Foot Rash - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Pain Care

Foot Rash – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

The rash is an unpleasant and uncomfortable skin condition that causes discomfort and itchiness. A foot rash is a type of rash that occurs in the areas surrounding the feet. It will cause your feet skin area to be flaky, bumpy, and scaly. It is caused by several factors, some of which indicate that something is wrong around your feet area but may also indicate that something is wrong with your entire body system.

The rash may affect your feet differently. The condition can sometimes choose to affect your toes, heels, and the top or bottom of your feet. You need to be wary of the rash that affects your whole foot because it may turn into a chronic condition. You are advised to see a doctor right away to give you a diagnosis so that the condition can be easily managed.

Foot rash causes

Treating foot rash is important as curing it. Knowing the cause will help to develop a better way to treat it. It will also help you to prevent it from affecting you in the future. If you are not sure about the causes of the condition, keep on reading:


Contact dermatitis is an allergic reaction that results from your skin is allergic to certain substances. The allergic reaction will result in foot rash. There two well-known types of dermatitis:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis – certain substances such as dyes and cleaning products can destroy the outer layer of your skin that protects from a lot of things. This will leave your skin exposed and increase your chances of being affected by a skin rash.
  • Allergic contact dermatitis – when your body is exposed to a substance it is allergic to, it sends a message to your immune system which immediately sends out antibodies. This reaction to the allergic substances is what causes the skin rash.

If you are constantly in contact with someone with foot rash, you are most likely to see the condition developing within minutes or after some time. Sometimes, the rash may even develop just after being contact with someone who has the rash.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

Eczema is one of the well-known chronic conditions that mostly affect children. Some children are lucky enough to beat the condition but in some cases, eczema follows the child into adulthood.

It is affecting more people than it did a while ago. It is estimated that approximately 25% of children are affected by the condition while less than 10% of the adult population is affected.

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)

Athlete’s foot affects men more than it affects women. It is a fungal infection that starts between the toes. If it is left untreated, it will form other types of rash. It is highly contagious and it needs to be treated with care.

Insect/bug bites

A bite by an insect on your ankle or foot tends to form a rash in the long run. The bites form itchy spots that don’t long to settle.


A glitch in your immune system may cause the overproduction of skin cells. This causes psoriasis which, a chronic skin condition that leaves you with scaly patches.

The lessons can be small and only affect a small area or it can be big and affect a bigger part of your body. The soles of the feet are the most affected parts of your body. The symptoms of the condition can show up for weeks or months and then disappear before re-appearing again.


This contagious condition is caused by a parasite that burrows under your skin. The resulting itching is very intense and it worsens during night time. If untreated, scabies leads to a hand or foot rash.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease

This is an infection that normally affects children less than ten years old. As the name says, the infection mainly affects the hand, foot, and mouth.

Other mixed caused

There is also a variety of other conditions that cause the condition. These include meningitis, chicken pox, and lichen planus.


Some people react negatively to medication. The medication can lead to skin rash.

Symptoms and causes of foot rash

Foot rash has visible symptoms associated with it. These symptoms make it easy to identify the rash in its early stages and find a way to stop it.

Treating a condition early is the best way to fight it. Sometimes, the symptoms of foot rash may give an indication of what caused. This is helpful as it will give you the opportunity to eliminate the cause and prevent it from happening in the future.

Always remember that the main focus of medicine is not in treating diseases and conditions, but rather preventing them. Below is the list of some of the symptoms and treatments of foot rash.

  • If you have been exposed to irritant contact dermatitis, you will have an ankle rash that does not itch. The skin of the affected area becomes scaly, cracked, and dry. The intensity of these symptoms will depend on the amount of exposure. As a rule of thumb, the more exposed you are, the more severe the symptoms will be.

The best way to get rid of the symptoms is to stay away from the irritant. You need to thoroughly wash the affected area. You can also apply eczema creams such as anti-histamines and topical steroids to the affected area.

  • Extreme itchiness of the affected area accompanied by blisters caused by tiny blisters that are either red or pink.

You can eliminate the symptoms by staying away from the allergen. You can also apply steroid cream and anti-histamines to the affected area.

  • Inflamed skin with visible red and dry patches. The foot rash normally itches at night and in time, it can grow to become bumps filled with fluids. The rash normally affects the areas between the toes.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that you will completely cure the rash. Although eczema cannot be cured, there are some avenues that you can take to reduce the effects of the condition.

Anti-histamines, ointment, cream, and UV light are some of the few options you have that can reduce the symptoms. The use of ointment of is more recommended than methods.

There are a few preventative measures you can take to minimize the chances of contracting the condition. Bath using warm water (or even cold water) instead of hot water. Don’t let your bath or shower long. Make it as minimal as possible. Constantly keep your skin moisturized.

Eczema comes up on its own and disappears for weeks or years before reappearing. The good news is that it isn’t contagious and therefore cannot be passed from one person to the next.

  • Ringworm rash – this is characterized by flaky, red, and scaly foot rash. It can lead to the development of blisters. It may not be severely itchy but it burns and stings.

Since this is a ringworm rash, it is mainly treated with antifungal treatment. You can use cream or ointment. In severe situations, you will have to go for oral treatment.

It is also good to practice good hygiene wherever you are. You need to regularly wash and change both your socks and shoes. You can also make things easier by wearing sandals once in a while. This helps to reduce extra moisture that may allow fungi to breed.

Ringworm rash can eventually turn into athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is highly contagious and can be easily spread through skin contact or coming in contact with affected areas such as towels and floors.

When you have ringworm rash, you need to treat it immediately so that it doesn’t affect others. The same goes if you share a house with someone who the rash. Urge them to get medical attention so that you are not at risk of contacting the risk by virtue of sharing of facilities and surfaces.

  • Hand, foot, and mouth disease – the main symptom is a red and non-itchy rash on your hands and feet (particularly the soles of the feet). You will also blisters that will affect your mouth, feet, and hands. Other symptoms include:
    • Dehydration – due to difficulties you experience when drinking water
    • Sore throat
    • Lack of appetite
    • Fever
Hand foot and mouth disease on child feet

Image By: OgrBot (

The main focus of the treatment is to minimize the effects of the symptoms. Although the symptoms usually go away after a few days, you can get medicine such as paracetamol in order to improve the easiness of swallowing and drinking water.

Fortunately, hand, foot, and mouth rash is non-contagious and cannot be passed from one person to the next. It is also worth mentioning that this rash is not related to the foot and mouth virus that affect animals and there is no way that humans can be infected with the rash by animals.

  • Psoriasis – it is characterized by the usual big, scaly, and red patches. It is quite different from other rashes because it is caused by a malfunction of the immune system.

It cannot be cured but systemic and topical medications can be used to treat it. Salicylic acid is highly recommended by doctors as it smoothes the skin. The ointment sheds off the scales caused by psoriasis. Unfortunately, the ointment has some side effects and some of them include:

  • Irritation of the skin
  • Hair loss

You can also use steroid-based creams to reduce the inflammation and minimize the itching. Stronger creams are used to stop the overproduction of cells that eventually leads to psoriasis.

However, the cream has side effects that include:

  • Irritation
  • Dryness
  • Skin thinning

You need to be careful when you use these creams. You can avoid all the pleasantries if you follow your doctor’s orders to the latter.

Prescription retinoids can also be used to treat the symptoms of the condition. They are less mild than steroid creams as they are manufactured using synthetic vitamin A.

Unfortunately, their side effects on your body include dryness and skin irritation.

  • Scabies – they are characterized by severe itching and blisters. The skin rash is contagious and a person who has it must seek medical attention immediately. The following remedies are used to alleviate the symptoms:
  1. Cayenne pepper – cayenne pepper consists of capsaicin, a chemical substance that is applied to the skin in order to reduce and relieve pain.
  2. Tiger balm – it relieves inflammation and reduces muscle pain.
  • Insect bites – the majority of insect bites do not need any special treatment as they eventually go away on their own. However, you can speed up the recovery process by leaving the place that has the insects. This is a natural and easy way to make sure that you are not exposed to the insects that have been biting you. Here are some methods for fighting insect bites:
  1. Ice pack – apply some blocks to the area that you have been bitten or stung. For every hour, apply the ice pack to the bitten area for 20 minutes. Do this for 6 hours.
  2. You need to see a doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a scorpion
  3. Immediately take out the stinger if you have been stung by bee
  • Other various causes – foot rash can be caused by several other causes such as using a new soap or detergents. If you use a new product and you develop a rash, it is wise and advisable to stop using that product.

Prevention of foot rash

Foot rash is caused by several factors. The sure way to prevent it is to stay clear of the things that cause it. You can prevent foot rash by:

  • Avoid living in an area with insects such as scorpions and bees. If you are bitten by any of the insects, sought medical help immediately.
  • When you share a home without someone who has skin rash such as athlete’s foot, convince them to see a doctor immediately so that the rash does not pass on to you.
  • Get rid of mites that cause scabies
  • Do not eat or use substances that your body is allergic to.
  • Encourage the people close (or far away) to you to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze as it may spread hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Foot rash is an uncomfortable disease caused by several factors. The majority of the factors are external and this gives us a little control over whether we contract the rash or not. Unfortunately, psoriasis is caused by a glitch in the immune system and there is little we can do to prevent it. However, we should never lose hope as there are remedies that can at least treat the symptoms. Fortunately, the rash eventually goes away on its own after a few days.
Dr. Sachin

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