Maintaining proper foot health is undeniably important. With all our feet do, all the punishment they endure, and all they come in contact with, problems can often occur. Occurring from a variety of reasons, rashes are common challenges that arise when trying to maintain a goal of happy and healthy feet. In some cases they are mild and go away quickly, but in others they can be an indication of a more serious underlying issue. As with any serious medical condition, having a doctor diagnose the exact cause of a foot rash is invaluable. This can help determine the best path to effective treatment and possibly prevent the condition from returning or worsening.
Common Reasons Foot Rashes Develop
One condition associated with foot and ankle rash is called contact dermatitis. This is a condition where the skin is damaged, or is sensitive to a substance and develops into a rash. Divided into two main categories, this condition can be either irritant or allergic in nature, and your doctor will need to decide which in order to effectively treat your condition
Irritant is the more common form of contact dermatitis. Exposure or contact with certain substances can remove protective oils from the outer layer of skin and trigger inflammation. Bleach, detergents, acids, pepper spray, adhesives, and even dirty water are types of irritants, and can all cause an irritant rash. Common symptoms and examples of the rash include:
- Dry, cracked skin
- Acid burn
- Skin that is itchy and tender
Allergic rashes are a bit different. In this case, contact with specific allergens cause the body’s immune system to become involved and leads to an allergic reaction in the form of a rash. These rashes can be very itchy, often causing small red bumps that may blister. Examples of triggers include:
- Poison Ivy
- Shoe leather
Fortunately, treatment for either type of rash is generally straightforward. Whether irritant or allergic, the first step to treating the rash is to avoid any more contact with the trigger. Then it’s best to wash the area with cool water and mild soap. You should then see a foot doctor for ointment recommendations or another form of treatment, or if rash persists after a few days.
Typically beginning in between the toes, Athlete’s foot is a type of fungal infection that can cause a red and itchy rash. Although anyone can contract the infection, athletes frequently are the ones who do so, as the fungi thrive on damp surfaces such as locker room floors and pool areas. Athlete’s foot is contagious and can spread through things such as contaminated items of clothing. Symptoms can include:
- Burning in between the toes
- Feet that sting
- Foot sores
- Scaly skin
Many people successfully treat Athlete’s foot at home. Nonprescription antifungals may be successful in alleviating certain cases of Athlete’s foot. However, if they do not provide sufficient relief or if the infection is severe, you should see your podiatrist.
Eczema is a chronic skin disorder that can produce inflamed and itchy skin and a rash on areas of the body such as the feet, the back of the knees, and the hands. Skin also usually appears dry and scaly. Although there is no known cause or cure, many people are able to manage this condition with a doctor’s care and various products and treatment options like hydrocortisone cream.
Getting Superior Foot Rash Relief
Rashes can quite literally be “bumps” in the road to excellent foot health. Often, they can be the source of pain and discomfort, and even have an impact on the overall quality of a patient’s life. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, our highly trained team of podiatrists strive to get to the root of the problem by unearthing the cause of the rash and determining how it should best be treated. Getting our patients back on track to healthy feet and back to living the life they love is what we love to do. If you have a persistent or painful foot rash, please call us at 562-420-9800 with questions or request an appointment at our Long Beach office.