Awhile ago, I started a Facebook Group. I wanted to see photos of other people’s hands. I wanted to see if anyone else’s DE looked like mine. I needed to see if all DE looked alike. I’ve been creating, manufacturing and studying theories and remedies ever since my hands were borderline un-useable due to DE. I’ve tried all sorts of things:
The ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) soak
African Black Soap
No contact with water
Allergy testing – Prick Test
Allergy Testing – Blood Test
Blood test for vitamin deficiency
Blood test to check liver function/levels
Free and Clear Detergents
….and I could go on and on…
The more I try these seeming solutions, the more I realize that it just doesn’t feel right to believe that I can heal this issue with something topical or internal. I don’t believe there is a magical potion, lotion, salve or ointment. I’d like to believe that this can be healed using plant medicine. I really want to believe that, but tonight, I’m just not feeling it. Tonight, I’m exploring the thought that this might just be a failing body system– but which one? A sweat gland? An oil gland? A pore? The dermis itself? Has DE ever been analyzed under a microscope? If so, WHERE CAN I FIND THOSE IMAGES? I need medical journals. I need scientific exploration and studies surrounding DE, but I can’t seem to find them… Why not? Has this never been done before? I’m thinking quite deeply tonight… want to come along for that ride? If so, follow me below to further ramblings…
Here’s the “About” section for the Facebook group I created, entitled, “Hands that Suffer: Dyshidrotic Eczema in Photos”
About This Group:
Are those itchy blisters a clogged gland? Is the itch caused by excess oil or sweat building up pressure in the gland– which usually fills until it bursts or is scratched open? Is there a topical cure? Are we allergic to water? Do we all have sweaty palms or an undiscovered medical condition? Do we all have allergies? Do we all have Celiac or some other disease? Is our liver or one of our other major organs unhealthy? Is it something we ate? Is it something we touched? Something we breathed? Something we saw or did back in 1980?
Ideas, thoughts, statements and questions like these are welcome here. No theory is wrong. Share what you think, what your experience is, has been, or continues to be. Help those who also suffer. Learn from them. Sympathize with their pain and discomfort. Let them know, they are not alone.
I wrote this “About description” after a group member shared this statement: A Texas dermatologist had told him that “DE is a sweat gland problem.”
This particular member, Tim, had recently shared images of his hands and palms just COVERED in those dreaded itchy, clear blisters. They weren’t just under the surface either, they were forming mountains and valleys across his hands:
These images really caught my eye, and made me start to wonder…
Me: “Tim– Did you recently (before this outbreak) have some serious emotional stress in your life happen— something psychologically traumatic?
This is a theory I believe to be my own truth, and I’m wondering if it applies to others.”
Tim: ” You know…. I feel like I’m pretty stress free. The only thing I stress is DE. I’ve had it on my foot all year and got to where it was just the norm. I noticed 2 weeks ago it was all gone. The next day it was 20°so I had long johns on and here in Texas it goes from 20 to 60 in a matter of 2 hours. I noticed I felt like I was getting a slight rash on the top of my foot and hands. Well it never stopped growing until this got way out of control.
I’ve lived the free and clear life ( detergent and soaps wise) haven’t changed my diet and for it to go a year I don’t think that is a factor. Now I do remember the first dermatologist tell me that DE was a sweat glad problem and I have noticed that there may be a small amount of truth to that. I am a plumber in the state of Texas so there is definitely some sweating going on in my life and if I think about it …times i wear gloves ( which is on a need to basis due to DE) I notice some irritation. So I think me wearing the long johns then sweating due to the drastic temp change may have onset this episode. Why it took 2 weeks to outbreak my hands I don’t know. I’ve had this rash the whole time. And now the rash is all the way up to my elbows and knees
Sorry for the rambling. I’m lost in my own thoughts. Which I’m sure most people her do with DE“
Me: “Oh yeah, you’re not alone in the process of sharing your thoughts. I have thought this before, too… about the sweat glands. I thought that the little watery clear blisters almost looked like sweat that was trapped under the first layer of skin– almost as if the sweat gland itself was closed or obstructed. Interesting. The fact that an actual dermatologist told you “it was a sweat gland problem” has certainly peaked my interest. I have been researching and studying DE ever since I recovered from my own debilitating outbreak. I wrote a blog about it. There, I ask a bunch of questions and entertain the theories of all who comment. Now that you’ve shared that a dermatologist has mentioned the sweat glands, I’m on it. I’m going to look deeper into this theory. In your case, the theory that sweat has caused this seems highly likely. Sweaty feet, I get. Sweaty hands… do we all have sweaty palms? Hmmm… the sebaceous gland in this graphic looks an awful lot like what we see under the surface of the skin, doesn’t it? The little fluid filled circles…
We may be on to something here, folks.
Thanks for sharing about the DERMA and the sweat glands, Tim. This is one of the reasons why I created this page… to share photos and experiences to attempt to find a logical “cure” or cause to DE.
I’m so damned excited to study sweat glands, now… LOL!”
Fairly quickly, another woman replied:
“I do NOT have sweaty palms. They are always dry…too dry. I read that doctors used to think that DE was about sweating …. the name actually means bad sweating…. but they no longer believe this to be true.”
To which I wrote:
Me: “…and you still have the bubbles/blisters under your skin? No sweat, but still blisters. I’m looking at medical images and am focusing in on the sebaceous gland. I wonder if maybe it is not our sweat glands that are malfunctioning, but perhaps the oil glands?
Call me kooky, but I might be right. It always feels good to think you’ve found a solution, doesn’t it?
I’ll just focus in on this for awhile and see what I find. Why not?“
So here we are. I’m blogging again about DE. I just felt like writing tonight, as it has been a long time since I have done so. I don’t always write full blogs about my research and theories. Sometimes they are short theories. I’ll get to looking at images and reading articles and lose interest, or I’ll convince myself that the theory is mute and will move on, awaiting the next theory. This particular theory, however, just feels like it needs to be “out there” — and so, I shall release it into the interweb.
Here’s my official latest theory:
Are those itchy blisters a clogged gland? Is the itch caused by excess oil or sweat building up pressure in the gland– which usually fills until it bursts or is scratched open? Can our skin just not hold moisture? Do some oil glands NOT work at all, while others OVERWORK? Do we all just have malfunctioning glands, here, folks? Is the epidermis slowly dying? GAH, what is HAPPENING????
The above words may sound like the ramblings of a crazy woman. Maybe they are. Maybe you have felt this way too are laughing and breathing a sigh of relief to see that you’re not alone in your multiple, floating theories.
I still feel, deep down beneath the layers of this blemished skin, that there is no topical cure for this disease. All across the internet, people rave about the miracle soap or a prescription creme, ointment or pill that has “Completely cured them.” We all want to believe that, now don’t we? We’d all pay exorbitant amounts of money to just make this beast go away, yet it is still here! Are we all doing what is in our power to sleigh the beast? Maybe that’s why I share these thoughts here… because I feel a sense of civic duty to share them. I want others to be doing what I’m doing. I want to read thoughts and theories from regular, ordinary people like you and I– People who suffer and have a human heart and aren’t just trying to manipulate others into purchasing a miracle product. I shout out into this internet web, which connects us all:
We want an ANSWER! WHAT IS DYSHIDROTIC ECZEMA???? What is it and why does it happen?
Tell me. Do you have a long list of failed theories and remedies too? Share them! Write them! PUT THEM ON THE INTERNET! We are all searching, searching, always searching. We float across the thin red line to cross over to the blue, only to be trapped in the purple. We moan and cry and hold our hands in agony.
I expect that people with cancer and other, much more serious diseases have felt this way about their own personal prison of pain and failing health. I certainly am not intentionally downplaying the severity of their sorrows, but as any of you who also have DE know, we are also suffering. Some of us want answers and a remedy so bad that we reverting back to creating our own scientific studies.
Tonight, I’ll be combing the internet, as well as our own personal library, learning about sebaceous glands, ducts, and how they all work. Call me looney, but “This time” it feels like I’m onto something here. If I’m wrong, then the energy has not been wasted. There have been so many “this times” in the past, that it could be very simple to just give up and try to live with it. Tonight, I’m just not feeling that way. Tomorrow, I may feel hopeless, but tonight, I’m a scientist.