Below is an exchange of emails between myself and a young woman with what was diagnosed as Pompholyx psoriasis.
» 1st Contact from J's Mom
My daughter has been diagnosed as having really bad Pomphlx on her
hands and a little on her feet, what should she use? cream or capsules?
I have checked out Pompholyx and it is very similar to what I
after being diagnosed with scabies back in 1997 and being prescribed two
different pesticides to apply to my skin. I ended up in hospital covered
from head to toe with blisters oozing what looked like pus (sorry it is
After three years attending the dermatology clinic in the hospital
they had not made a diagnoses but I had been prescribed Prednisone, a
steroid oral drug, Betnovate, a steroid cream or ointment, and every other
steroid they could think of. Nothing helped me in the long term, just my
bank account dwindled away.
No doctor ever spoke to me about diet, about contact with chemicals or
my stress levels. It was only after I made the decision to stop attending
the hospital and try to discover what was causing my problem myself that I actually got control of the condition.
I discovered that the steroid drug
they were prescribing is immune suppressive and that if one is
suddenly taken off that drug that Pustular psoriasis can develop as a
I discovered that the pesticides I had been prescribed contained
ingredients which caused serious skin and immune problems and actually
in some cases.
I never thought about how my food could be contributing to my condition
as time went on I discovered for instance that drinking diet coke or any
soft drink with Aspartame in it caused my hands to itch like mad during
My brother had been telling me about neem and I had not listened
well to him but eventually decided to get some. At the time my hands were
bad that I could not straighten them out or blood would spurt from the
cracked skin. I could not dress myself, brush my hair or even feel with my
fingers because of the way the skin was so damaged and painful.
Within three weeks of using the
neem cream I could straighten my hands out again, within six weeks I could
touch things without feeling pain, within about three months I could do
my personal things myself and I could feel with my fingers.
way neem helped me I decided to import some neem from India myself, mainly
because the further orders I made to the company where I got my neem cream
had fallen through. I ended up making up creams for family members and
To this day I am still amazed at the power of neem. It
helps so many different conditions without toxic side effects.
Through using Neem I learn a lot about my body. I hope some of what I am going to share with you will help you to
help your daughter.
She needs to avoid all chemicals, household products like dish detergent,
bleach, bath and sink cleaners, air fresheners, laundry detergents other
than non-bio, fabric conditioners, window cleaners, furniture polish,
certain aromatherapy oils like Tea Tree oil neat on the skin, foods with
MSG in the ingredient list. Cosmetics with various ingredients which I
list at the bottom of this email. Personal hygiene products with various
ingredients again which will be listed at the bottom of this email.
with Lanolin, Alcohol, parbens or any synthetic ingredients in them.
Stress plays a huge role in the flare up of this condition. I have had to take control of
stress and be aware of my feelings at the times when I know there is a
of a flare up. So far I had one flare up this year but it is fine now and
know what to do to prevent it getting really bad.
The products I formulate have no chemicals, I use cocoa and other natural
ingredients because I know what my system can tolerate. I use the Neem
shampoo as a body wash and only use the neem oil cream, lotion or neem leaf
extract cream on my skin for everything, from wrinkles and sores, to
moisturiser, you name it. I use essential oils as my perfumes, Rose or
Patchouli, or mix a few different oils to make a nice aroma with some
almond oil because the alcohol in commercial perfumes cause a flare up. It
has meant a lot of changes for me but my skin is so much better for it.
Now about the protection of the hands if your daughter cannot totally
She needs to buy cotton gloves, which can be bought in most pharmacies,
those she needs to wear plastic, not rubber gloves, because there is a
chemical in the lining of the rubber gloves which irritate sensitive skin.
I recently a box of plastic gloves for sensitive skin
they last two or three turns. She needs to avoid latex altogether.
This is a link to a search I did on google.com on "Pompholyx psoriasis"
This link is to a google search for
Ingredients to avoid
I hope at least some of what I have shared with you here will help your
daughter. Please do not think there is no end to this because I think I am
living proof that there is.
» From J's Mom
Dear Kathy thank you so much for your help and advice My daughter [who is
called J] is travelling around at the moment so cannot really
mail anything to her I can only hope she can find neem products there
» From J
» I think my first priority is to get my hands under some kind of control. They are simply getting worse each day and as you know it is so frustrating not to say painful.
The 'Betnovate' ointment and 'LPC, Acid Sal in Sorbolene' cream seems to be making no improvements whatsoever. I have been on a course of Amoxycillin and Potassium Clavulanate antibiotics which is now complete with little improvement on secondary infection.
My right hand is so bad I can not bend the fingers, and the cuts are so deep, with weeping sores it is very hard to wear the gloves at night. My left hand is now catching up with right and soon as you said I won't be able to dress even. My feet have little bumps under the skin but so far seem to be not too active - fingers crossed (my little joke).
» From J's Mum
Big trouble J's hands are getting worse and worse she has had to go to hospital today and was told that it was the worst secondary
infection they had ever seen so we need to get these products to her a.s.a.p
» From J
The most confusing thing about Pompholyx seems to be that I cannot get my hands wet. Did you have this issue?
I wear gloves in the shower with water prove tape yet still when I take them off my hands are wet. With the Neem shampoo at least the chemicals won't affect the skin but I have no idea about the water. Is chlorine a detergent do you know? Like you I have already learnt how hard it is to get the correct plastic gloves and there really is not alot of choice here. The ones I have at present are non sterile non powder nitrile examination gloves but it does not mention what they are made from.
The cotton gloves get dirty each night and I have been boiling them in water instead of using a detergent on on them but I don't know if it is getting them clean enough. Is it very important to wear the plastic gloves over the cotton? I just wanted to clarify that you said non-bio washing detergents were ok to use?
If alcohol is a trigger then is it wise not to drink alcohol? Oh I have so many questions to answer and I am so sorry to have to ask you. You have already been like an angel in the night to me so please don't feel obliged to go into detail. Like I said I think the first thing is to get this under control.
» My response
Please stop wearing the rubber gloves and using tape because believe it or not these things may actually be contributing to the condition. No one told me not to get my hands wet, actually the only thing which helped ease the terrible itch was very hot water, otherwise I would have killed myself.
If your hands are becoming moist under the gloves then any chemical that might be in the gloves is adding to the damage on your skin. I know the cotton gloves are a problem when the hands are so sore but they are better than wearing something which cause even more irritation. Get larger cotton gloves or if you cannot get them I can get some here and include them in the cost of the products
» From J
I thank you so much for been so helpful. I really am getting very depressed by these sudden changes in my life but hopefully like yourself I can over come and manage it all. Who knows why it has happened but maybe in someway it will turn out to be a positive improvement, ie no more working all the hours god sends polishing cutlery for next to nothing. Its been nice to get alot of the above off my chest and I very much look forward to hearing from you.
Just wanted to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and hope all is well. My hands are now under control, still not right and still go weird if I use soaps and detergents but they seem to be much easy to control now. My nails have gone very strange but I don't really care too much...no more itching is great. I often think of you, take care, J
It's always good to hear from you. Happy New Year to you also.
In recent weeks my hands have developed a few blisters also but I know what to do now in order to avoid a major breakout. I think with Christmas and everything I was not careful about contact with household chemicals.
You really will have to look at using soap, shampoo and other toiletries with no chemicals. It might be easier to do when you get back to the UK. My nails went yellow and ridged when all my skin problem was going on but through the use of the neem oil cream they are no longer yellow and cracked.
Take Care and keep in touch
20 August 2004
» My fingers are under control now and I have just had allergy tests done, and am allergic to fragrance and nickle. The hospital can't do alot but I still use the gloves and try to avoid chemicals etc.
» Last great update from J
9th Nov 05
I think the last time we spoke i was just back in UK and was very confused and was still ill with the hands. I then went to see an excellent homeopathic doctor.
We talked for some time, well Ii did, and through the talking I came to a decision that what I really wanted to do was make art and be creative, something that I had always been very good at yet had abandoned in my early 20's (as so many of us do).
And so off I went and guess what as soon as I started using my hands creatively my skin improved and continued to improve.
I think my hands have been in the same condition for over a year now. I would describe them as sensitive in that I have to use hand cream and sometimes they are a little worse than other times and I have to be careful around chemicals etc yet I don't need to use gloves anymore- i have been showering without gloves for a year...pure bliss!
I really do attribute these changes to using my hands in a way they wanted to be used..not washing tables or glasses all day everyday but instead been creative and imaginative with them.
I just had to follow my heart and trust my instincts and so therefore lots of good things have been happening with apparent relative ease. (certainly no struggle)
So good things have come from a bad situation. I think that can also be said of your story Kathy can't it? I think we should both be proud of ourselves. It is marvelous what you are doing for other people and thanks for remembering me and caring for me still, very much appreciated.
~ Love J