Mycopathologia et mycologia applicata

, Volume 53, Issue 1–4, pp 25–44 | Cite as

Pompholyx of the hands and feet

Its etiology, pathogenesis and specific vaccine therapy (Formerly: ‘Epidermophytosis’ of hands and feet)
  • Tibor Benedek


The term pompholyx, both because of historical priority and because it does not convey misleading implications about etiology, is the preferable designation for this condition. Irrespective of its localization, the primary lesion is the same: a deep-seated, sago-grain-like, pinpoint to pinhead size blister or pustule, embedded in the normal skin, primarily without inflammatory reaction, and appearing suddenly.

Pompholyx, as microbiologic, histopathologic and immunologic investigations have proved, is an endoparasitic-hematogenous eruption, having a characteristic localization. It is caused by the circulating endoparasite,B. endoparasiticus Benedek, 1927. Due to an universal infection immunity it is not infectious and not transmissible. Other microorganisms, like hyphomycetes, yeastlike organisms, common bacteria, etc. play no causative role in any phase of the condition. Dermatophytes, molds as well as yeastlike organisms which may be found in the roof of the blisters and other scrapings of diseased tissues are incidental nosoparasites.

Extensive statistical analysis is presented about the occurrence of pompholyx on the hands and feet in military personnel and in civilian patients.

Pompholyx has only one etiologically directed therapy: the specific vaccine ofB. endoparasiticus. The vaccine is prepared from the S-type of the bacilli, cultured from the blood.


Mold Bacillus Characteristic Localization Causative Role Primary Lesion 
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Copyright information

© Dr. W. Junk B. V. den Haag 1974

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  • Tibor Benedek

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