Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Eczema and preparation

16 November, 2009

Question:

I have a rare form of eczema on my hands and feet. I have been tracking the outbreaks and it seems that it is the worst when I get my period. I get these blistery type sores for a few days and then my skin peels (sheds) to a point where my skin can bleed because it has lost so many layers of skin.

Having my hands and feet wet for such a long time during the preparation for immersion in the mikvah, my eczema gets much worse. I often start to peel even more and when I get to the mikvah and shower again, that also makes it worse. Then there is always the problem of more and more hanging skin that I clip off but it is never ending.

Is there any way to get around having to soak so much?


Answer:

We are sorry to hear about your eczema and urge you to seek medical treatment if you have not already done so.  If you are in treatment, please discuss these issues with your physician to see if he or she has any advice to reduce the difficulties you have been experiencing.

In your case, we would recommend preparing for mikveh with your feet out of the bath for most of your preparation and perhaps even with gloves (as one might use for dishwashing) on your hands for a portion of the time, to minimize soaking time.  Alternatively, you could shower instead of bathing. 

As long as your feet and hands are thoroughly cleaned, you are not required to soak them or to clip small pieces of hanging skin resulting from your condition prior to immersion. 

Please contact us with any further questions.


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