Eczema on Feet
While eczema on the feet may be part of a larger genetic form of eczema; it is more commonly a result of either contact dermatitis or dyshidrotic eczema, which generally affects only the hands and feet. Either way, eczema on the feet presents a particular challenge for effective treatment as feet are often encased in socks and shoes for long periods during the day, often making the problem worse.
Foot eczema is common in people who work in shoes for long periods of time, especially standing or walking a great deal. People who are prone to eczema on other parts of the body may also have problems on the feet, especially if the eczema is related to an allergy.
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Contact dermatitis on the feet.
Much as with contact eczema anywhere else on the body, this type of eczema results from contact with an irritating substance. In the case eczema on feet, this is often a sock fabric or the material from which your shoes are made. It may also be the detergent your socks have been washed with, even if the detergent doesn’t seem to affect other parts of the body. Because feet tend to sweat in shoes and socks are tight fitting to the foot, contact with the residue of the detergent is increased and can result in a more severe reaction.
If changing your detergent doesn’t work, take a look at your socks and shoes. A different type of fabric or a shoe that breathes more effectively might go a long way towards reducing the symptoms.
Eczema on feet may appear a little different from the usual dry itchy rash, and includes blister-like spots that may weep and progress to scaling and cracking. It is often intensely itchy and causes a great deal of discomfort. Although once believed to be caused by sweating, most experts now discount this theory. The cause is unclear, but may be related to ingestion of or contact with certain metals such as nickel, or to a fungal infection. Stress, smoking, and excess caffeine consumption all appear to exacerbate the problem.
Treatment of eczema on the feet.
Very severe occurrences of eczema on feet are generally treated with strong steroid creams, but there are home remedies that can be used as well. The first step is to get rid of old shoes, and be sure to wash socks thoroughly in a hypoallergenic detergent. Adding a sprinkling of baking soda to the insides of shoes or to the feet prior to putting on socks will soothe the itch and also help to wick away sweat.
Soaking feet in a mixture of baking soda and water, or an oatmeal bath will also calm the itch and help clear up the rash.
The right shoes and socks.
Wearing the right footwear can have a big impact on eczema on the feet. Avoid socks in synthetic fabrics, and skip wool as well as it can irritate the skin. Choose light cotton socks instead. Dyes used in socks and shoes can cause eczema outbreaks, so go for dye-free choices when possible. Look for shoes that allow the feet to breathe easily. If your eczema appears to be the contact type, try different options until you find socks and shoes that don’t provoke a reaction. It’s also a good idea to have several pairs of shoes and rotate them regularly.
Eczema on the feet can be very difficult to live with, especially for anyone whose career requires enclosed shoes worn for long periods. Practicing good preventative measures as well as avoiding irritants can keep your feet free of the itch of eczema and make walking more pleasant. And if you want to do more to cure your eczema naturally, I suggest visiting this website, Eczema Free Forever.