Do you have itchy, dry, thick, scaly skin that is redder, lighter, or darker than the skin around it? If so, you may have a condition known as eczema. The term eczema refers to a group of skin conditions that are most likely caused by an over-reaction of your immune system to an irritant. You may also notice symptoms of allergies, hay fever, and/or asthma, because they are frequently seen together.
Although diagnosing eczema is usually pretty straightforward, there are two other skin conditions that are frequently confused with it.
- Ringworm – Eczema often appears as several small coin shaped lesions scattered across the body (also known as “nummular” eczema.) Ringworm also has this appearance, but is due to a fungal infection rather than an autoimmune condition (eczema.)
- Athlete’s Foot – The itchy, dry scaly skin seen on the feet in eczema is often confused with Athlete’s Foot. Surprisingly enough, Athlete’s Foot is the most common type of ringworm.
One subtype known as dyshidrotic eczema is characterized by fluid filled blisters that form on the sides of your toes and/or feet. These areas are itchy and flaky, and can last for 3 weeks or more before cracking open and becoming painful. If you have scratched these areas, you may notice that the skin in the area feels thicker and spongier. Other names for dyshidrotic eczema include “vesicular eczema” or “pompholyx.”
Although there is no cure for eczema, most people with the condition live normal lives and are able to minimize outbreaks/symptoms. There are a number of treatment options that can be used alone or in combination with each other.
If you notice that your feet are being affected by a flare up of your eczema or if you feel like the symptoms above describe what you are currently experiencing, call our Dalton, GA location of Advanced Foot Care Centers today at (706) 259 – 6882 for an appointment with Dr. Bello.
By: Clair Bello, III