If the skin on your toes peel and itch, take action to soothe your symptoms now. You may have a foot condition called toe box dermatitis. The condition can affect men and women who wear shoes made with rubber toe boxes. Here's how toe box dermatitis develops and what you can do to treat and prevent it.
What's Toe Box Dermatitis?
The skin between and behind your toes can peel when you have allergies, psoriasis, or even a fungal infection. But if you don't have any of these conditions, ask a podiatrist (foot doctor) about toe box dermatitis. The condition generally develops when you wear boots, high heels, and other types of shoes that feature rubber toe boxes.
When your feet sweat, moisture and air can trap inside your footwear's toe boxes. The trapped moisture and air causes the skin on your feet to feel hot and irritated. If you don't remove your footwear regularly to air out your feet, the skin on your toes eventually begins to peel and turn red.
Toe box dermatitis can potentially allow bacteria to build up on your skin and cause an infection. If you don't treat the infection right away, it can spread to the rest of your toes and feet. To keep your toe skin safe and healthy, air out your shoes and feet.
How Do You Prevent and Treat Toe Box Dermatitis?
It's important to clean and dry your shoes after every use, including when you run and exercise. If possible, wear absorbent cushions or insoles inside your shoes to keep moisture from interacting with your foot skin. Also, wear socks made with cotton or another moisture-wicking material to keep your toes dry during the day.
If your toe skin continues to peel and itch, see a podiatrist for treatment. A foot specialist can examine your toes to see if you have any allergies to rubber or the chemicals in it. Materials made with rubber can cause inflammation and allergic reactions to some individuals. If you do have allergies to rubber, a podiatrist will instruct you to wear shoes and boots make with cotton and similar materials.
You may also need to use topical medication to treat your toe problem. The medications can help protect your toe skin from bacteria as well as block moisture. If you have concerns about your medications, contact a podiatrist immediately.
To learn more about toe box dermatitis and peeling skin on feet, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist today.