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Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why is the skin on the bottom of my right foot flaking?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy is the skin on the bottom of my right foot flaking?

Question

The skin on my right foot is flaking off. It is the bottom of my right foot. Is this dry skin or is it something else?

Answer

There are at least two very common causes of flaking of the skin on the bottom of the feet, and you should go see your primary care doctor about the problem, because the treatments are very different! The first common cause is athlete's foot, which is a fungal infection of the skin on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. Common symptoms of athlete's foot include itching and redness of the skin of the foot, usually accompanied by flaking or cracking. There is sometimes also a strong odor. Athlete's foot is usually relatively simple to treat, and it responds well to good foot hygiene together with a topical anti fungal cream. The second common cause is a type of eczema known as dishydrotic eczema. This typically starts as small blisters under the skin that coalesce to cause areas of peeling skin. There is often also redness and itching of the skin. Unlike athlete's foot, dishydrotic eczema will not respond to anti fungal creams. Rather, steroid creams are necessary to get the inflammation down, and in fact usually a prescription strength cream is needed. Start by setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor today!

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Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.