Pompholyx Sharing My Experience

Jul 21, 2013

I am a 29-year-old male of Asian decent (Taiwanese) living in the United States. My first episode happened last November and has continued ever since. It was diagnosed by a dermatologist this April. The worst that I've suffered was when all my fingers and palms, toes and soles were covered with small itchy blisters. Currently my hands are 90% pompholyx-free (yay!).

I think there are three major factors that contribute to the outbreak (environmental, mental, and diet), and I'll explain each in more detail:

Environmental: During dry winter seasons, I develop skin rashes all around my body (guys hate lotion), I think if dry skin can contribute to skin rashes, it probably can contribute to pompholyx outbreak as well.

Solution: Make sure your body is well moisturized, I really don't enjoy the oily sensation, but it sure beats waking up to the itch in the middle of the night! Cetaphil cream (not lotion) work very well for me. Stock up when they're on sale!

Mental+Sleep: I was unemployed when the first episode occurred, and I think stress has a lot to do with it. Also, make sure you sleep at least 7 hours a day, and try to relax and think positive thoughts as much as you can.

Solution: I just try to be grateful of what I have... there are people out there who are suffering diseases 1000x worse than pompholyx or being unemployed....

Diet: The dermatologist told me to cut out chocolate and nuts (especially peanuts) completely. It was HARD. But I started about 2 weeks ago, and it's been working so far. There was a scientific study about the possibility of chromium in chocolate that induced a flare up (from breast milk)


For nerds like me, you can check it out (be aware though, it's just a sample size of 1!)

solution: see above, you can cut out coffee too, but that will be too hard for me.


As a prophylaxis, I take a 180mg fexofenadine every night. In addition, when you see (or feel) small blisters starting to accumulate, there are two topical steroids that I use.

0.05% clobetasol propionate (GSK markets it as Dermovate), ointment form

0.5mg/gm fluocinonide, cream form


clobetasol is listed as class 1, very high potency steroid, and fluocinonide is listed as class2, high potency steroid. My dermatologist assured me that applications to the extremities (fingers, toes) will not cause a lot of absorption to the body, so you can be very generous in your application.

I also take multi-vitamins. My dad (who's an MD) told me Asians do not absorb B-vitamins very well, so it's important to supplement with either B-complex or B-12 vitamins.

This is a pesky condition to have...

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I would've still done the surgery if this all turns out ok. I will eat better, drink more, and do whatever I have to do to keep this from recurring.

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