Rashes aren’t generally known for being terrifying. In fact,
Hollywood has yet to produce a B-grade horror movie called, “The
Rash That Came From Nowhere,” or “The Rash That Ate Omaha.” So,
rashes don’t really inspire a great deal of fear, but they are
annoying and can be very uncomfortable. For some people (such as
people with diabetes) they may even pose a significant risk if the
skin breaks down (allowing infection to get in). But we don’t have to sit back and let rashes invade our skin unimpeded. No, no. There are ways to fight these annoying irritations.
Rashes can be caused by many things, but we can break these causes down into a few general categories:
- Eczema – The term eczema may actually refer to pretty much any time the
skin becomes irritated or inflamed. Some people experience flare- ups when
under emotional stress, or when the skin of their foot encounters an
irritating substance, such as chemicals found in socks or shoes.
- Psoriasis – This is likely to show up as dry, flaky skin, which may
bleed when scratched off.
- Primary Irritant Dermatitis – This type of dermatitis shows up when the
skin of the foot is exposed to a harsh substance, such as chemicals that may
be found at work, or when people soak their feet in vinegar, bleach, or
other strong substances without direction from a doctor.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis – Rashes of this sort form when the foot is
exposed to something that (surprise, surprise) causes an allergic reaction.
Poison ivy is a relatively common culprit, and some people may be allergic
to dyes or other chemicals in socks or shoes.
- Athlete’s Foot – Caused by a fungus, this type of rash thrives in moist
environments (like sweaty feet).
Symptoms tend to vary depending on the type of rash you have.
Typically though, skin becomes inflamed (red, warm to the touch,
possibly a bit swollen) and itchy. Your skin may also appear dry,
scaly, or may peel and crack. Or, pustules or blisters may form.
(Perhaps Hollywood wouldn’t be so far off in making an “Attack of
the Rash” movie after all, eh?) Rashes from athlete’s foot tend to show up along the bottom of the foot, or between toes.
Because rashes may have a variety of causes, your podiatrist may
employ several different methods to determine from whence your rash
hath sprung. He or she will likely ask you about your symptoms (such
as how long you’ve been experiencing them, when they tend to show
up, etc.) and will probably perform a physical examination of the
affected part of your foot. If athlete’s foot is suspected, the
podiatrist may take a scraping of the skin to see if fungus is at
the root of your problem. If you or your doctor believe you’re
experiencing an allergic reaction, you might need to undergo allergy
testing to determine the exact cause.
How your rash is treated really depends on what is causing it. For
instance, cool compresses tend to be beneficial for primary irritant
dermatitis (which are basically chemical burns), while steroidal
creams are often effective at toning down allergic reactions.
Anti-fungal medications (creams, powders, or pills) may be
prescribed to fight athlete’s foot. However, treating your rash
incorrectly could make the problem a lot worse. So, whether you’re
terrified of “The Rash That Came in the Night” or not, be sure to have it checked by a qualified foot doctor before you try to tackle it on your own.
Call 719-543-2476 today to schedule your appointment!