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Exfoliative Keratolysis
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Avatar_n_tn
The joeplex protocol puts new meaning to the term "palm-sander".
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I have just encountered the same condition. I am a nurse and have worked in dermatology for awhile. None of the doctors I was working with could even diagnose or treat what was happening to my hands. I have at my disposal more topical creams that you could imagine. Steroids, antifungals, moisturizers alike were unsuccessful. I have seen a great improvement by using Cutemol. It is not an overnight cure. But I have used it for a week and found significant improvement in being able to touch things (without feeling uncomfortable). I would recommend this product to anyone dealing with EK.
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2101017_tn?1333504300
I have just encountered the same condition. I am a nurse and have worked in dermatology for awhile. None of the doctors I was working with could even diagnose or treat what was happening to my hands. I have at my disposal more topical creams that you could imagine. Steroids, antifungals, moisturizers alike were unsuccessful. I have seen a great improvement by using Cutemol. It is not an overnight cure. But I have used it for a week and found significant improvement in being able to touch things (without feeling uncomfortable). I would recommend this product to anyone dealing with EK.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this condition as well. I have tried every topical and and oral remedy I could find over the counter and homeopathic. The one thing that seems to help is tanning. Sounds a little crazy but I was going to the stand up tanner twice a week for 8 - 10 minute sessions because my doctor thought it might help as a good mood therapy. After each session I would feel great and after two weeks (4 sessions) the 'rash' had completely cleared up.
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Avatar_n_tn
That therapy is referred to as PUVA therapy. I tried that for 8 weeks. They put my hands in a small tanning bed and steadily increased the exposure time. It was ineffective for me, and cost a lot of money. Proceed with caution if you are considering this method.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had this for about a year and a half. Not as long as some, but continuously. I've had multiple splits on my hands for the entire time. It starteed with my right thumb and that'a still the worst. Lately, my fingertips split open. Like all of you, I've tried everything.
I've played a musical instrument my entire life. I haven't been able to touch it for months. I'm a pen and ink artist and it's getting to where I have trouble holding my pen.
I think we've all discovered that the medical proffesion is useless to us. They really don't understand it, the information is contradictory, and there doesn't seem to be a cure. It either goes away, or it doesn't.
Steriods proved useless to me. I've read that steroids have no affect on EK in general. Then, in other articles, they reccomend steroid cream as a treatment option. It certainly had no affect on me.
I think it's cotton glove time for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
Go to an Afro American Beuty supply and ask for Indian Hemp Grease and glob it rubbing into ur skin,also get syrup and apple vinger and mix it together and dip ur hand in for 10 mins at atime.Iv been taking apple vinegar pills and olive tree extract pills to help the body fom the inside.Finally before a shower spray on vinegar all over ur body so the fungus has nowhere to hide.also u will feel as clean as uv never ever felt before but careful with the vingar fumes,theyre strong.
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Avatar_m_tn
Very interesting, I also suffer same condition (left hand only for 5 months) & also note lack of saliva & very dry eyes especially during the night, cold pillow & cold ice on hand offers only relief- so far!, Sue Lowe
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Avatar_m_tn
I want to give my own experience, and I hope it may help other people, I had also a similar skin problem, my skin in one finger did peel off and it was worsening day by day, searching in the internet with a similar condition I found: Exfoliative Keratolysis. I think all health problems are linked with our lifestyle and changing our diet and our lifestyle can help our body cure by itself. I changed to eating more healty and now my finger has imporved a lot and is curing itself.
I heard that liver problems are reflected in skin problems, specially  finger and palms. Problems in your liver can be a probable cause, so I tried to take care of my liver, too. I started drinking a lot of water, as much as I could, and eating healthy, a lot of vegetables and fruits, chicken, turkey and fish are very good, avoid anything artificially flowered, sugars, sodas, flour, meat, sausages and fried food, french fries and donuts are all very bad for your organism. For example eating salad is very good, but try to dress it with olive oil or lemons instead of artificially flowered dressings you buy in the market, try to buy as much natural food as possible for cooking, anything artificially flowered or with artificial food preservatives are not good for you and your health.
Vitamins are an essential part of any cellular process including healing. Some vitamins are more important for healing. Vitamins A, C and E are a part of the healing process for the skin. Vitamin A is a fat soluble nutrient. It's most commonly found in carrots, but it's also found in dark green leafy vegetables like romaine and broccoli. Vitamin C is found mostly in citrus fruits like oranges. Vitamin C is also found in orange juice. Vitamin E is found in nut products. Vitamin E is in peanuts, hazelnut, sunflower seeds and almonds. Vitamin E is also found in broccoli and corn oil.
Do not buy vitamin supplements since those are chemicaly made, it´s better to eat the food which give you the desired vitamin.
Good Sleep is important, too, sleeping early and waking up early is good, for example from 11:00pm – 1:00am is the de-toxification of the liver, ideally must be done in a deep state sleep.
I hope this helps, try avoiding medication specially corticoid, this damages your liver and health. Try living more healthy and with time your body will cure by itself, but give him the proper vitamins a nutrients it needs for curing. Give it a try, it won´t happen overnight but try it for a couple of months it´s worth the try. Also you can find advise in an homeopath since he will prescribe you all natural medicine. Here are some links of interest, with information:
http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/liver-foods.shtml    
http://padmasrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/01/some-facts-about-our-liver.html    
http://www.livestrong.com/article/31759-foods-heal-skin/    
Good Luck and God Bless.

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Avatar_m_tn
Joeplex and everyone, thanks for responding.

Joeplex, I read all your post but am still confused on one point. Do you sand even good, non-exfoliating skin when you see the start of an outbreak, or do you only sand the area that is peeling (to get the white dead skin off?).

Background on me: I am a RN in the ICU. I have had EK since I started wearing blue nitrile gloves for work about 2 years ago. Water makes it worse, and I wash my hands frequently for work. Changing soaps did not help. I got an allergy test done (Patch skin testing) and it showed I was allergic to blue dye. So, thus, the start of my exfoliative keratolysis may have been caused by blue nitrile gloves that I was allergic to. I have since changed to non-blue nitrile gloves, but still have not seen improvements.

Also to note, my skin seems to improve when I am not at work and not wearing gloves. So for me, EK may NOT be a Type IV allergic reaction, but maybe a contact dermatitis type of EK. In any case, I will try your sand paper method after getting your response and seeing if it helps me out.

Oh, regarding creams - I haven't found anything that helps. Almost feels like putting cream on is a waste because it will just Exfoliate away! haha
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1952940_tn?1324713879
As for me, at the first sign of a breakout, I generally sand the pads of all the fingers, regardless of whether the skin has bubbled up yet.  I might place a bit more emphasis on the areas that have already bubbled up; but my EK generally envelops all fingers if left untreated, so generally I sand the areas that I know from experience tend to be affected.  For me this generally includes the finger tips, pads of the fingers, and to a lesser extent the proximal palmar surfaces of the fingers, and the palm itself.

-- Joseph (joeplex)
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been watching this forum for 2 years now. I've read EVERY post and I believe that I've narrowed it down to several facts:

1. Not everyone suffers EK the same way. Some itch; some do not. Personally, right before a foot outbreak, the soles of my feet feel like they are ON FIRE. Otherwise, I do not itch.

2. Over-exposure to water and chemicals absolutely, positively makes it worse. (Also working hard with the hands makes it worse, like when I've been outside pulling weeds or painting the house.)

3. Conversely, very dry air makes it worse. Humidity seems to help. Crazy, eh?

4. EK is cyclic; it gets real bad, then it seems to improve, then it comes back with a vengeance.

5. Forget MDs and PAs. They look at you strange if you mention EK. You are on your own here, and are responsible for finding WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. Perhaps you've noticed that not everyTHING works for everyONE.

6. Steroids help temporarily. Plus they make you cranky and you swell up. Face it. This is for life, so you need to find what keeps it under control, as best case scenario.

7. I find the Joeplex Protocol interesting. I perform a variation of this so I was not surprised to read it. As you've read above, some have success with saltwater. I actually soak my feet in 1 cup Epsom salt and HOT water for 1/2 hour every week, until my skin bubbles up. Then I use a pumice stone to scrape off everything that will come off. Once a week works great. My feet are generally very pretty after a treatment. (Hint: soak during a 30 min TV program... you'll forget all about your treatment.) Plus it feels wonderful.

8. After reading all of the creams that people use, I noticed that UREA based products seem to always work to keep things under control. So far, Gold Bond Ultimate (there are two varieties) work best. Second ingredient is urea. Always check the label before buying. It's quite inexpensive at Walmart-if you have one local. It's not greasy and smells pleasant. I have one in my bag, one my desk, and one next to my bed.

9. Cream up your hands and feet each and EVERY night. Socks are a must. Cream up after washing your hands.

Remember, this is for life. You just have to do these things or just live with the peeling.

Best regards and good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
My EK started about a month ago and now IT'S ALMOST GONE!

First of all, I'm a 21 year old female that goes rock climbing indoor every other day.

My EK started with white bubbles at the tip of my fingers, but because I rock climb I thought it was simply the calluses on my fingers peeling a little bit, so I didn't make a big deal of it until the next time I climbed and 3 layers of my skin peeled off. I recognized it was EK since I had suffered from it for  2 years around 6 years ago, and at that time it just went away by itself.

From doing research I realized I was intoxicated with vitamin A from drinking too much carrot juice, since a cup has 750% of vitamin A and I was drinking more than 1 a day (I found this out because somebody on this forum post about suspecting their carrot intake). I also noticed that my hair was falling in crazy amounts and that last month my period had been late by many days which are all symptoms of hypervitaminosis a.

This is what I did:

- I stopped the consumption of vitamin A and started taking vitamin D (in moderation) so that my body could wash away a little faster the excess of vitamin A.

- Since it was the only cream with urea I found I bought Gold Bond Ultimate RESTORING WITH CoQ10, totally recommend it!

- I also tried Joseph (joeplex) method. I sanded my fingers for a few minutes during the night, put the cream and then went to sleep. I noticed how it would make the break out less dramatic since it would take off all the dead skin accelerating the peeling process and taking away discomfort. I didn't do it every night because I was afraid of not having enough skin left to rock climb, and the rock climbing activity itself was kind of sanding my fingers too.


I know everybody's case is different so I just wanted to share with all of you what helped me and would definitely recommend in case it could help you in anyway.


Thank you and good luck!

Auroravk


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Avatar_m_tn
My EK started about 20 years ago and I have just put up with it till now.  I am in the process of a patch test (as we speak), but it doesnt sound like it is going to find out anything.  My EK starts in the spring and actually stops in the winter.  I have only found (1) item or lotion that seems to help me and it is called CeraVe moisturizin lotion.  This lotion has not cured my EK but it does seem to repair my skin faster than any other cream or lotion that I have tried.  Thanks for all the information that I have read on each of your posts.  If I find out anything at the Dr. tomorrow I will certainly make an immediate post to all.  
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Avatar_m_tn
This is my treatment regimen:

1) Avoid water as much as possible - I wear waterproof gloves for showering http://www.rei.com/product/828666/sealskinz-waterproof-gloves  (they get less and less waterproof as time goes on). I wear hair ties near the cuff of the glove to prevent water from creeping in. I also wash hands with Cetaphil without water most of the time. Don't know how effective of a wash it is.

2) Try to lotion up after washing hands as much as possible. Not always possible.

3) Use Vaseline or other type of greasy lotion at night. This has really helped. I also use greasy lotion under waterproof gloves before showering.

4) I use the Joeplex method. Bought an orbital sander -  http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100671644/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=dewalt+orbital+sander&storeId=10051&relatedSearch=dewalt%20orbital%20sander

I sand off the peeling areas. AVOID over-sanding. You can really cause lesions on your skin which may bleed and get infected, which doesn't help your cause. I would say sand a maximum of 30 seconds in any area. The point isn't to sand off all of the white dead skin. It should be as effective to just sand the general peeling area, and then use a nail clipper to trim the edges.

As of now, no matter if I am in the peeling stage or the healing stage, I am sanding all the areas of my hand where I know I have EK. I am working on a "Progress Note" with pictures of my hands and annotations of what I am doing at the time. I will upload when completed
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Avatar_m_tn
Have this for almost 20 years but I may have stumbled onto something.

Thses pics are 40 hours apart. I have been using one capsule of fish oil per application. A needle to pierce the cap, apply to hands a few times per day. Also overnight with vinyl golves. Yes it's stinky but it is helping.

http://community.webshots.com/album/583437202bbGghI?vhost=community

PealyDon
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1952940_tn?1324713879
Thanks, pealydon!
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Avatar_m_tn
I added another pic from today at 630pm MST. I did not apply fish oil last night before bed and only once today. I got some 40 percent urea cream today and will use that as needed. I'll post the good or bad as time goes on. The next 2-4 weeks will be the test if this method controls or at least minimizes this condition.
My pattern is every 2-3 weeks begins an eruption and it lasts 2-3 weeks. I have had a break in the pattern going back a few months, very slight peeling and easy to control. I had been using UdderlySmooth and some times O'Keeffes with good results until this outbreak which began Tu, 9/11/12 and this one was a bad one.

I've been in the hot tub twice and did immerse my hands w/o ill effects. My hands are slightly tender but otherwise feel marvelous!

Common fish oil capsules applied topically and lots of faith. :-)

Best to all in this fight,

Don
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Avatar_m_tn
I also have an EK, i've search treatment for this, and i found Avon Care Silicone Glove Protective Hand Cream, i look at the reviews of this product and all are positive comments, as i read some of the reviews the condition they are treating is EK. Unfortunately Avon Care Silicone is not available here in the Philippines, its only in the U.S., if you want to see this product just go to reviews.avon.com or type in google avon care silicone glove protective hand cream.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi
I have had EK for 10yrs now and have tried all the cures listed to no avail, i started trying to work out what is causing it, it appears on hands and feet so logic states what’s on your hands and feet but no where else? Answer nails, when i have EK bad i also notice a change in my nails (they get thicker and harder to cut, samples of skin from effected areas test negative to fungal infection).
I decided to start trying something new, I cut my finger/toe nails short and have kept them short, then twice a day (morning and evening)i applied antiseptic tea tree nail solution (made by Optima under the name Australian tea tree)on the top of my nails and crucially under the cut short nails where the skin meets the nail.
I have stopped using Urea cream and steroid cream and my skin has improved to such a point i felt it only fair to share my discovery, i must also point out i am a manual worker and have suffered this condition quite badly until now.
I hope this works for you as well as it has for me. Tea tree has more antiseptic/anti fungal strength than carbolic acid. Mike
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1952940_tn?1324713879
Hey repairman, I think your idea of considering the nails is a smart one.  I am going to try what you said if I ever have another outbreak (thankfully I've been free of the condition for a few years now).  Thanks for sharing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Don't even know if you will get this its been so many years since you posted..I also suffer from EK and for me its simply brought on by water...my hands aren't sensitine to soaps or cleaners just showering too long...doiing dishes too long or swimming brings it on for me frequently occuring mostly in the warmer months...my neice and mother have it as well...gotta love genetics!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had undergone several stressful life-altering events in 2012, about the same time my first peeling finger was noticed in March. Topical steroid ointments did not help.  Skin patch testing did not reveal anything that could explain this. I am currently on Imuran now for a month.  My doctor will have me on this for a year. This treatment was due to my strong positive response to Prednisone.  Unfortunately this drug may take 2-3 months to work. So far, I have not noticed much difference or relief. I am a Nurse who had to go on disability since 100% of my fingers are either cracked, swollen or often bleeding.  My hands are constantly gloved which bathes my hand in moisture for 12 hours! Having the cuts as mode of entry for infectious agents, it is not recommended to continue working in direct patient care. I will keep this site updated.
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Avatar_m_tn
I noticed that when my fingers started to peel off, it was a problem with the liver. I changed my diet. When I eat lot of meet, ice-cream, milk, butter, beacon, jam (animal fat), the condition in my fingers worsens. Drinking a lot of water helps the liver to clean by itself, eating fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, apples, helps too, it´s incredible but when I change my way of eating my peeling of the fingers cures itself. Eat as healthy as possible (avoid processed food it makes the liver work hard) it´s worth the try it might help you as I did for me.
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Avatar_m_tn
No breakouts since Sept! Regular applications of a urea containing moisturizer after the fish oil regimine has kept this under control. Warm weather coming so that will be the test. ;-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
   I'm Weiren from Hong Kong. Recently I dated this girl who had a case of EK and after some research I found this website. The Joe Protocol caught my attention and I mentioned this to her and now she is trying this. In addition to this, I have access to Intense Pulse Light and a Q-switch laser (used for facial and skin care treatments) and decided to add to the procedure to see if it helps. I used the 2 procedures in an attempt to 'kill' off any bacteria or bugs that may linger in the 'good' skin. It has been only a day and I will keep track of her progress and report back here of our little 'experiment'. Rest assured that I am familiar with using these 2 instruments and no unnecessary risks were taken.
Greetings to all. Thanks for sharing your experiences
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Weiren,
I live in Ohio (US) and just had a huge palmar break out. For me, it subsides in the winter completely unless I am doing manual labor with metal (nails, hammers, etc). I also do not have any allergies - at least the typical items they test for in a standard allergy test. That being said, as soon as spring hits and everything starts to blossom I  suddenly go from no issues to peeling all over my palms. That leads me to believe it's either an allergy or a reaction similar to seasonal allergies. Nothing but cold weather helps me. I've tried the suggestions in this blog and none have helped. Each year seems to get worse- I'm sure you're pretty miserable after 27 years!
I wish you luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

I have had peeling hands since childhood and I'm now 58years old. An eminent dermatologist diagnosed EK in my early 20's but had little to offer and although I've tried numerous creams most made the condition worse. However I have found that our water softener has really improved my skin and generally brought the condition under control. We installed it 15yrs ago. My skin still breaks down and it takes a couple of weeks to recover when I spend too long away from home (unless I go to somewhere with soft water).  I never wash-up, clean or garden without gloves and I try to avoid putting my hands in water as much as possible although limited swimming in the sea is ok.

Has anyone else found soften water helpful?
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Avatar_n_tn
Reading about the soft water alleviating EK makes me think. My hands suffer most when handling lines on boats and it is significantly worse in salt water compared to fresh water. Perhaps there is something in salt water and also in hard water that makes the EK worse?
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5681913_tn?1372280437
hi I am 22 female a few weeks ago I noticed that the last few weeks i had air filled bubbles on my hands and fingers and didnt know what it was. at first i thought it was poison ivy cause my palms were very itchy and cause of the bubbles on my hands and fingers cause poison ivy does that too but now the bubbles r gone and my hands r peeling like crazy so i looked on a website and found this condition that it brought up so this must be what is wrong with me cause it tells me all the same symptoms that I have had since I have had it. this condition is called Exfoliative Keratolysis. and I am not sure what to do about it. I have no medical card or anything so maybe a few of u can tell me more about this condition. to give me more information about it.

Thanks so much!
Meg
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Avatar_m_tn
My son has this severely when he sails.  Unfortunately he is a sailing instructor and it lasts all summer.  Apparently fishermen also get it.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Which life-altering event would help explain KE?  Take your pick of death in the family, job change,moving, getting married/divorced, menopause, becoming the victim of a crime or any sort of victim for that matter, etc. I'll choose menopause.  It just seems to me that it changed my physiology in ways I never dreamt.  I was expecting hot flashes, changes in my figure, but not this.  My palms are ravaged and the dry, peeling areas only seem to spread.  I've tried steroids, Vit A, UV treatments and nothing but nothing is working.  I'm just glad to think it's not psoriasis (yet) and I won't be a candidate for psoriatic arthritis hopefully.
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Avatar_f_tn
I thought of sanding my palms but they seem to always be in the sore, peeling stage.  I don't know which is worse: the hard skin where you can't even stretch your hand out or the peeling.  Both are horrible.  And perhaps if a person didn't have to pee every hour or more often, you wouldn't have to wash your hands that much more.  No-win situation.  I think for me it's old age starting to happen when your body basically turns against itself.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the advice. I have the exact same situation as you described.  I did do the photo therapy and it did not help one bit. It was a huge waste of time and a lot of money.
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Avatar_m_tn
hey joe

can you please tell me what kind of sandpaper you use?

can you link me a picture of it?

i cant seem to find it anywhere online.

thank you
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Avatar_f_tn
My 9 year old has EK we think.  He is allergic to many things.  As a 9 year old boy he will play and play as a kid does not caring much for the skin on his hands.  As a parent I have had to try and find a solution that does not put him in a bubble.  I am currently using lanolin on him at night -the kind used by breastfeeding mothers- which is so refined as to not trigger his sheep allergy, and then in the morning I spray his hands with liquid bandage spray (isooctane, methyl trimethicone, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer).  I am currently looking for the liquid bandage spray in bulk as the 1 oz bottles get expensive quick.  I double spray his hands before swimming and diving lessons/play.  This works, it does not fix the problem, but it helps.  Spraying before swimming or other water activity or other hard play lets him live a life more like other little boys.  Mostly.  Maybe this will help some of you all too.
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Avatar_m_tn
The steroids do clear it up. My boyfiriend has been diagnosed with EK since 1982. Went through several tests in Indianapolis and nothing was found. No allergies to anything. His also goes away in October and ususally comes back around early March. We both at first thought that maybe grass pollen was causing it but after reading all these blogs and not having an allergen to grass, I know that it is probably not due to the grass. He gets aggrevated every year but he deals with it. This year doesn't seem to be as intensified. I'm wondering if some of you are correct about the stess making it worse. When I met him, he was going through a divorce and it was really bad. I do know that strees makes psoriasis worsen. Since he has been divorced for four years, I notice it being a little better. If anyone finds a cure, be sure to blog it to all the other suffers. Thanks.
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Two days ago, it was an important day in my life. For the first time in about 25 years, and thanks to this forum, I found out the name of the problem that is affecting my hands and feet for this long: exfoliative keratolysis. None of the 4 or 5 dermatologists I'd seen could even name it.

It's been a long reading, but I've read through all your comments. Many of them, very interesting.

I'll probably post many things, but there is a first question that hits my curiosity. I'm not sure, but this may be one of the most active forums about EK in the world. If you do a web search, you find it. Whoever wants to find it, will find it. So, if there was someone in the world doing serious research on this specific topic (EK), I mean in a good lab, being paid with public or private money, trying to go to the ROOT of this problem, along a biochemical/genetic line of study, don't you guys think that he/she would have already searched for that topic, and would have found this forum? If so, why hasn't he/she said anything? Something like "I work in a team that is assessing possible genetic correlation between individuals who suffer this condition", or "we are studying lack of enzyme XXXX, which might be responsible for the dehydration". Anything that could give us some hope, or at least that could make us think that someone in this planet, with the appropriate background and material resources, is devoting time to our specific problem, is trying to find its root cause, and has an enthusiasm to find a cure. Because it is good that we don't give up, and try things by ourselves, like the ceramides creams, the gloves, or the sandpaper, but this is sad. I can't believe that there are zero resources in the world being (seriously) devoted to this, but I don't see any comment on that line in this forum. Is it confidentiality? They don't have to reveal any detail. A few words could mean a lot, to us. And I don't know about the dermatologists you've met, but the ones I've met will never find a cure. You can't finish a journey for which you don't make the first step.

So, if there is a person doing serious lab research about exfoliative keratolysis who is reading this forum, please give us a sign. We don't need much details. Just a sign, up to where you are allowed to. Thank you.

César
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5793907_tn?1374395602
I meant "much detail".
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Avatar_m_tn
I Suffer from EK for 10 years.
Does anyone tried magnesium intake?
Some nails and the skin under it is also abnormal.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 11 year old son has E K and had allergy tests done. He's allergic to Mercaptobenzothiazole, bronopol (preservative), mercapto mix and balsam of peru. His dermatologist told him to avoid these things (which is nion impossible) but they are the cause of his E K.

His hospital also make him a special cream which really does help.

So for everyone who suffers demand Allergy tests and ask your dermatologist to contact Gloucester Royal Hospital UK for the ingredients of Chelsea Night Mix.
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Avatar_f_tn
Like the majority of people here I finally diagnosed myself: exfoliative keratolysis thanks to Dr Google. I did see a doctor months ago but all she said was 'it's eczema, wear rubber gloves when washing up'. Umm I do. That was as far as we got.

I tried Urea cream but all that did was make the peeling less obvious. Mine doesn't get better or worse seasonally. It's a continuous cycle of little red dots that turn into little white blisters that then 'burst' into little circles of peeling that spread out then before the peeling heals I get little red dots then little white blisters then peeling .... and on it goes. It's not itchy or painful but I do seem to have a kind of numbness in the area.

I've tried aloe vera, over the counter Urea cream, lavender oil and papaw ointment. I haven't avoided water, my will for cleanliness is too strong! Then I read Joe's treatment of exfoliating. It's worked better than anything else I've tried in conjunction with using papaw ointment and pure coconut oil with white cotton gloves. It hasn't 'cured' the EK but has made it so much better.

Every day I use a pumice stone and rub the red dots/blisters off. Then I mix Lucas's Papaw (available in Australia) and Pure Coconut Oil on the area then wear a cotton glove 24/7 at home. I re-apply the papaw and oil every few hours. When I first started this treatment, 3 weeks ago, I wore the glove at work too. I don't wear the glove at work now but I still need to slather on the papaw ointment every couple of hours or it starts looking poxy again.

It's reached the stage now that I can go out in public and not scare people. You'd have to look closely to see the slight peeling I have now.

I believe it's an auto-immune disease. They say if you have one auto-immune disease others will follow. I've had about 5 of them i.e fibromyalgia, polymyalgia, controlled Type 2 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, chronic urticaria and angioedema. Funnily when the EK appeared my chronic urticaria and angioedema went into remission. I'm happy about that! I'd rather deal with EK than throat and tongue swelling and landing in ER. (4 times in 4 years). Yay!
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I'm sorry.

It didn't work. The blisters came back with a vengeance and this time they look 'infected' and for the first time they are painful. I think using the pumice stone irritated my skin.

I'm still applying papaw and coconut oil. It does work on reducing the peeling.

Some days I feel like giving up but then I remember I did try to ignore the EK once and it got worse.



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I've been trying everything like most of us sufferers for 5 years, including drastic diet changes, avoiding water altogether, every cream known to mankind, just as many useless docters, and I am pretty sure this is an auto immune disorder, exacerbated by stress and has to do with the state of the "gut flora and fauna"
I have tried using probiotics and apple cider vinegar (organic with the Mother)
and so far I have gotten some relief. I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this approach. Thank you all for this thread
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Oh I thought I would also mention that I have had comprehensive blood analysis, hair analysis, and allergy tests, and have eliminated all the suspected foods. Have seen several naturopaths.
I avoid the night shade group, no longer eat dairy, am gluten free, have been a vegetarian for 40 years, don't drink, don't smoke, eliminated coffee for a year made no difference so I'm enjoying that again, exercise, am not overweight, use natural non scented products, eat organic, drink filtered water. To sum it up, I am at a loss as to where to go from here. Not a very positive prognosis for us sufferers.
As always thank you everyone for any helpful input
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I'm back! I've had EK off and on for my entire life (and for sure it's hereditary because my youngest child has it too - he's 26 now). I've been working with the current flare up for 4.5 years now.

HOWEVER, I'm back with NEWS. I have it under control! I am absolutely NOT peeling and no blisters have formed in over 3 months. I treat my hands and feet.

There is this recipe going around the internet now for dry skin so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I soak every Sunday while watching an hour long TV show. I double it and this is what I use:

1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup Listerine
2 cups water

It says soak for 10 minutes but I've worked up to an hour. I use a firm heel brush after that and rub the dead skin off.

Also, every night, I just started using any ole lotion... I got tired of buying expensive stuff. It seems just putting something on my feet and hands is enough to keep it from getting dry. I also put socks on every night. I've been doing this for a year.

Now? Other than a tiny amount of peeling around the nails, my feet look GREAT! Even my hands are wonderful.

I think what is happening is mostly mechanical -- not a cure -- since this seems to be an auto-immune disorder. But a weekly soak makes it worth it to me. My skin is soft and supple. I love how it feels after all of these years. Good luck!!
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I'm back. I have vowed to keep trying everything and when I have found something that works or seems to be working I'll post it here.

I injured my wrist, the one with the EK and have had to wear a wrist brace. "Luckily" my EK is on the bottom of my palm. I noticed after a few days of wearing the brace (it's like a compression and it generates a lot of heat "thermoskin") my EK patch of skin got really red and manky smelling. Oh great I thought!  Yet another problem to have to deal with.

Someone suggested soaking my hand in Pinetarsol Oil. It's an Aussie product but it's active ingredient is coal tar. I know it's also used in dandruff shampoo's. I've been soaking my hand in that, a cupful in 2 litres of warm water, every night for the last 3 nights then putting my wrist brace back on. My skin is finally healing! It looks so much better. I still get the odd blister but I think because of the compression and heat of the wrist brace they don't reach the peeling stage which in turn is giving my poor skin a chance to heal.

Beth is correct, I think, when she said any ole cream will do. It's the mechanics of soaking, exfoliating and in my case compression that seems to work for some.

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I am also suffering from this. I got this in the summer of 2010. I stopped wasting my money on Lotrimin and got better results from all of your helpful advice. I use Goldbond with the urea ingredient. It's helps but is no cure.

I have noticed that my ring finger suffers the least as it gets the least contact. The more pressure and friction my skin gets, the thicker and scalier the skin becomes. It's almost impossible for my fingers NOT to have contact with anything so I have to use the pumice stone to keep the amount of loose thick skin down. Its much more sensitive to touch after I've removed the extra thick layer of dead skin. Maybe this is what is causing our skin to create calluses. It's becoming hyper sensitive in the affected areas. Just my theory.
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I'm inclined to try the vinegar and probiotics and maybe gold bond...I also think a new lotion I got may have exacerbated it.  I would never use Listerene -- for some worrisome ingredients.  But maybe check what else is in it and try whatever the healer is in that product.

Thought I'd post something related: I've controlled eczema for 20 or more years now by taking fish oil capsules, up to 6 a day (which may help some on this list).  Before I had to use RXd hydrocortisone which was thinning my skin and I think is really bad news.  I was "addicted," but the fish oil works.  Weening from the hydrocortisone was hard at first, but only took a few days of living with a little pain and itching. It's almost completely gone or completely gone 100% of the time for years now.  Diet and exercise are much more important than any topical.

It has not worked, however, for this new patch of dry peeling skin (and I'm past spring chicken time now, so I'm sure that's related).  So I'll try some of these things.  
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Too bad you aren't comfortable with the white vinegar and Listerine treatment- it's safe enough to put in your mouth and I am pretty sure my feet are tougher than that. I do the treatment every 2 weeks and I've finally KNOCKED THIS OUT OF THE PARK after a decade. I've been peel-free for six months now. I'm sure, since this is an auto-immune disorder, that I'm not cured, but HECK YEAH I'm happy! It's gone! And I'm wearing sandals and pedicured toes this summer. YAY!!!
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