My Pompholyx Cure
Pompholyx, Dishydrosis - Definition
Pompholyx, or dyshidrosis, is a form of cutaneous eczema and is primarily characterised by blisters on the hands and feet. The term dyshidrosis means "bad sweating", this term was once used because dysfunctional sweating was believed to be the cause.
Described now as acute vesiculobullous eczema, pompholyx presents as small blisters on the hands and feet. These blisters are puritic or itchy and look like tiny blisters which then scale and cause deep fissures. The condition can be acute or chronic and recurrence is common.
Pompholyx is not contagious, and there is speculation on the causes, specific factors may be stress or allergens.
My Pompholyx History
I discovered my pompholyx aged about 45. I was working in a hospital in the X-ray department. In order to ensure I was protected enough to deal with the patients, I had to have some vaccinations, MMR and the Flu vaccine. I am not making any association between the vaccines and my pompholyx, but is was sometime after being vaccinated that my pompholyx began. I thought I had contact dermatitis, a reasonable assumption working in a hospital environment.
The blisters, at first, were itchy but small, appearing as small blistering circles on the insides of my fingers, then they would simply disappear. After a few days they would reappear.
Slowly the outbreaks became more frequent and deeper and larger. The circles of blisters started to spread out, enlarging into big circles, then they would peel. This peeling was deep and became painful. As the months went by my pompholyx was increasingly difficult to live with.
Even though the blisters were in the skin, when my pompholyx broke out over a joint on my fingers, it would cause the finger to change its physical appearance, the shape of the joint would change. I began to look as if I had arthritic joints.
Then finally it started to break out on the palms of my hands and soles of my feet. These blisters were very uncomfortable. The itching would drive me crazy. At this time I hadn't made the connection that my hands and feet were suffering the same condition as the appearance of the episodes on my feet was different, it looked like little red blisters and was located right in the middle of the soles. I was so upset about my hands that I decided to go to my doctor. The diagnosis was pompholyx and I was prescribed steroid cream.
My Systemic Problem
Around the time I discovered my pompholyx, I was beginning to have other health issues.
When I researched my problem I discovered many people had pompholyx, and I discovered many people also had some other symptoms similar to ones I was having as well. My symptoms were very like low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism. I began to investigate the low thyroid function possibility to some detail.
The problem here was, that my blood results were normal.There is a great deal of controversy about hypothyroidism, and I have to confess I went down this route for quite some time, and spent a considerable amount of money trialling the different treatments and visiting various expensive thyroid doctors. Unfortunately, this approach using hypothyroid treatments, namely glandulars T2, T4, T3 and even adrenal support, just did not work for me.
One clear test which the thyroid groups often discussed was low body temperature. I had a very low temperature and I had had a low temperature for as long as I can remember, since being a child I could never raise it above 38.5C or 96.5F. I could not raise it with any glandular substances, thyroid supplements or adrenal etc. If my low temperature was indeed a problem, and conventional thyroid treatments didn't raise it, maybe, I began to think, I was still looking in the wrong place.
Around this time I was diagnosed with breast cancer, so now things were really broken and the race was on to find a way to fix my failing body by working on my compromised immune system.
How I Fixed My Pompholyx
Having discovered and decided that I had a low body temperature, and having also decided, in my own opinion, this was not right, I became convinced this was the reason why my immune system was compromised and my health was failing. Maybe this lowered temperature had compromised my immune system in some way? I needed to see if it was possible fix it and I needed to find a way to do it, if indeed it could be done.
Maybe fixing my low temperature might help optimise my immune system? Perhaps someone in the big wide world had done this? Perhaps someone had identified that living with a temperature of 35.8C was not enabling optimal immune system function and had raised their own temperature to the so called 'normal' of 37C?
I spent a few days searching using different keywords. Then, fortuitously, I found some very old writings by an engineer who was discussing the body temperature set points as if they were part of a central metabolic control system. His writing was difficult for me to truly understand, but I thought he had a very clear idea of how human temperatures worked, and, more importantly, he said he had managed to fix his own health threatening illnesses by fixing his own compromised immune system.
I felt like Alice stepping into Wonderland. This was a truly revolutionary approach to health issues. All I needed to do was find the author. This turned out to be easier than I imagined. There aren't many Steve Richfield's. Further, he had published his contact email address. It was a long shot, but I emailed him and asked for support. He replied immediately. Game on.
Within two days I was putting myself through Steve's own resetting process which he describes as self help with support. Firstly he had me do a couple of tests to see if I had central hypothermia. This involved doing a shower test, where I had to make some observations of how I felt as my temperature was being raised whilst in a hot shower.The results of the test helped Steve work with me to decide which method for my reset would be best. It took two weeks to reset my temperature with about two to three more years of maintenance.
As soon as I had started to function at my new temperature set point of 37C or 98.6F I noticed some immediate health improvements. One was my pompholyx. It began to gradually disappear, the itching subsided and the blister occurrences reduced. My feet cleared up completely, but I would still have the odd out break on my hands.
As part of my breast cancer protocol I had been introduced to an iodine protocol. When I started taking iodine the remaining pompholyx lesions cleared up and it has now stopped erupting completely.
Body Temperature and The Immune Systems
This is my hypothesis. I now believe that maintaining optimally operating immune systems is underpinned and dependent on the central metabolic control system in the brain selecting the correct operating temperature.
I think that if temperatures are either stuck high or low, the immune systems cannot operate optimally. If the immune systems are compromised then they start to allow things to break. I think this is why, over the years I was accumulating small subset illnesses, and as my compromised immune system could not deal with these diseases, more things began to break, my illnesses accumulated increasingly. It was only when it culminated in something big that I took some real notice and decided to find a cure.
I am aware fixing my low body temperature and optimising my immune system will not be a 'cure all', but it enables my body to have a go by itself a little more efficiently, which in the case of pompholyx seems to have been enough to fix it.
My Pompholyx Cure Four Years Later
Having fixed my low body temperature and optimising my immune system in 2010, I now operate cycling at 37C, I am still free from episodes of pompholyx. I have almost forgotten what it was like to suffer from it and I feel very lucky to have found my cure, it is a miserable disfiguring condition.
I hope my experience might encourage anyone suffering from this condition to continue to search for a cure. It can be done.
I am not a doctor, I am not in anyway qualified to give any medical recommendations. I would always suggest seeking professional medical advice. This is simply my own story based on my own experience.
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© 2013 Janey Hood