If you are trying enjoying the nice spring weather coming up in Metzger Park, Sharon Woods Park or Highbanks Park, you might notice the skin on your feet is a little itchier than usual this time of year if you suffer from eczema. This disease can be extremely irritating on the feet and elsewhere on the body. Even Kate Middleton has told stories of being bullied for the rashes of eczema on her skin.
Atopic dermatitis becomes worse in the spring because spring is also the season when allergies are at their peak. This skin condition is seen most commonly in children. Children affected will frequently have other signs of inherited allergies including runny nose and itchy eyes. Allergens cause a sensation of intense itching but do not cause the actual skin appearance seen in eczema. The visible rash, small blisters or skin thickening that occurs in eczema is actually caused by the intense itching and scratching as the individual tries to achieve relief. On the affected child’s foot, it is commonly seen as redness and scales and possibly even fissures, or cracks in the skin from the extended itching. Darkening of the skin or hyperpigmentation can also be seen after extended periods of itching in the affected area. The area around the ankle where the top of sneakers may rub and cause friction is a frequent area of involvement. When cuts or fissures do develop from itching, parents should watch carefully for any signs of infection of the foot. If pain, swelling, or pus appear at the affected area, contact your podiatrist as soon as possible so that antibiotics may be prescribed.
Eczema is treated by both lessening the allergic sensation of the foot being “itchy”and by decreasing the habitual itching that develops as a result of the condition. Moisturizing creams, topical corticosteroids and medications commonly used for allergies, such as anti-histamines, are used to suppress the sensation of itchiness. Removing external irritants, such as a high top sneaker that rubs against the irritated ankle would also be utilized to decrease the appearance of rashes.
Many different skin conditions can affect the foot and ankle. For this reason it is critical to obtain a correct diagnosis from your podiatrist before beginning treatment of a skin condition. Dry scaly skin may just be a sign of eczema, or it could be athlete’s foot, in which case applying a moisturizing cream could do more harm than good. Many skin cancers of the foot can also mimic less sinister skin lesions including athlete’s foot or an eczematous rash.
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.