What Makes Your Foot Itch?

Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
It was a beautiful weekend. The first nice weather that we have had in ages! I sat outside with friends for a few hours. When I came in, I noticed that my feet were all red and there seemed to be a rash and bumps all over the top of them. This has never happened to me before. The worst part is that it really started to itch that night.  And then on Monday morning it hurt to put on my shoes! It bothered me during the day and I went to the drugstore. The pharmacist told me to put on some anti-itch cream and cold compresses. He thought it might have something to do with the antibiotic I have been taking. But now I have itched and itched and the area is really red and HOT! What should I do?
Princess Itchy Feet
Dear Princess,
Wow, all that because of a nice day?  I assume that you did not have shoes on while you were outside and your feet were exposed to the sun. 
What to do right now –
Right now you need to call and get in to see your friendly local podiatrist.  Your feet need to be checked for infection. It is very possible that you could have broken the skin when you itched your feet and bacteria has entered through the broken skin and it is infected. The doctor can give you medicine to help cure the infection. But you do need to go to the doctor quickly. You should not mess around with infections in your feet. 
How could this have happened?
If you are on an antibiotic, it is possible that it has made your skin photosensitive which means that your skin will react to sunlight. There are some classes of medication like tetracycline antibiotics and sulfonamides and heart drugs that can cause photosensitivity. 
Is there a name for this problem?
Yes, this reaction of your skin to sunlight is part of the family of contact dermatitis reactions. There are many things that can cause contact dermatitis.  Contact dermatitis is as its name suggests a reaction of the skin to something that touches it. It can be that some people’s skin reacts to some soaps or fragrances. Other people can react to the nickel that is found in earrings or other pieces of costume jewelry. Nickel is also found in zippers, watchbands, eyelash curlers, and coins. 
The skin’s reaction to Poison Ivy or Poison Oak is also a form of contact dermatitis. There are many causes for contact dermatitis. You might think of it is your body’s allergic reaction to a substance that touches it. 
What do I do if this happens again?
The first step is to avoid the problem. If you have been on antibiotics and your skin becomes sensitive to light, stay out of the sun while you are taking the drug. If you bought a new watch and you discover that the skin under the watchband is broken out in a rash, stop wearing the watch. 
You will have to play detective to find out what has caused the problem. Think over changes you have made and see if you can identify the culprit and then avoid it. 
But how do I treat it if it happens?
As long as the area is not infected, you will want to treat the red rash that may have bumps with cold wet compresses and an anti-itch cream. You can also take an over the counter anti-inflammatory drug like Advil or Motrin. Do not scratch the area as you can then cause infection. If the area turns really red and feels warm or if you see a line of red leading from the area, it is time to get to the doctor. As long as you can keep it from getting infected, the rash will last two to four weeks. If you are concerned about it, you can go to the doctor and have it checked. The doctor may give you something that will make you feel better quicker. 
I hope that you are feeling better soon. It is really hard to have an itchy rash. When it is on your feet, I think it can be even worse. Shoes will rub it and make it uncomfortable all the time.  You may find that the cold compresses really help.
Your Pal,

The Foot Blogger Chick
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