My name is Vannesa and I'm new. This is a great site. I have had a problem with my feet for a few months now and I need help, I get bad itchy skin on the tops of my feet. After I scratch the the itch it gets worse until I break the skin and bleed. Only then the itch stops for a few days then returns. I get this all the time on both feet, but only on the top, there are now lumps, rashes or spots there and no itching between the toes. Does anyone else have this problem? Or is there a fix?
I hope you all have better luck than I've had with this. There seem to be several things that can cause a rash like this. I had a severely itchy rash on top of my feet and around my ankles for almost 2 years, during which time 4 different doctors told me I had athletes foot. Wrong. Anti-fungals made it worse. Cortisones did absolutely nothing. Hot water made it worse. Tea tree oil did not help either. Antihistamines did not do anything. My feet got worse and worse, swelling to huge proportions and oozing like crazy.
Not one doctor could ever tell me how the rash started, but finally one doctor took a culture (after the rash had spread all the way up to my face) and it showed a massive staph infection. Please be careful that this does not happen to you.
My feet cleared up after a couple of courses of antibiotics, and ever since that I have been extra careful, wearing wicking socks, disinfecting my shoes, and washing my feet in cold (brrr) water. When I feel the least tingle I apply a benadryl-based cream alternately with Bacitracin ointment, and that has kept my feet pristine until just last night. Now the itchy rash has re-appeared around my ankles in spite of my best efforts.
One quick tip for the intense itching, I found that a spritz or two of sore-throat numbing spray works wonders. (06/29/2009)
Hi Vannesa, You described perfectly a problem I have been having for a year now. The itching comes on suddenly and it's intense. You scratch until you bleed and create a wound. The next day you can't put on your shoe because the wound you created is so painful. The wound you created is slow to heal.
There are a few things I've noticed about this. If you don't scratch the itch then it disappears in a few minutes. Once you scratch though it rapidly gets out of control and spreads on the top of the foot very quickly. It's like scratching spreads it and it tries to take over your whole foot so don't even scratch it once. The second thing I've noticed is that it always occurs when my feet are very hot from wearing my shoes a long time. This leaves me to believe it is some type of fungus other than athlete's foot. I would simply recommend removing your shoes whenever and wherever they aren't necessary. (08/18/2009)
I think you should know that this is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria. This usually happens as a result of skin becoming open or blistered due to scratching eg., from a sweat rash. This is why it affects the tops of the toes.
It is not fungal, it needs treatment with antibiotics or antibiotic cream. Ointments can sometimes makes the problem worse as they block the sweat glands. The best way to be sure it to get a biopsy. Insist on one and tell the doctor that this is not athletes foot. This should not be going on for months and years. Staphylococcus lives on everyone's skin. Those of us prone to sweat rash or who live in hot countries then scratch our skin when it itches giving the bacteria a chance to get inside. They then multiply due to the conditions being hot and moist. This can then spread to back of hands, elbows, and other areas of thin skin.
It also explains why the rash seems to "travel" along toes and down the sides of the foot or along the hands. Tea tree oil works because it is naturally antibacterial whereas the hydrocortisones and antihistamines do nothing to actually get rid of the bacteria. It sometimes goes away on its own. Washing with antibacterial soap should help. Please take my advice on this issue. (08/31/2009)
This is likely caused by an outside insect called chiggers. Walking outside they get on your feet. Rubbing alcohol 70% takes away itch. (09/01/2009)
My boyfriend has had this exact problem for the last 4 months. I finally convinced him to go to the dermatologist and found out he has strep in his blood. They said it was very serious and said it was a good thing he came in when he did, and should have come in sooner. They also did a biopsy, gave him a steroid injection, steroid cream, an oral steroid plus an antibiotic, anti fungal cream, and an oral anti fungal pill. I suggest you go see your doctor. (10/30/2009)
I have recurring foot rash, but only on the top of my left foot. I found if I soak my feet in very warm antiseptic mouthwash it relieves it. Listerine or the generic equivalent usually does it. It always comes back once I stop. Obviously I am looking for a permanent solution. (12/22/2009)
I suffered from pretty much the exact same symptoms back when I was around 12 or 13 and got it treated somehow which I don't remember now, and then it came back about 6 months ago. I am now in my 20s. It was severely itchy on the tops of my feet and near my ankles too, with little bumps and things. I would scratch until it would bleed, and nothing I put on it seemed to work, it sometimes actually worsened the symptoms.
I saw quite a few doctors who just prescribed oral and topical steroids that did nothing, then one doctor told me to just soak them in cool water, which worked better than anything. Long story short, it turns out that a pair of shoes I had bought that were made out of leather were the culprit. Apparently it is eczema that I have, and there is a chemical used when making leather that can trigger and worsen eczema. Also, do not use Lanacane or anything with lanolin in it because it also can worsen symptoms and make it swell. Sun exposure is also very bad.
So, if anyone is experiencing intense itching on the top of your feet. Stop wearing leather shoes and soak your feet in cool water until it subsides. Once it is gone just be sure to keep the area hydrated with an emollient lotion. I hope this helps somebody. (01/06/2010)
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