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Had Lunch Out with S. and ate too much. Have been spending the rest of the day digesting, puttering around, and waiting for the Internet to do something interesting.

Have to make an appointment with a dermatologist, or conceivably an allergist: my hands and fingers (and occasionally toes) keep developing small clusters of tiny, itchy, slightly inflamed blisters for no known cause. My GP's only idea (other than asking the usual questions about changes in detergent, etc.) was to test me for rheumatoid arthritis. Which I don't have, thank goodness.

(My objection to the contact dermatitis theory is: why would it affect my toes? Other than in the shower, there's nothing that both hands and feet come in contact with, except perhaps cat hair.)

Usually any given cluster will itch for a while, then stop, then start up again, so I really couldn't tell you whether cortisone creams work. They don't work immediately, I can say that. If it is an allergy, would Benadryl, or, better yet, Claratin, help, do you think?

My other idea is that it may be an id reaction, which (to generalize and probably mistranslate) is an itchy dermatological reaction on the body to a condition somewhere else in or on the body. It would be unusual for it to affect just the hands and feet, but I suppose not impossible.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
earlgreytea68
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
You may as well give Benadryl a try and see. It's supposed to be useful for all allergy stuff. However, it always seems to knock me out, which is apparently it's way of helping you deal with allergy stuff...
np_complete
Aug. 17th, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to buy some generic Claritin and give that a try. (These days, I walk a fine line between sedating and insomnia-inducing side effects!) Benadryl definitely knocks me out.
linwick
Aug. 17th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC)
Check out this site - http://pompholyx.co.uk/. I was just reading a blog written by someone who described the same symptoms. Seems to be heat related.
np_complete
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:51 am (UTC)
Thank you! That's very, very interesting!

I guess the thing to do is make the dermatologist appointment and talk about a patch test.
glory_jean
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
I get little blisters on my hands from anti-bacterial soap. But then again, I'm allergic to all soaps to some degree.
np_complete
Aug. 17th, 2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Interesting! On the palms or the backs of the hands?

I'm told there's a distinction (technically) between detergents and soaps (even though most people call everything that cleans a soap) and that true soaps (I think Woolite is one of the few) tend to be less allergenic. Have you found this to be true?
glory_jean
Aug. 17th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
</i>On the palms or the backs of the hands? </i>

Tends to be on my palms and finger tips. I avoid the stuff when I can.

Have you found this to be true?

Yeah, I notice with cleaners (that are detergents I think). Things like Windex and some of those will burn if they splash on me. Go with Simple Green instead. I use the "free and clear" laundry soap and I can't use deodorant soaps are the like. Ivory and woolite don't seem to bother me too much. Soap shopping is fun. ;-)

np_complete
Aug. 18th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
You've given me the thought to try changing to the least allergenic, most unscented body wash I can find. That's something that would affect my hands and feet together.

I now think (after doing a lot of reading) that I may actually have two different things going on, one on the backs and one on the palms of my hands! Because, although both blister, the blisters are very different and behave differently. Plus, I had the pompholyx-like blisters years before the current, back-of-the-hands blisters showed up.
glory_jean
Aug. 18th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Can't hurt to try the low additive stuff.

I may actually have two different things going on

Isn't that just typical? Sadly many sources refuse to acknowledge that contact dermatitis and other skin allergies manifest in many different ways.
np_complete
Aug. 18th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Persuant to the previous: what sort of cleanser do you use for your hands? Where people would usually use hand soap (like in the bathroom)?
glory_jean
Aug. 18th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
The Soft Soap brand seems to be less objectionable than most and doesn't seem to bother me much. I get big refill bottles for all the soap dispensers in the house. I can use Ivory dish soap in a pinch. When in public, I just suffer.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )