Eczema on the feet
Between the toes, on the soles of the feet or on the tops of the feet...
Eczema is skin inflammation characterized mainly by its red, itchy patches. However, several different types of eczema can affect the feet: atopic eczema, contact eczema or dyshidrosis, a particular aspect observed in this area of the body.
Allergic contact eczema on the feet
Your eczema may be caused by an allergic reaction to a product to which your feet were exposed. Your shoes or socks may be the trigger (dyes, leather tanning products, adhesives, foams).
If the triggering agent is unclear, you will need to identify it with the help of a doctor so that you can avoid it in the future. Your doctor will ask a series of detailed questions in addition to carrying out allergy tests to identify the allergy.
Have you always followed the same routine? It is possible to develop a sudden allergy to a product you have used previously without any problems—until now.
Atopic eczema on the feet
Atopic eczema is a hereditary condition with alternating periods of eczema flare-ups and remission. It is linked to skin which is hypersensitive to its environment. Although genetic, the disease can be triggered or aggravated by various environmental factors.
This type of eczema rarely affects the feet (more common on the ankles and the tops of the feet than on the soles). The treatment is the same for all types of atopic eczema: soothe itching with a topical corticosteroid and repair the skin with emollients.
Dyshidrosis is unique in that it is limited to the hands and feet and is often very painful. As with all types of eczema, symptoms include redness and itching, as well as small blisters that dry out and form little scabs.
Causes of dyshidrosis
What causes this type of eczema? Little is known about the causes, but there are various triggering or aggravating factors: stress, sweat, contact allergies (nickel, cobalt) or even a foot mycosis.
Often linked to atopic skin, it tends to flare up more in the spring during allergy and hay fever season. Some people struggle with it more in the summer due to the heat, especially when associated with excessive sweating.
How to get soothing relief
This type of eczema is often chronic (coming back several times over the course of your life). As a topical treatment, cortisone cream can help soothe flare-ups. Another thing to watch out for is a mycosis between the toes, for which the treatment may heal dyshidrosis. A preventive treatment to keep skin hydrated is often recommended. Other treatments are also available if symptoms persist.
Whatever the cause, dyshidrosis is aggravated by sweat, which is why we recommend wearing cotton socks. Smoking can also be an aggravating factor, as well as very foamy cleansing products.