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Ask Pauline Your Own Question
Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I have an itchy, blistery rash on my left ring finger!

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I have a rash on my left ring finger where my pinky finger contacts it. I have been battling it for 2 months with (1st) tolnaftate (1% OTC) and now Clotrimazole (1% OTC). The Clotrimazole works slightly better. I put cream on it twice a day, but if i forget for a day then the rash comes right back with painful pus blisters that itch like the devil, some deep and some on the surface. The entire area gets blotchy red, and the skin gets flaky and super dry. What do I have, and how do I get rid of it?? What may have prefaced this condition was a ring shaped itchy outbreak on my wrist under my stainless steel watchband. The band was kind of scummy between the links so I stopped wearing it and put on anti-fungal cream. A few months later I got this condition on my finger of the same hand. Might be unrelated.

If you have been using the clotrimazole for this length of time then it is possible that you do not have a fungal infection, but that this is a type of contact or atopic eczema. Use hydrocortisone 1% cream twice daily for one week. This should improve the appearance of the rash. If it does not go completely then you will have to see your doctor for a stronger topical steroid cream, or even possibly send off some scrapings to a lab to confirm diagnosis.

In the meantime avoid chemicals, perfumed soaps and detergents.

Pauline and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
So eczema isn't just hereditary then? Is it possible that this will not be completely resolved with hydrocortisone or any other simple treatment? I'm really not well versed in anything related to dermatology. This is the first complaint I've ever had in this department, other than being allergic to scented dryer sheets (hives).

There are many types of eczema, not always inherited and topical irritation with jewellary/detergents is very common. Hydrocortisone is good at minor irritations but if the problem is very severe then stronger steroids are required.

Try the hydrocortisone for a week then review.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Pauline's Post: Should I go straight for something Rx stronger than OTC Cortaid or Cortizone-10, etc? I can pick up a tube at Walgreens in the morning.
No, you need to try the OTC cortisone first. It will allow you to try something then see a doctor next week if it has not cleared up. In many cases hydrocortisone is enough on its own and we always like to try the mild steroids first before stepping up.