Allergies are a common part of many people’s lives. You can be allergic to food, pollen, or animals, but did you know that your feet can be allergic, too? A skin allergy is known as contact dermatitis, and it simply means that your skin is sensitive to something it came into contact with. This is a very treatable condition, so don’t live with itchy and irritated feet any longer!
What is Causing My Itchy Feet?
Itchy feet can be the result of different things (athlete’s foot, dry skin, toenail fungus, etc.), but one common trigger that many people might not know about is contact dermatitis. This means that when the skin on your feet comes into contact with a certain substance it will result in a rash. For a lot of people that substance could be poison ivy, poison oak, or other plants. However, for some people it can even mean the material your shoes or socks are made out of. Common irritants in shoes may include dyes, rubber, metal, or leather. If you sweat profusely throughout the day your condition may worsen because the moisture in your socks can help the irritant adhere more to your skin. People with shoe contact dermatitis can experience redness, itchiness, burning, blisters, cracking skin, and pain.
Treating Contact Dermatitis
If you have contact dermatitis there is simply no good reason not to get it treated. This condition is easily treatable, so get started today. The first thing to do is to remove the irritant from your skin. Unfortunately, that might mean giving up that brand new pair of shoes you just bought. Sometimes modifications can be made to your shoes so that you can still wear them. For instance, certain pieces of metal can be exchanged for a different type of metal that you might not be allergic to. In order to get rid of the existing rash you can use different over-the-counter medicated creams, such as hydrocortisone. If your condition is very severe your doctor may prescribe a topical steroid cream. If you have cracked or bleeding feet your doctor may also recommend an antibiotic to prevent infection.
Preventing Feet Allergies
If you find out that you have contact dermatitis it is within your best interests to stay away from the thing that is triggering your rash. Wear vegetable tanned shoes instead of shoes made of animal skin. If the rubber insole is the problem you can replace this part with foam made of urethane. If you have very sweaty feet that contribute to the problem you can use foot antiperspirants to keep your sweating at bay. Furthermore, you should remember to air your shoes out every single day for a full 24 hours before putting them back on your feet. If your condition is very severe and you are allergic to many things your doctor may have more ideas and recommendations. Contact dermatitis is very common, and it does not have to rule your life.
How We Can Help
Just because your feet are allergic to something doesn’t mean you have to live in pain and discomfort. Call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment with us in one of our three conveniently located Massachusetts’ offices. Together we can make sure your feet are allergy free so that pain is a thing of the past.