Skin allergies, also known as dermatitis, are a common occurrence that can adversely affect the skin, causing swelling, redness, itching, and other issues. Two kinds of skin allergies are primary irritant dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Primary irritant dermatitis results from exposure to irritating substances or prolonged contact with hot water, chemicals, oils, or wet cement. On the other hand, allergic contact dermatitis is the result of allergies, with exposure to causative substances resulting in an inflammatory reaction.
While these skin allergies can develop on any part of the body, including the hands, face, and neck, they are more commonly found on the feet because of exposure to various substances from footwear. People who work in areas where their feet are constantly exposed to chemicals, oils, and wet environments have a higher risk of developing primary irritant dermatitis. If left untreated, they can lead to severe contact dermatitis which can be worrisome for those with diabetes.
The primary irritant dermatitis can cause symptoms such as itching, redness, scaling, and cracking of the skin. If you suspect that you have this form of dermatitis, consult with a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Gilbert Huang. Bleach, vinegar, saltwater, and Betadine are some of the solutions that can be used for soaking the feet, but excessive amounts should be avoided when using them. This will help prevent the onset of allergic contact dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction to particular substances. Upon exposure to the allergen, the skin develops an inflammatory reaction. Some people are allergic to substances in sock dyes or certain shoe materials, with contact resulting in allergic contact dermatitis. Adhesive tapes can also cause allergic reactions, with blisters or rashes developing beneath the tape.
To alleviate allergic contact dermatitis symptoms such as itching, redness, and scaling, use topical steroid compounds such as hydrocortisone cream, cool compresses, and antifungal creams. However, if the symptoms persist or become severe, see a dermatologist at the earliest to get a proper diagnosis and medical treatment.
In conclusion, allergies can cause various skin problems and foot issues. Regularly checking the feet for rashes, scaling, or itching will go a long way in preventing such issues. When using various solutions for soaking, follow the recommendations of a certified medical professional to ensure safety. Also, always seek preventive measures in selecting shoes or socks to minimize the exposure to allergens. If you suspect any symptoms of skin allergies, reach out to Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM or the nearest dermatologist for appropriate medical attention.