Is it Foot Eczema or Athlete’s Foot?

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Although many eczema sufferers usually experience flare-ups in most common areas like on the front of their arms, behind their knees and around the neck, foot eczema can also occur.

Foot eczema is most commonly confused with athlete’s foot; however, the two can be distinguished from each other.

Athlete’s foot rashes appear between the toes and along the sides of the feet and heel. It is a fungal infection and is usually picked up in moist places like a communal shower floor or pool deck. It is also extremely contagious and only gets worse when feet are kept in warm, moist, enclosed spaces.

If you’re experiencing foot eczema on the other hand, you’ll be surprised to know that there are several different types of foot eczema that exist. Remember that eczema is never contagious, unlike athlete’s foot.

Please keep in mind that although these tips have worked for many eczema sufferers, I am in no way a medical professional. If you’re experiencing severe eczema or have a topical infection, it is always best to seek medical advice immediately.

Types of Foot Eczema

Nummular Eczema

This type of eczema is characterized by oval (coin shaped) plaques on the feet and can be caused by stress, different climates, and occupational hazards.

These patches can last weeks or months and sometimes end up oozing or becoming flaky and dry.

Contact Dermatitis

Another type of eczema that can appear on the feet is contact dermatitis. This type of eczema can appear swollen, red and with blisters or cracked sin.

Most foot contact dermatitis is actually caused by certain allergens found in shoes and socks. Rubber box toe shoes/boots are the most common cause of foot contact dermatitis, due a chemical known as rubber accelerators. Latex allergies are also a common trigger. Latex is commonly found in most elastic, so 100% cotton latex-free socks and elastic-free socks are a great option in these cases.

Dyshidrotic Eczema

Also known as pompholyx eczema or pedopompholyx, this type of eczema is very commonly seen on feet, especially among athletes.

It appears in painful blisters on the soles of the feet accompanied with intense itching. These blisters can grow into large growths on the soles of the feet that become painful

Causes of Foot Eczema

Although briefly mentioned above, foot eczema can be caused by a variety of external and internal factors. These include climate change or allergens such as rubber accelerators, dust mites and pollen.

To find out if pollen is causing your eczema, check out our post: How To Determine if Pollen Is Making Your Skin Flare-Up: The Eczema and Allergies Connection.

Treatment of Foot Eczema

In order to properly treat your foot eczema, it’s important to visit your doctor. Athlete’s foot and foot eczema are entirely separate conditions that require different treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with foot eczema and steroid or prescription creams are not working for you, using both natural eczema treatments and eczema socks can help provide necessary relief.

For foot eczema to heal properly, it needs to be kept properly aired out, so that it is free from sweat. These Hypoallergenic Socks are the perfect eczema socks, as they’re made of 100% organic cotton and are latex-free and elastic free, so completely comfortable and non-irritating. We also love these new adult socks for foot eczema from Remedywear! Why are they great? The fabric is composed of TENCEL and zinc for double the relief and comfort. They come in kids sizes too.

Both socks can  also be used for wet wrap therapy, which will keep skin hydrated and allow eczema to heal quicker. This type of treatment works by wearing one damp pair of eczema socks covered with a dry pair AND a natural cream or balm such as the Organic Manuka Skin Soothing Cream or Emily Skin Soothers Super Dry Soother to heal eczema quickly and painlessly.

Looking for more moisturizing treatments? Check out these nourishing natural eczema creams. If pompholyx specifically is a concern, this EczeHerbal Pompholyx Eczema Cream is a really great treatment with colloidal oats and aloe vera along with Chinese herbs selected just for this type of dermatitis.

Although foot eczema can be easily confused with athlete’s foot, there are several symptoms that are distinguishable as mentioned. If you are experiencing ongoing symptoms or are in a lot of pain, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible, so that you can receive the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Do you have foot eczema? Let us know how you treat it in the comments below!

Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for It’s An Itchy Little World. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes. Please see It’s An Itchy Little World’s disclaimer for information about affiliate links and more.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Camelie Similien on June 28, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Itchy and flaky

  2. Keza on June 25, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I appear to have Dyshidrotic Eczema, on my hands and feet between fingers/toes. I have been unable to wear socks/shoes in summer heat, the heat seems to make more blisters between the toes. I’ve mostly been wearing sandals to keep feet dry and aired out, using cortisone, aloe, lysine and various medicated cream. Found relief accidentally when i had forgotten creams when out of town, used Super Lysine+ (typically for dry lips/cold sores) and it moisturized and looked better/more healed by the morning.

    • Jennifer Roberge on June 25, 2018 at 10:38 am

      That’s wonderful you found something to work for you!

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