An itchy rash on the arch or heel of the foot is an extremely common problem to have.
- Since the arch of your foot is very thin, it is a prime target for feeling itching and irritation.
- The most common causes are eczema, dehydration of the skin, dermatitis due to irritation by a material (sock or shoe) and athlete’s foot (Tinea Pedis).
Athlete’s foot is the most common cause:
- These are usually very easily treated since the offending agent can be removed or corrected and the fungus easily treated compared to the more difficult nail fungus.
Itchy rash on the arch or heel of the foot
Symptoms of an itchy foot arch rash:
- Red or violet skin color.
- Inflamed skin.
- Blisters if very severe (Assume acute fungal infection or athlete’s foot).
- Flaky dry skin (assume chronic fungal infection).
- Peeling skin.
- Bleeding and scarring from scratching.
Prevention of itchy rash on the arch or heel:
The majority of causes of itchy foot arch rashes consist of irritations that should be removed by trying to remove different materials that may be irritating your feet such as the socks, shoes or detergents. The second major cause is due to dehydration which can be prevented by wearing thinner socks, moisturizing your feet after taking a bath or shower; The third common cause is hygiene- simply washing and moisturizing may take care of it; the fourth major cause if fungal infection which will need an athlete’s foot medication to take care of the problem.
- Allergies to a material.
- Dehydration (low humidity and wet feet that need to be moisturized).
- Overly sweaty feet due to bacteria (pomphylox which may need medication and moisturizing).
- Overly sweaty feet due to heat (need better socks).
- Insect, tick or flea bites.
- Sock material irritation.
- Shoe material irritation.
- Soap, laundry detergent or perfume irritation.
- Pregnant women hormones.
- Poor foot hygiene.
- Lack of moisturizing after bathing or showering.
Strongly consider foot fungus:
15% of the world has foot fungus. This causes chronically dry, itchy and flaky skin.
Symptoms of foot fungus:
- **If constant dry skin in the foot: assume foot fungus!**
- **If toenail fungus: assume you have, or have had foot fungus!**
- Usually persistent dry skin means foot fungus!
- Scaling, flaking and itching.
- Pain, swelling and inflammation.
- Blisters and cracking of the skin may occur.
- Usually in the sole of the foot and not on top of the foot.
- Can be in between the toes in the web-spaces.
Who is at risk for infection?
- 15% of the USA population is estimated to have foot fungus.
- Fungus reproduces through spores, which are very difficult to eradicate & they grow when conditions are ripe!
- Fungus thrives in moist areas such as showers or pools.
- It requires a warm moist environment to grow such as socks or inside a shoe.
- Some people have a genetic variation that decreases their body’s ability to eradicate the fungus.
- People with toenail fungus are more susceptible to foot fungus.
Home treatment of an itchy foot arch and heel rash
First you should identify what the cause of your athlete’s foot is which may be an involved process, but try the above prevention first.
Stage 1: Remove the cause of the problem.
- Wash feet your feet with soap regularly.
- Moisturize with any moisturizing cream after your feet get wet (this prevents dehydration) every time for 2 weeks!
- Change the material of your socks or any other material that may be irritating your feet (perfume etc)
Stage 2: Try an over the counter cortisone cream or antihistamine medication.
- Consult with your doctor and pharmacist, but 2/3rds of itchy rashes will be taken care of with a week or so of over the counter cortisone cream.
- If this works you likely had eczema or dermatitis.
- If the rash does not get better move on to step 3.
Stage 3: If that fails, assume fungus!
- If the rash got worse with the cortisone cream or antihistamines, it is likely athlete’s foot or a fungus.
- At this point you should go see your podiatrist for some foot medication.
- 2 weeks of medication will take care of almost any athletes foot with 100% certainty.
Stage 4: Also treat toenail fungus if present.
Toenail Fungus Can Re-infect Your Skin!
- Foot fungus can lead to toenail fungus.
- But toenail fungus can also lead to foot fungus.
- People who treat their foot fungus but continue to have toenail fungus will just re-infect themselves.