ZocdocAnswersWhy do shoes give me a rash?

Question

Why do shoes give me a rash?

Every time I use one pair of shoes my feet break out in a smelly rash that can take days to go away completely. Is there some way to protect my feet from this? Is it some kind of allergy perhaps?

Answer

There are many reasons that you may get a rash from a certain pair of shoes. As you mentioned, there is a possibility that you may have an allergy to the material that your shoes are made from, in which case you may consider looking into what the material is and avoiding that when purchasing your next pair of shoes. It may be that you have a case of athlete's foot, which is a fungal infection that affects many people's feet. There are over the counter medications that one can purchase which can help with the symptoms of athlete's foot. Another possibility is that the material of that certain pair of shoes may not breathe (often seen in shoes made from synthetic materials) which can irritate your feet, and keep moisture in. This can cause odor, as well as a rash as you described. If this is the case, in purchasing your next pair of shoes, consider shoes that are well ventilated or made from breathable materials such as leather. It is recommended that you visit your primary care doctor or podiatrist because there may be some underlying condition that is causing this, and they would be able to better evaluate your presenting symptoms and medical history and decide upon the appropriate work up.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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