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I have pompholyx. "Hush, Tats, don't tell everybody, they'll all… - Tactical Ninja

Nov. 30th, 2010

09:48 am

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I have pompholyx.

"Hush, Tats, don't tell everybody, they'll all want one."

Um, no they won't.


It's a skin condition otherwise known as dyshidrotic eczema. It's characterised by small blisters forming deep in the skin on the hands and/or feet, which slowly make their way to the surface. Often they don't burst, but they can create dry, cracked and flaky skin. Sometimes they just appear with no symptoms, other times they are itchy as fuck.

Mine is never as bad as the pictures on that page, and at its worst it usually looks like this:



Right now it's at its worst. I have it on both hands, three-four fingers per hand. So far my feet are clear but I've been known to get it there too. My fingers are itchy! WAH! This outbreak has been going on for about a month.

The weird thing is, I didn't always have this. It started in 2008 - I can remember because I took it to the doctor. I was never able to identify what set it off because there was a combination of several things that happened more or less at the same time:

1. Horrible winter that included stress, angst, depression (someone else's) and the ugly breakup of my relationship and its aftermath.
2. Ongoing battle with recurring tinea (I suspect one of my flatmates had it and was reinfecting us all but never let on).
3. Megadoses of antibiotics.
4. Exposure to extreme and nasty cleaning products when I moved house.

Apparently any one of these could have set it off - it's an immune system response that flares up after periods of stress or exposure to environmental aggressors* - and I had all four at once, so I guess it's not surprising.

However, since then I've been trying to pinpoint what triggers it. I've discovered that using hemp hand cream after cleaning really helps reduce any reaction to the detergents. Other than that, I've still not really figured it out. This morning, I found a site dedicated to it and discovered that heat seems to exacerbate it too.

*sigh*

So I'm no closer. At the moment I'm looking at the list up there. I can cross off tinea, but yes, this winter was pretty horrible on an ongoing basis culminating with Joel's moving to Hong Kong a month ago. I'm getting the hang of LDR now but the first few weeks has been pretty hard. I've been exposed to large doses of antibiotics and cleaning products again (cleaning Mum's house) and while I wore gloves, the detergent water got inside them and turned them into little hot detergent-baths for my fingers. And to add into the mix, it's been quite warm and I've been shearing, and I've noticed that the day or two after shearing is when I get the itchies the worst - I think it's because I get oil all over my hands from dealing with the gear. At least, I hope I haven't suddenly become allergic to sheep grease. Yikes!

And we've been using powder detergent for clothes washing because we inherited it from Mum's house. But I think I'm going to chuck it and go back to the liquid eco-stuff we've been using because I've had a few cases of the screaming itchies lately and I'm wondering if that is making a difference too.

Mostly I'm just frustrated at not being able to figure out what sets it off and therefore stop it, and afraid that if I can develop skin reactions at age 38, it could get worse till I end up looking like those photos up there and I don't want to.

So, WAH! fuckit.

* I got this off Dr Wheel's moisturiser bottle. Women get 'soft, smooth skin'; men get 'protection from environmental aggressors'. *cough* Maybe I should use his moisturiser on my fingers.

Meanwhile, anyone see this this morning?



I'm pretty sure the guy in the pic is Jack Nicholson from some movie where he plays an unshaven serial killer, and that the pic's there to make people scared of serial killers so they'll accept the free training. Wait, free training? What's up with that? Luckily, there's a website. It's for real. The guy has an impressively long list of training and qualifications, but the thing that interested me was the 'course preparation' stuff. Go read it.

I particularly enjoyed this bit. Seems he divides the world into sheep, wolves and sheepdogs, and sees his role of as that of the sheepdog:

"If you have no capacity for violence, then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then what are you? You are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path, someone who can walk into the heart of the universal human phobia and walk out unscathed."

He seems to have this idea that sheepdogs protect the flock - there's a bit further down where he talks about how the sheep want the sheepdog to be a sheep until the wolf turns up, then they all try to hide behind the dog which protects them.

Anthropomorphising much? Actually, the sheepdog does not have a 'deep love for its fellow citizens' - that herding that sheepdogs do is controlled hunting instinct and uncontrolled sheepdogs can and will kill sheep. I know that if I left First loose in a paddock full of sheep at night, in the morning some would be dead. Because she is a sheepdog and her instinct is to eye, then to stalk, then to give chase, grab and kill. This guy is not doing himself any favours by comparing himself with a sheepdog, seriously. And by calling himself a warrior, a hero, he's exposing the kind of megalomania that often goes hand in hand with survivalist craziness.

Yes, craziness. I have no issue with the idea of knowing how to survive in the event of some kind of apolcalypse (ours is the zombie one when we talk about it, what's yours?), but I take issue with the idea that survival involves only having the capacity to kill other people. I'm sure it would be useful to be able to do this, but I think it'll be likely far more useful to be able to kill rabbits, just saying. And when the zombie invasion happens and we take over Miramar Peninsula to restart civilisation, I'm not sure I want someone in my community who goes around assessing everyone on their level of danger and deciding whether they should kill them or not, and thinks of me as a defenceless sheep who will be protected by him whether I want it or not. Especially not one with such delusions of grandeur as to consider himself to be a hero for it.

I want the guy that can keep my chainsaw going, thanks.


That got long, so I ended up putting it behind a cut. But seriously, go read the site. Crazy gun lobbyist lulz to be had!

PS only 8% of rapes are perpetrated by strangers. The rest are done by people known to the victim. Guns don't stop rape, not raping is what stops rape.

Comments:

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From:nessaneko
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
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My ex used to get that - it developed after he worked as a kitchenhand for a while, so constantly washing dishes with loads of soap, using industrial cleaners to get the kitchen clean, etc. He couldn't wear gloves because there wasn't enough control and he'd wind up dropping plates. Using a barrier cream (like the stuff you use on babies to prevent nappy rash) helped a lot, but as far as I know he still gets flare-ups at times of stress. Avoiding contact with harsh cleaners and using a barrier cream or heavy lotion is probably the best thing for it, and it sounds like you're doing it already. :( The only other thing is not to pick at them - he'd compulsively try to pop the blisters and it would only make it worse.
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From:phaetonschariot
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
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But it's so easy to know when someone close to you is about to turn on you, and then to shoot them.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, all those little kids should totally be toting! That'd learn the paedophiles!

why did i not think of this sooner
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
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Better off with goats?

Maybe if you're a vegetarian who doesn't wear wool.

If we have goats, you get to herd them. And do everything else to them too, because handling goats is unpleasant.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
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Just to be certain, I would recommend removing any and every little bit that sticks out on said containers, stacking them at least three high and making sure they aren't within 10 metres of anything that stands taller than about 50cm.

Even then they might eat them.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
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But who will train the goats to not eat non-zombified people?

You need this because otherwise the person who goes in the yard to clean out the poo will get eaten. And you have to clean out the poo or soon enough it will be more than 50cm high and you'll have carnivorous goats going wherever they want.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 29th, 2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
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Ohai! I can has zombie goat poo for my garden, to raise killer vegetables? Kthxbye!
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Plants-raised-on-poo-from-goats-that-ate-zombis VS ZOMBIES!

It's the new recursive game sensation!
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 30th, 2010 01:06 am (UTC)
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I would add razor wire just in case.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 30th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
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First used to find this behaviour very confusing when my goats did it.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 30th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
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I'd find it confusing (and hilarious) if I saw it.

You'd big cats for herding tree-climbing goats.
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From:pythia
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
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Oh god. Goats are little SODS.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 30th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
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Opinion states as fact! (i think it's ok but the fatty bits are ew goaty-flavoured).

The main problem is they are much harder to skin than sheep.
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From:bekitty
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:43 pm (UTC)
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I also suffer from pompholyx. It tends to be set off by Palmolive products, generally, but I've had to be REALLY careful with other soaps and skincare products. There's a manuka hhoney hand cream that I got from Honeyco that seems to work quite well at getting rid of the blisters.

PS only 8% of rapes are perpetrated by strangers. The rest are done by people known to the victim. Guns don't stop rape, not raping is what stops rape.

Yes. This. Absolutely this.
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From:tieke
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
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I am able to completely get rid of my excema by taking fish oil supplements. I've never looked into the type of excema I get, but it does look pretty similar to these pics of pompholyx.

I've tried all sorts of other stuff, and the only thing that has worked longer term for me is fish oil. There's lots of good evidence around its effectiveness and why it is effective too. If you're interested I can give you detailed instructions on how to get good fish oil that hasn't gone rancid (not as easy as it sounds), as fish oil that's gone off doesn't work, and probably accounts for a lot of cases where people have found fish oil to be ineffective.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I've been taking fish oil orally - do you mean putting it straight on?
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From:tieke
Date:November 29th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
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No, orally.

How much are you taking (mg of EPA/DHA), how long have you been taking it, where have you been getting it from, and how are you storing it?

All of these things are important to whether it will be effective or not, and generic instructions on the packaging are generally pretty inadequate, in my experience.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
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Not sure how much each capsule is, but: one a day, probably about 6 weeks, I inherited them from Dr Wheel when he moved and they're stored in a cool dark place?

More information needed would probably be the best answer!
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From:tieke
Date:November 29th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
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OK, I'll put it all down in writing this evening - from what you say, I certainly wouldn't write off fish oil based on your experience so far - you may not be taking enough, might not have been taking it for long enough, and the batch you have may have gone off.

Right now I have to not get any more distracted, and do some work, but will get more info to you this eve.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:November 30th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
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The stuff I passed on was stored in a dark cool place, but is also a bulk 1000 capsule container that I'd had for a while (despite taking 2 a day).
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From:tieke
Date:November 30th, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
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Just put a post up about fish oil and excema here:
http://tieke.livejournal.com/18443.html
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From:tatjna
Date:November 30th, 2010 07:35 am (UTC)
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Thanks! *goes to read*
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From:richdrich
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I get the same if I get fuel on my hands.

But I was told today that the inevitable march of technology will make solar panels affordable shortly, so we won't have to fuck around with bloody generators. Yay!
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From:tatjna
Date:November 29th, 2010 09:50 pm (UTC)
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I am astounded by the number of people who get this.
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From:thatgirljj
Date:November 29th, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
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Your P.S. reminds me of a local campaign that I absolutely love. My Strength is not for hurting, they had posters around town for a while and everything. They're also in the schools starting at the Jr. High level. It's a kick ass message for young men.
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From:victoria7
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
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I get a rash like that that starts on my right index finger (the side closest to my thumb) and then will eventually go down my entire finger and spread to my hand and thumb, while starting in the same place on my left hand at just about the same time as it hits my right hand. It will, also, crack and bleed. I've been told that it's stress, but it doesn't happen *always* when I'm having high stress. It's usually only once or twice a year. I put my super amazingly moisturizing too-expensive to buy and usually get hand me downs from my sister eye cream that comes in a tiny bottle on it and that usually helps.
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From:morbid_curious
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)

I blame Warner Brothers

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From:carpe_d1em
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC)
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I HAVE THAT! I usually get outbreaks from stress and/or heat...but sometimes also in the winter. The itchyness is un-fucking-barable.

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From:pythia
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
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I know someonw who used to have something that was either pompholyx or something very similar, and she found that the only thigns that really helped both that and her daughter's eczema was manuka honey. So that might be worth a try?
I actually thought the lanolin in the sheep's wool would potentially help rather than make it worse. Hmm.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 30th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
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I've never really found lanolin to be all that useful for anything, really. The problem is that it makes your skin soft when you need it to be hard for handling sheep, and wool is full of other things like bacteria as well, so in its 'natural context' it isn't really all that helpful.

Might give the honey a go, although I'm going "Ew, sticky."
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From:thesecondcircle
Date:November 30th, 2010 03:06 pm (UTC)
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...Actually, the sheepdog does not have a 'deep love for its fellow citizens' - that herding that sheepdogs do is controlled hunting instinct and uncontrolled sheepdogs can and will kill sheep. ...

I think this idiot's metaphor is more apt than he realizes.
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From:tatjna
Date:November 30th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
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Exactly.
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