Foot Eczema - Three Methods I Used to Relieve It
Foot eczema is probably the most inconvenient kind, next to facial eczema. We are on our feet constantly and they are often surrounded by socks and shoes that brush against the skin and make it painful. We have to forgo the simple joy of wearing sandals or flip-flops during summer because we are too embarrassed to show our feet.
Luckily for me, foot eczema isn't something I suffer from often, but once in a while, I get tiny blisters on my feet that I inevitably end up scratching. Then the rash spreads, sometimes all the way up to my ankles, and my feet look unsightly.
As you can see, my eczema is nowhere near someone who has totally cracked and oozing feet, but I still didn't want my feet to look like that. And there have been instances where the soles of my feet were peeling and itchy as well.
The above instance was quickly remedied with Heimlich Clear Cream, but before that, I used a combination of methods to bring it under control.
1. Keeping the Feet Dry and Clean
To anyone who has foot eczema, I want to first ask this:
Do you wear shoes inside the house?
When I first moved to the United States from South Korea, I was surprised to find out that people (at least the non-Asians I came in contact with) like to wear shoes inside their house! I couldn't fathom how anyone would want to track in all the dirt and dust from outside, right into their home. Not to mention how keeping the shoes on after a long day of activities would feel so uncomfortable.
Although I am over the culture shock now, I still keep a shoes-off house policy. The first thing I do when I come home from work is to take off my shoes, my socks, and wash my feet if they are excessively sweaty or smelly, towel off, and keep them dry. It's a given that in order to maintain this policy, my carpeted house is vacuumed and cleaned frequently.
For those who are active or involved in sports, I suggest checking out Drymax Sport Socks. They are designed to repel moisture inside the socks and keep feet dry.
2. Controlling the Itch
When my feet would become intolerably itchy, I turned up the water as scaldingly hot as I could possibly handle and soaked my feet for about 10 minutes. This helped take off some of the itch. Then I would alternate between really hot and really cold water, a method I called "Confusing the #$@#$ out of the itch."
I don't recommend this method more than once a day since excessively hot water tends to strip natural moisture off the skin, but it's great for taking the itch away while you regain your sanity.
After washing the feet, towel off and apply either a medication or a moisturizer; a lot of people swear by Gold Bond Foot Cream because it's specifically designed for treating cracked heels.
3. Light Treatment (Ultraviolet Light Therapy)
People are divided when it comes to this form of therapy, but I wanted to mention it because it personally worked for me.
I did light therapy for 3 months (3 times a week) before my wedding. While my skin was left drier than usual, it did take away most of the redness that my skin had.
Light therapy also had the unusual benefit of lifting my mood. It is no secret that dealing with eczema constantly can cause depression, and that sunlight is beneficial for it. Since it wasn't practical for me to walk around outside naked, light treatment was the next best option. Exposing my feet (not to mention my entire body) to light felt good, like sunning on the beach barefooted.
Foot eczema is just like eczema on any other parts of the body. It's hard to find a treatment that "carries over" or has a cumulative effect - that is, something that wouldn't make eczema rebound or resurface once we stop the treatment.
The methods I described above have worked for me personally, although I realize everyone will have a varying degree of success. At the least, I believe keeping the feet dry and exposed to air as much as possible should provide relief.
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