Rash On Top Of Foot

A rash on top of foot is a noticeable change in color or texture of your skin. Some rashes that appear on top of the feet are different from other skin disorders that appear in other parts of the foot. They create a reddish appearance and the skin becomes scaly, itchy and bumpy.

Skin rashes that appear on top of feet may suggest the presence of other disorders that affect the whole body. Various factors can cause this condition ranging from allergies to dermatitis to sun exposure. Some rashes are contagious while others are not.

What are Foot Rashes?

Foot rashes are conditions that cause the affected skin to turn blotchy, red and swell. They may cause scaly, bumpy or flaky spots. These rashes may be filled with pus. These skin conditions vary in pattern, location and extent. Foot rashes may develop for various reasons. It may indicate that something around your foot is wrong or a systemic body health condition.

What Causes Foot Rashes?

It’s essential to diagnose the cause of foot rushes to prescribe the right treatment. Correct treatment prevents a recurrence and ensures the condition does not turn chronic. Here are some common and rarer causes of foot rashes.

1. Irritant Contact Dermatitis

The condition arises when the protective outer layer of the skin gets in contact with various chemicals. Substances contained in dyes, household cleaning products, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and detergents are major causes of contact dermatitis.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary in appearance subject to the potency of the irritant and length of exposure. They include localized scaly, cracked, dry skin accompanied by a non-itchy foot rash.

Treatment

Wash the affected area thoroughly. Use topical steroids and antihistamines. Avoid irritant substances.

2. Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Most exposures to allergens result in an immune reaction on the skin. Some common allergens include metallic substances like nickel and chromates contained in shoe leather. Others include latex rubber and plants substances like poison ivy.

Symptoms

It appears as a red or pink skin with small bumps that blister in some cases. It gets extremely itchy as the condition worsens.

Treatment

Use a cold compress, topical steroid cream, antihistamines and avoid these allergens.

Contact dermatitis may develop from a single or repeated exposure. Signs appear within a few minutes or hours of exposure. They may last for two to four weeks. It’s important to mention that rashes caused by contact dermatitis are not contagious.

3. Eczema/ Atopic Dermatitis

This condition usually starts in early childhood. Most individuals manage to treat it early or it goes away naturally. However, it may persist into adulthood if not treated. It affects about 25% of the children and 9% of adults. Its occurrence has been reported to be on the rise.

The primary cause of Eczema is unknown. The skin’s inability to offer a barrier to protect feet against bacteria, allergens and environmental conditions may cause Eczema. The disease has a genetic link and can be accompanied by fever and allergies. Anxiety and stress can worsen this condition.

Symptoms

The skin gets inflamed with red, dry patches that can progress to tiny, fluid-filled bumps. It gets irritatingly itchy at night. Eczema rash affects the skin where it folds especially between the toes.

Treatment

There is no definite cure for eczema. Nonetheless, you can use corticosteroid cream or ointment, UV light therapy and antihistamines to reduce the symptoms. Moisturizing the skin at least twice a day helps in reducing flare-up occurrences. Showering more often with warm water and using emollients like Aveeno in place of soap helps in preventing skin from drying out.

Eczema is not contagious. It tends to flare up periodically and subsidies ranging from a few days to years.

4. Athlete’s Foot/ Tinea Pedis

This fungal infection is a type of ringworm that starts between the toes. Ringworm rash affects about 15% of the US population. It’s more prevalent in men. It is caused by damp footwear, tight shoes, sweaty feet and everything that keeps the foot warm and wet for long periods.

Symptoms

Ringworm rash appears as a flaky, scaly, itchy and red foot rash. It’s accompanied by burning and stinging sensations that can cause blisters.

Treatment

Anti-fungal cream or ointment medication is effective. In the severe cases, oral medication is necessary. Proper hygiene measures like changing shoes and socks regularly are vital. Moreover, wearing sandals to prevent extensive moisture at the foot helps to treat this condition.

Athlete’s foot is highly contagious. It gets spread by skin-to-skin contact and through exposure to contaminated surfaces like towels, floors and clothing.

Several other causes of foot rash are less frequent. They affect more of the entire body system rather than being restricted to lower legs or feet. They include:

5. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that appears as scaly, red, itchy patches. Psoriasis develops from rapid overproduction of skin cells arising from problems with the immune system. This condition results in the formation of lesions that range from small to localized patches to massive eruptions that appear on the whole body.

The condition affects 2 to 4% of the population, and the rash appears on the soles and on top of feet. Symptoms go through recurrent cycles of flare-ups for several weeks or months before settling down and healing.

6. Scabies

The contagious skin condition gets caused by a parasite that burrows under the skin. It affects about 1.5% of the population. Scabies causes intense itching that gets worse at night. Surface burrows caused by mites appear in lines accompanied by red spots. They appear in the webs of toes and fingers resulting in a foot or hand rash.

7. Insect Bite

A bite to your foot can cause a rash. This rash tends to be a localized spot or group of spots affecting a small area. It may get itchy and settles within a few days.

Other causes of foot rash include:

  • Lichen planus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Chickenpox
  • Meningitis
  • Shingles

Risk Factors of Foot Rash

A family or personal history of allergies and asthma increases the risk for foot rashes. People who are mostly outdoors are at increased chance from insect bites, poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak. Other risk factors include:

  • Prolonged moisture, heat or irritants exposure
  • Psoriasis
  • Drug side effects
  • Parasite infections
  • Lyme disease
  • Allergic reactions
  • Fungal infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Extensive skin rubbing

How to Prevent Foot Rash

If the cause of the foot rash is known, it can be avoided. For example, treating and vaccinating against various diseases like chickenpox, meningitis and arthritis prevents rash occurrences. Other preventive measures include:

  • Wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Drying your feet and toes thoroughly after showering.
  • Use thickly cushioned socks to prevent friction if you are walking for long hours.
  • Wear absorbent socks and ensure that you change them often.
  • Avoid wearing the same shoes day after day

When to see a doctor

Although some rashes may not get too intense, it’s advisable to seek medication or medical advice as soon as they appear. Swelling of the tender areas near the affected area requires urgent doctor consultations. Additionally, severe pain, itching and discoloration in the rash area require urgent medical attention.

If you are suffering from a foot rash, consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Finally, it is advisable to implement preventive measures to avoid any development of rashes on your feet.