Guest Blogger: Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman
I frequently get asked by my patients, “Why did I develop this rash on my foot?” More often than not, they have Contact Dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis is inflammation caused by direct skin contact with an irritating substance or allergen (allergic reaction). This is different from an allergic reaction to medications.
Irritant Contact Dermatitis, the most common type, results from direct skin contact with acids, soaps, detergents, leather dye, or other chemicals and does not require a prior sensitization. The reaction often resembles a rash or burn. Allergic Contact Dermatitis is a delayed hypersensitivity reaction that appears 24-48 hours after the exposure.
The reaction varies from a mild irritation and redness to open sores or very small blisters and may vary in the same person over time. A history of any type of allergy increases the risk for this condition.
The diagnosis is usually based on the skin appearance and a history of exposure to a new product, such as soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, or other irritant. Treatments include removal and avoidance of the offending agent, topical corticosteroids or in severe cases oral steroids. If you see this or something unusual, you will want to contact your physician right away for treatment. Contact Dermatitis is quite common but if left untreated can lead to infections or other problems. Quick treatment is a key to getting rid of the problem.
Jeffrey N. Bowman, DPM, MS
Houston Foot Specialists
Past President, Texas Podiatric Medical Association
Board Member, Texas Podiatric Medical Association
Houston, Tx. 77043