Though we frequently see peeling, scaly, red, itchy skin on the feet, it isn't always from Athlete's Foot! The skin has somewhat limited means of expressing various conditions. This is why sometimes different conditions can be confused. In addition, many 'classic' presentations of given skin conditions present differently and lack those 'classic' signs and symptoms on the foot. If ever in question, there are simple ways in the office that we are able to determine what is the root cause of your skin condition.
Acral psoriasis is a condition which differs from psoriasis as seen on the knees and elbows. On the feet, this can present very similarly to tinea pedis (or athlete's foot). The treatment for acral psoriasis is different from treatment for athlete's foot, as there is no fungus involved. In some cases, these people come into our office relating that they have had no success with over the counter antifungal creams and this can tip us off that the condition does not involve fungus OR that the type of fungus on your feet is not covered with the over the counter creams. Treating this condition starts with a urea based cream (available at our office) in combination with a steroid cream.
Acral lichen planus does not follow the rules of classic presentation of lichen planus elsewhere on the body. This can also present on the feet with flaking, itchy skin.
Acral spongiotic dermatitis is a condition seen on the feet. It is a form of exematous dermatitis (eczema) which is in actuality more common than tinea pedis! It is seen as itchy, red, irritated skin and often also presents with fissuring of the heels. This skin is very thickened and requires very different therapy from tinea pedis.
Don't get frustrated with dry, red, itchy skin on your feet! Since your skin typically turns over within 2 weeks, proper treatment can results at least that quickly! Make an appointment with one of our doctors today to determine if you truly have athlete's foot or if you are dealing with another skin condition completely!