.
The most common imbalances which cause pompholyx eczema are damp heat and toxins. The skin will reflect characteristics that provide information as to the nature of the imbalance. For example, redness in the skin and yellow crusting are signs of heat toxicity. While vesicles and swelling are a reflection of damp heat. The level of itching shows how intense the signs of dampness are.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Treatment for Pompholyx Eczema
The acupuncture and Chinese medicine are specifically targeted to the type of eczema you are experiencing. We say this is correcting the underlying imbalance. Acupuncture and herbs also help to regulate the inflammation that causes the eczema.
For example, if the skin is very red and there are many vesicles with significant itch the eczema would be cause by heat toxicity. Herbs such as zi hua di ding and pu gong ting may be included in the herbal formula. But if the eczema is less itchy and red and more on the feet then the herbs ze xie and fu ling would be used in the herbal formula to drain dampness.
Acupuncture is helpful to reduce the itch and regulate the immune system. With many cases, we can see itching and inflammation decrease within a month of treatment. Most often the cycles of flare ups continue but the intensity is reduced with treatment. The entire treatment course generally lasts 3-4 months.
Because in acupuncture and Chinese medicine we teat the root cause of the condition, people will often have long periods of time that are symptom free long after the treatment has finished.
Protect your Hands After they have Healed
The skin is very fragile after it has healed from pompholyx eczema. It is important to take steps assuring little skin damage during and up until 4-6 months after the treatment has ended (1).
1. Wash your hands as little as possible and try to avoid soap. The water should be lukewarm and dry hands carefully with a clean towel.
2. When shampooing, dyeing hair, or using lotion it is important to wear rubber gloves or it should be done by someone else.
3. Avoid direct contact with household cleaners and detergents. Wear cotton, plastic, or rubber gloves when doing housework.
4. Avoid contact with irritants which can include wool, fresh fruits and vegetables, wet diapers, peeling potatoes, and raw meat.
5. Wear dermal white cotton gloves under the plastic or rubber gloves. Rubber gloves can collect sweat and scales and further irritate hand dermatitis. White gloves next to the skin can protect the skin from further irritation. Several pairs of cotton gloves should be purchased so they can be changed frequently. Do not wear gloves for longer than 20 minutes.
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1. Habif, Thomas. Clinical Dermatology. Elsevier Health Sciences, (2010).