Dry Itchy Feet? Treatments for Foot Eczema

April 22, 2024 6:20 pm Published by

Dry, itchy feet can be uncomfortable. But it’s even worse if blisters form and refuse to leave your lovely feet alone. What if these symptoms come back over and over again? Today, we’ll cover a possible cause of blisters and dry soles of your feet, foot eczema, as well as talk about the chronic version of this condition and your treatment options.

What Is Foot Eczema?

Foot eczema is when you have blisters and other systems of skin irritation on your feet. This is a general term that can include different conditions.

Symptoms of Foot Eczema

You may have a type of eczema if you have the following symptoms on your feet:

  • Small, dry, itchy patches of skin
  • Blisters
  • Cracked, irritated skin
  • Inflammation

Types of foot eczema include but are not limited to contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and dyshidrotic eczema. While atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis are both temporary, dyshidrotic eczema can be a more long-term condition.

Signs Your Foot Eczema May Be Dyshidrotic Eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema (Dyshidrosis) is a common type of eczema that can be identified not by its symptoms but by when and where these symptoms occur. If the eczema is dyshidrotic, the dry itchy patches of skin will commonly appear on your hands and feet. Unfortunately, while the symptoms may go away, they tend to come back. This chronic recurrence, known as flare-ups, can be frustrating.

What Else Causes Dry Itchy Feet?

Dry, itchy feet may not always be eczema. Other possible culprits include:

Athlete’s foot. Although commonly characterized by white, itchy patches of skin between your toes, Athlete’s foot can also appear as red, flaky patches of skin elsewhere on your feet. If left untreated, painful cracks in your skin may develop.

Allergic reaction. An itchy, red rash on the top of your foot or red spots may indicate an allergic reaction to something your feet touched, such as shoes or socks made from specific materials. Rashes on your feet may also be caused by a food allergy since rashes may occur in other locations besides where the food came into contact with your body.

Beach feet. Identified as sunburn on your feet typically caused by direct contact with hot sand, beach feet symptoms include redness and sometimes blisters on the bottoms of your feet. These symptoms typically go away as your feet heal.

Although not usually associated with dry skin, pressure sores and other types of sores can cause redness and blisters.

Identifying Dyshidrotic Eczema vs. Other Conditions

The cause is unknown, but dyshidrotic eczema is thought to be more common in women between the ages of 20 and 40 and may have genetic components. The good news is that your local, friendly podiatrist can identify whether you have dyshidrotic eczema or something else through a biopsy, allergy test, or blood test. If it is confirmed that you have dyshidrotic eczema, there are many treatment options available to reduce symptoms and lower your risk of flare-ups.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Foot Treatment Options

Soaking and Lotion

Soaking your feet in cool water can help relieve pain and inflammation. However, you should pat your feet dry and use lotion to relieve dry skin symptoms. This can (and should!) be a part of your daily foot care routine for best results. Additionally, wash your hands and feet whenever you come into contact with possible irritants that could trigger a flare-up.

Kick Socks and Shoes to the Curb (When Possible)

While shoes and socks can offer protection from allergens, they can also trap warm air, creating a dry, uncomfortable environment for your feet. Tight-fitting shoes can further aggravate your skin by adding unwanted pressure to the mix. When possible, free your feet to help reduce flare-ups.

OTC Medications

Your podiatrist may suggest over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as topical creams or ointments, that you can apply to the area to reduce inflammation and redness. In some cases, allergy medications such as Allegra® may be recommended to further address your symptoms.

Prescription Medications

If OTC medications are simply not providing enough relief, your savvy foot doctor may write you a prescription for an oral corticosteroid for short-term use or non-steroid alternatives for long-term use.

Stress Management

Emotional stress may be linked to increased flare-ups. With this in mind, finding ways to manage your stress could have holistic benefits for you and your troubled toes. Not sure where to start? Foot yoga can really help strengthen your feet while allowing you to relax at the same time.

Find Relief for Your Dry Itchy Feet

Even if you have dry, itchy feet and aren’t sure why, finding relief starts with getting a little help from your podiatrist. At The Foot & Ankle Group, we’ll work with you to identify your foot challenges and help you on the road to happier feet. Schedule an appointment with The Foot & Ankle Group today.


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