Eczema is a condition that causes skin to become inflamed and itchy. The exact cause of eczema is not clear but it affects about 3 percent of the people in the United States.
Eczema is not a constant presence in someone’s life. It can come and go and it can go away for years and then come back. There are usually some triggers for it to start. It is suggested that patients pay attention to see what their triggers might be and therefore be able to try and avoid or lessen the outbreaks.
For many, a rapid change in temperature can trigger an outbreak. For others, it is stress or a reaction to a fiber or a detergent. The patient needs to be diligent to find out what causes the breakout and then conscientious to clear up the attack.
For people whose feet will break out with eczema, there are some precautions that can be taken. Sweaty feet can cause breakouts. If your feet sweat profusely, your friendly local podiatrist has some things that can help you. Using foot powder is not really the answer for you because it is a drying agent. It is suggested that you wear polypropylene or silk sock liners under your socks to help wick the sweat away from your skin. Also, rough socks can irritate the skin so avoid socks with seams. Rough wool socks are not for you if you have eczema.
Dry skin seems to go hand in hand with eczema. For your feet, you will want to use a product that helps with moisturizing but does not have a scent or any strong ingredients. Your friendly local podiatrist may have prescription suggestions but otherwise you can use petroleum jelly or mineral oil. When you get out of the bath or shower, put on the lubricant and then put socks on to keep you from slipping. The problem with antibacterial creams or antifungal cream or anti-itch creams is that you can develop sensitivity to them and then your problems can compound. Once you use those creams, they can be imbedded in your shoes so that even when you stop using them they can still cause an allergic reaction from being inside your shoes.
Topical steroids can help but if you use them too much, your skin can be weakened and prone to damage. If your feet are really itchy, you can try cold compresses that will help relieve the itch. If you need more than cold compresses, you can take an oral antihistamine (like Benadryl) to help relieve the itch. Some people find that covering the area to protect it from itching helps.
The problem with scratching those itchy feet is that the skin can easily get damaged. It is easy to break the skin while itching and then bacteria can get in and then you have a foot infection. How can you tell? Well, the first indications might be that your feet are actually oozing a bit or are hot to the touch. It could be that you start to run a fever or your feet hurt. If this happens, it is time to get to your friendly local podiatrist quickly. You certainly don’t want that infection to spread.
If you suffer from eczema and have found a great trick that helps you make it through an outbreak, please pass the information along.