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Foot Dermatitis Risk Factors

Written by Megan Kinder, with information gathered from credible sources, research, and user submissions - mostly the American Academy of Dermatology. [email protected]

Foot Dermatitis Risk Factors

Researchers have identified several factors that can increase one’s risk of developing foot dermatitis and the risk of flare-ups:

  • Stress can cause foot dermatitis. Probably the most common risk factor, many patients report a stressful period before an outbreak
  • Gender can cause foot dermatitis. Females tend to develop dyshidrotic dermatitis more frequently than males.
  • Weather can cause foot dermatitis. Flare-ups are most frequent in hot humid weather. In fact, the weather is a common trigger for many patients. A study of 104 patients found that the following weather conditions triggered flare-ups: heat (29.8% of patients), humidity (24% of patients), and cold (12.5% of patients).
  • Pre-existing atopic condition can cause foot dermatitis (e.g., atopic eczema, hay fever, or asthma). Having one or more of these conditions significantly increases the risk.
  • Pre-existing contact dermatitis can cause foot dermatitis. Having contact dermatitis significantly increases the risk of developing dyshidrotic dermatitis. Contact with everyday objects—from shampoo and jewelry to food and water—causes contact dermatitis. When the contact leads to irritated skin, the eczema is called irritant contact dermatitis. If an allergic reaction develops on the skin after exposure, the eczema is called allergic contact dermatitis.
  • Pre-existing infections can cause foot dermatitis. Having an infection in another part of the body may increase the risk. A study found that one-third of the patients saw the dyshidrotic dermatitis on their hands clear after they received treatment for their athlete’s foot.
  • Metal implant, such as a hip replacement, can cause foot dermatitis. Studies show a direct correlation between a metal allergy and developing dyshidrotic dermatitis.
  • Aspirin, oral contraceptives, and smoking can cause foot dermatitis. One study suggests that smoking as well as taking aspirin or an oral contraceptive increases the risk.

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