Shoe Allergies Causes And Prevention

People can develop all kinds of allergic reactions to any substance. Some of these allergies might sound strange such as shoe allergies but for those who are suffering from this allergy, it can be very inconvenient.


Shoe allergy causes


Shoe allergy is a kind of contact dermatitis on the feet but it is different from foot allergy. Shoe allergies are common among children. It can be developed by wearing shoes which can keep the feet confined and covered most of the time. There are several shoe-based irritants which can cause shoe allergy. Some of the irritants are paratertiary butylphenol and colophony which are ingredients of the glue used in shoes. Other irritants include dyes, metal components (nickel sulfate, rubber chemicals (mercaptobenzathiazole) and leather components (potassium bichromate). These irritants react when the feet sweats.



The symptoms of shoe allergies include allergic eczema flare-up which can occur on one or both sides of the foot, skin lacerations, pruritus or severe itching and flaking of the toes and upper surface of the feet. Other symptoms are blisters, foot pain, fissuring and swelling of the feet. The soles and the areas between the toes are not affected by shoe allergy because they are thicker.


The diagnosis of shoe allergy can be difficult sometimes because the signs and symptoms of shoe allergies can be related to other diseases such as atopic eczema. Diagnosis starts with examination of the feet. The location and characteristics of the dermatitis and inflammation are key indicators for the diagnosis of shoe allergy. A patch test can be done for a more accurate diagnosis. A skin patch test is done by cutting parts of the shoe which covers the areas of the feet which are affected. The layers of shoe part should be separated after which each layer should be dampened. The doctor will then attach the layer on the upper arm using a specialized patch tape. After a certain amount of the time, the shoe layers will be removed and the skin will be checked for allergic reactions such as reddening of the skin.

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention of shoe allergies starts with good hygiene and regular foot care. People who are prone to shoe allergies should take preventive measures to control sweating of their feet. Examples of these preventive measures include the use of absorbent powder on the feet. In addition, you should not reuse dirty socks. Those who know that they are allergic to certain shoe irritants should avoid using shoes which has the irritants. You can also put aluminum chloride hexahydrate on your feet at bedtime.

Treatment of shoe allergy usually involves the use of creams, topical steroids and ointments. You can also use guards such as Johnson’s Odor-Eaters in the shoe to address inflammation of the feet. For more information about prevention and management of shoe allergy, you can check out sites such as the Dermatitis This site contains important information about shoe allergy which are very helpful.


Shoe-allergy free shoes


Those who have shoe allergy need not worry because many shoe manufacturers produce shoes which are allergy free. Those who are allergic to paratertiary butylphenol can buy Adidas, Askin, Bionat, Brooks and Cole Haan casual and athletic shoes. For dress shoes, companies such as Asgi, Eddie Bauer, Form and Fauna and Hush Puppies have sandals and boots for men and women which are free from paratertiary butylphenol. Individuals who are allergic to potassium dichromate can buy shoes from Askin shoes, Bionat, Birkenstock, Chaco, Crocs, Freerangers, gabor, Po-Zu and ULU Boot. These companies have casual shoes, athletic shoes and dress shoes for women and men which do not have potassium dichromate. When buying shoes, you can ask the salesperson to make certain that the shoes you are buying are allergy free.

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