Our feet are amazing structures that allow us to stand, walk, run, and dance with graceful ease. Nevertheless, with over 250,000 sweat glands, 26 bones, and dozens of muscles, ligaments and tendons, our feet are also quite susceptible to various infections, inflammations, and injuries. One common foot condition that affects many people is dermatitis.
Dermatitis can affect any part of your skin, including your feet. It is an inflammation of the skin that can be caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to certain substances, such as soaps, detergents, chemicals, dust, pet dander, pollen, and molds. When the skin is exposed to these substances, it can become itchy, red, swollen, and even blistered.
Contact dermatitis of the foot is a common form of dermatitis that occurs when the skin on your feet comes into contact with an irritant. This irritant can be anything from materials and chemicals with which shoes are made, to poison ivy or harsh chemicals. When the skin of the foot comes into contact with the substance, an allergic response is initiated. This response causes inflammation, which can lead to various symptoms, including redness, itchiness, and small blisters.
If you notice any of these symptoms on your feet, it is essential to see a foot and ankle surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Proper diagnosis may require a biopsy or patch test to identify the causes of the allergic response. Your foot and ankle surgeon will use this information to design a personalized treatment plan that may include topical or oral medications, as well as lifestyle changes to avoid further exposure to irritants.
Preventing dermatitis of the foot is essential. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid this condition:
– Wear shoes made of natural materials, such as leather or canvas.
– Avoid tight, ill-fitting shoes that can cause friction and irritation.
– Wash your feet regularly with mild soap and warm water.
– Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes.
– Moisturize your feet with a non-perfumed cream or lotion.
– Avoid synthetic socks or those with tight elastic bands.
– Use foot powder to help prevent sweating.
If you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects your circulation, you should be extra careful about the health of your feet. Any symptoms of dermatitis on your feet could indicate a potential infection that could lead to more severe complications. As always, seek professional medical advice if you have any concerns about the health of your feet.
Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in treating foot conditions such as dermatitis. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of dermatitis, contact Dr. Huang’s office for an appointment. With his expertise and experience, he can help you get your feet back to healthy and pain-free condition.