Paper Title: Pattern of presentation of Pompholyx at a principal referral point in Port Harcourt over a period of ten years
Authors: Amadi E.S, Pepple E.F.
Pompholyx is a type of hand eczema which is characterized by recurrent vesicles and bullae. It is seen commonly in the age group 20 -40 years, affects all races and has an equal sex distribution. It is commonly associated with contact allergic dermatitis and contact irritant dermatitis and atopy. Other associated factors include emotional stress, chronic illness such as HIV and physiological states like pregnancy. Pompholyx is said to be common in warm climate. In which the study area can be classified as such being a tropical climate in the Sub Saharan Africa. Pompholyx is a disease that reduces the quality of living of affected individuals and can be a cause of social stigmatization, often mistaken for a contagious infection such as scabies. It can also be a cause great discomfort to the body and mind leading to work and school absenteeism. Methodology: It was a retrospective cross sectional study of new pompholyx cases within the period of January 2006 to December 2015 from the new patient clinical register. Folders were retrieved and data was extracted using a semi-structured questionnaire developed from standard written medical literature on pompholyx. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 20. Results: Thirty six new cases of pompholyx were seen within the period with an average incidence of 0.59% over the ten year period consisting of 22 females and 14 males with age range of 2-65years. There was no statistical significant relationship between age categories and sex. The majority of cases were seen amongst students. The age 20-45 group constituted the highest number. 61% had a history of contact dermatitis with the major triggers being detergents,chemicals and metals. All patients were counseled and improved after receiving treatment from at least two of the five major classes of drugs- corticosteroids, antifungal, antibiotics, antihistamines and astringents. Conclusion: Pompholyx is a recurrent hand dermatitis characterized by vesicles and bullae though not common as the study reflects; it can be a source of mental and physical discomfort leading to a poor quality of life in affected individuals.