Monday, June 1, 2009


I have told you all before about a weird condition that has just recently begun affecting me. This started when I was about 20 or 21 - I'm 32 now. All of a sudden my hands were "allergic" to the sun. I have always been an girl that likes to tan during the summers, so it wasn't just like all of a sudden I was in the sun more. I can not have my hands out in the sun for a lengthy period of time, or my hands will "break out" with super duper itchy, liquid filled bumps. After trying for years in vain to use sunscreen on my hands, try to hide my hands, etc. I finally gave up and started wearing softball gloves when I am out at the pool. A little embarrassing, but it sure beats the hell out of what the sun will do to my hands.

This weekend, I went to the pool with my son, and I immediately had the softball gloves on. I used them from the time I got outside to the time I went inside. Yesterday I noticed that my middle finger still broke out - WTF?????!!!! So now I am wondering if it isn't something else involved too that is making my hands break out, or if the sun was some how still able to penetrate the softball gloves I wore.

The main reason for this post is I am hoping to maybe find someone else out there that suffers from the same thing I do. I would love to find out what is causing this, if there is something else I could do to avoid this - BESIDES avoiding going out in the sun - sorry, it just ain't gonna happen with me. I have been to about 4-5 dermatologists and avoiding the sun is all they tell me. Not one of them has ever tried to actually FIND out what is going on, and I am tired of wasting my money on a doctor that will only tell me to avoid the sun.
When a breakout does occur, it is ALWAYS on this middle finger especially! The middle finger on my right hand will always be the worse one of the bunch. I also get this on the palm side of my hands near my wrists too. If I don't scratch it, the "liquid" will dry up in a few days and the skin will kind of dry up and flake off or I have to peal it off. Sounds gross, huh!

I have looked on the computer but have yet to find any one else that has something similar to what I have. Would love to hear from anyone that knows anything about this.

This is what my hands look like today:
You can see how swollen the middle finger is compared to the rest of my fingers.


Crystal said...

have you thought about this possibility: maybe it's the sunscreen because you use your hands to put it on yourself? You could potentially be getting an extra dose in your hands than the rest of your skin? Doctors are of no help to me either, they always come up with these "one size fits all" to diagnois skin issues.

Rai said...

Hmm, that's so weird. Never seen anything like that before.
I knew a girl who is allergic to the cold, she'll break out in like hives and stuff.

But maybe this is not sun related?... It never happens to any other finger? Just the middle?

Helen said...

It could be that you have an allergy to vitamin D. Maybe.

I get what you experience on the underside of my wrist in the heat sometimes but it is generally because I've got my watch on and that irritates the skin, with the sweating causing the little oozy bumps. I wear chunky silver rings and I get the same thing under those too.

I can't explain an isolated breakout just on your middle finger though as that wouldn't be exposed to any nickel or other kind of metal, would it?

Are you taking any kind of medication that might be making you photosensitive?

I'd try a course of vitamin d tablets for a month or two to try and build up some imminuty and see how that goes. And change your sunscreen as well.

I'll keep thinking for you.

Datura Rose said...

I started getting this last year around this time. It cleared up for the winter, but then I started getting it again when spring started. My doctor just told me it was eczema and to keep my hands moisturized. I haven't heard anything about the sun causing it. There is something called dyshidrosis which looks pretty similar.

Celly | La Dolce Vita said...

that just looks and sounds like eczema.
i get those liquid bumps sometimes out of the blue and only in my fingers. sometimes they turn into rash. and they occur after handling products sometimes or when my hand is really moist (like wearing latex gloves or something)
anyways, have you tried cortizone cream? you probably have.

i was told the sun could flare up eczema but to avoid it mostly because of uneven coloring.

Sasha said...

Bless your heart! I hope you find a solution! I have a really good dermatologist down here that I LOVE- let me know if you'd like his name. He's super-smart!

Violet LeBeaux said...

I had medically diagnosed Eczema as a teenager which was all over my face and neck and it was different to that, mine looked very red and flaky rather than liquidy. I was prescribed vitamin E cream which helped. Doctors btw are totally useless.

What you have looks very similar to the reaction I have to certain make-up products. Best as I've worked out it's a latex allergy. But it could be that you've developed an allergy to the gloves or a chemical contained in some of your hand treatments. Do you use any treatment to tan the rest of your body? I developed the latex allergy because I was in and out of hospital for a long time and all of the stuff they took blood and did tests with was latex. My body was overloaded and now it can't take it at all. I found out when I put some liquid eyeliner on and when I removed it I had gigantic, red, puffy, liquidy lines underneath which were effectively chemical burns. Now I can't even wear hypoallergenic fake eyelashes until I find a brand without latex.

Could it be that one of the moisturizers or hand treatments you use has something you've developed a reaction to. Perhaps it left residue in the glove which got on your hand his time? I hope you find out soon, if you have any questions let me know :D

titty said...

It took me years and years to figure out what it was. I have something similar called hand eczema:

It runs in the family. My sister has it, and so does my mom. At first we thought it was contagious, but my dad and my boyfriend, my sister's boyfriends, our friends, etc... are fine! It is just some type of genetic defect in the 3 of us.

MrsKiwiYeti said...

Wow Titty! Thanks for the link. I've suffered with this on and off for years, but never knew what it was or what caused it. My hands only break out every couple of years, so I've never bothered to try to find out what it is. Thank you!!!

Brooke - one time my doctor sent me with an RX that I had to take to a "compounding" pharmacy. They mixed up a creme with some sort of steriod. I put it on at night with gloves. It was really helpful.

Nina said...

i get the same thing sorta
mine are little bumps that when i squeeze them liquid comes out and they itch like mad.
my doctor prescribed a cream its called

betamethasone dipropionate.
it isnt over the counter so try asking your doctor if he would prescribe it for you.
hope this helps. it helps me :]
good luck!

Pawssies said...

ouch!!!!!! that looks paingull :(

Lucy said...

Brooke now that you described it in more detail I was going to say Eczema also. I used to get this really bad when I was a teenager. It is heritary. My Aunt used to get it bad also. I would get all the little liquid bumps. If I scratched them oh God how they itched and spread more. I also got mine worse on my middle finger too. It's bizaare, don't know why that happens. I was going to beauty school and I started breaking out badly from the chemicals and all the hot water. My fingers got so bad and infected. The doctor put me on steriod cream, antibiotics and I had to wear cotton gloves with latex gloves on top. Plus he said don't scratch. I usually got mine in the fall and winter at first. Then it switched to the summer. The gloves made it itch worse. I could never get a job doing hair or nails. Cortizone cream is the only thing that helps. One prescribed from the doctor. I hope one of us has a solution for you. Also my girlfriend used a sunscreen with Paba in it and she broke out like that. The doctor said that Paba breaks alot of people out like your skin. So watch out for any of those products with Paba in it.

Sharon said...

I've had something like that on and off as well (smaller bumps, though, for me).

FWIW, I find that if it's just sun, I'm more likely to get the rash if I've been drinking--like, one beer on the beach drinking, not problem levels. When it's not just the sun, for me it's a reaction to something I've eaten. Either way, Benadryl helps a lot.

Hope this helps.

Nixxy said...

Ow! You know I feel your pain, girl! Stupid doctors - sometimes you just have to keep trying new ones until you get to one who can help - took me 4 or 5 until I got one who could see I had a formaldehyde allergy. They kept on telling me it was a fungal infection and giving me anti-fungals!

Céline said...

I haven't any solution for you, but I hope you will discover what is the real problem soon ^^

elashaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elashaw said...

my guess would have been Psoriasis or Eczema, but they are more dry and not liquid filled, or i dont think psoriasis is liquid filled. I have eczema and it only flares up a few times a year but is managable with strong moisturizer

Did you try a hypo allergenic cream on your hands??

are your gloves black or dark material?
I've personally gotten burned a few times through dark material
I've never seen anything like that before, looks painful! hopeuflly someone on here will have had a similar situation occur to them or someone they know and help you out some!

Helen said...

Psoriasis can be filled with liquid but I'd go so far as to definitely rule that out as 99.9% of psoriasis hates the sun and it makes it disappear (yippee) rather than arrive.

Nosaby said...

Yep. Eczema. I get it, too, usually when I handle fresh garlic. When it gets really bad the doc gives me a steroid cream. Now I just wear gloves when cutting garlic or doing dishes. Hot water can cause it to flair up, too.

Nora said...

I am so sorry that you suffer from this allergy, the skin on my face thickens and has tiny invisible bumps all through summer than back to normal in the fall, me not liking sun too much for this reason. I tried many things but the safest drug free way is to stay out of it, had it all my life! I also wear gloves when driving in the summer.

bargainbeautyblog said...

Could be herpes. Herpes reacts to sunlight so anyone with herpes simplex 1 (like 80%+ of the population-- though only like 20-40% get cold sores) will get a cold sore when exposed to a lot of sunlight or harsh weather. The sores on your hands look like cold sores. I've never heard of it on a hand before, but given that it happens in response to sunlight and you didn't always have this "allergy", I would look into it.

Hanna said...

I have been getting the same things this summer (as well as last summer - when I first got them). I've been looking through google pictures to see who else has them, and yours look quite similar to mine, though mine tend to be a little more spread out. Last summer, though, I did have one large cluster of them on my middle finger (they are almost always on the sides of my fingers, sometimes spreading to the tops). I'm 22 (when I first got them, I was 21, too) and just started getting them again about a week and a half ago. I work for a lawn care company now, and the sun/heat certainly does seem to have something to do with it (since last week - when they first arrived - it first reached in the 90's). Last summer I was a camp counselor and worked outside all day. After reading your story, I'm convinced that we have the same thing, and I'm glad to finally realize that it probably has something to do with the heat/sun (I never thought of it until now...).
Anyways, since I've been looking it up today, I found an article that explains almost exactly what we have. Look up "dyshidrosis" on Wikipedia - this may provide you with some answers.
If you find out anything that helps, let me know! Mine are now beginning to itch - which they had never done until 3 days ago!
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

This was a helpful link to me. Any tiny bit of sun exposure during the day can cause it. Perhaps you were outside without your hands covered for a few minutes other than when you had your 'mitts' on? Or you had a chemical on your hands. I find that ALWAYS keeping spf 15 or higher on my hands helps it a lot!

Lisa said...

I have the very same problem. I only get it from April to September. It's called Pompholx or Dyshidrosis which literally means Eczema of the hands or Hand Eczema. I love the sun but have tried everything to stop an outbreak during warmer months. I tried using really high sun protection factor to see if that would work, it doesn't, it didn't make any differnce. I have been wearing these high insulated gloves to block the sun from my hands they are what i usually use in the winter (I live in Ireland so it can get really cold and wet in winter) These gloves have been helping. I have now ordered these sun protective gloves from USA and are awaiting delivery they are called Coolibar UPF 50+ full finger gloves - Sun Protection. They are $20 on Amazon or Ebay or from but it was costing too much to buy from the website as they are a USA site and i live in Ireland. I will let you know how i get on. They also do Water gloves aswell so when i go on holiday if these gloves work, i will finally be able to use the pool. If you would like to contact me I can share some photo's of what my hands look like, I get it server but always worse on my right hand, I'm guessing it's because I'm right-handed! My email address is:

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