Foot eczema is most commonly known as juvenile plantar eczema and is characterized by irritation, redness, pain and general soreness of the feet in children, yet it does affect some adults too. Research studies have shown that the condition tends to be severe during the summer months of the year. This is because the heat and humidity causes the feet to perspire and sweat.
Research studies have also shown that synthetic materials and chemicals used during the manufacture of shoes makes the condition worse. You can also make the condition worse when you allow sweat to accumulate in the shoe. The condition will also get worse when you cover your feet or your child’s feet with woollen or polyester socks.
To avoid making the condition worse, you should ensure that you wear the right type of shoes that fit correctly.
Best Shoes for Foot Eczema in Adults and Children
As rule of thumb you should wear shoes that will allow the skin on your feet to breathe. Some of the best things you can do to help with foot eczema include:
Buy cotton shoes: cotton allows air to easily circulate around your feet thus ensuring that your feet don’t sweat. Cotton shoes are also soft; therefore, they won’t rub against the inflamed skin. For ideal results you should ensure that the shoes are wide enough. It’s also good to go for those that have a padding or gel soles. To protect your skin you should consider wearing anklets or pantyhose. When buying the shoes always ensure that you can easily wash them without using chemicals.
Buy leather shoes: they allow good air permeability and keep your feet dry during summer. When buying shoes you should be cautious that you don’t buy “PU leather” which is synthetic thus not breathable. For ideal results you should wear the shoes with 100% cotton socks and make sure they are changed daily. To give your shoes enough time to dry out between wears you should have a few pairs on hand so you can alternate them. For kids with foot eczema, going barefoot is recommended to help the feet to breathe. This is not always practical with eczema in young children, and that is when you need quality, genuine leather shoes for kids. Kids with particularly sweaty feet can change socks and/or shoes more than once a day.
You should continue wearing the above-mentioned shoes for at least 4 months after the skin has healed. This is to ensure that the condition heals completely and doesn’t recur.
Shoes for babies: babies with eczema of the feet can benefit from wearing soft sole leather baby shoes. Not only are they crafted from breathable materials, but the soft yet supportive structure of the shoes means they fit well and are comfortable for your little one to wear. Again, barefoot is best at this age so for a baby suffering foot eczema you should only put them in shoes when absolutely necessary.
Insoles for shoes: Adults can wear leather shoes with a foam or gel insole. This is to provide you with a soothing relief from pressure. You should also ensure that your shoe fits well and the sole of your foot doesn’t slide against the insole of the shoe. This is to prevent the condition from getting worse.
Replace shoes regularly: Old shoes can harbour bacteria, which is bad news for sensitive eczema-prone feet, particularly if the barrier function of the skin is compromised by open eczema sores. So make sure you keep your and your kids shoes in good condition and replace them before they deteriorate.
Other Ways to Manage Foot Eczema
In addition to wearing the right type of shoe there are many other ways in which you can manage foot eczema. Some of these ways include:
Use bamboo socks: Bamboo is not only a super-soft material perfect for eczema skin, but it's ability to wick moisture away from the skin makes it the perfect material for socks to help prevent excess sweating and heat around feet.
Keep your feet dry: it’s common for your feet to be sweaty when you wear the shoes for a long time. To get rid of the sweat you should always clean your feet daily and apply your favorite emollient. When you are in the house you should always make an effort to stay barefooted.
Avoid carpet: Although, it’s recommended that you stay barefooted while indoors, you should note that woollen and polyester carpets cause static electric changes on the feet which worsens the condition.
Manchester for eczema: Make sure your and your
children’s bedding and towels are 100% cotton or bamboo and wash bedding and towels with
a liquid detergent for sensitive skin.
Where possible, dry clothing and bedding inside or tumble dry, to
prevent exposure to pollen if dried on an outdoor washing line.
About our Contributor
Chelsea Papadopoulos is a Mum of two and owner of online shoe boutique Tiptoe & Co. She loves matching little feet with gorgeous shoes! Find her over at www.tiptoeandco.com.au