People can be allergic to substances found in shoes. Shoe allergy is a form of contact dermatitis and develops over time as the skin on the feet is repeatedly exposed to a certain allergen. Long term exposure can cause the skin to become thick, red and scaly. Inflammation with swelling, burning and itchiness commonly reported and blisters and cracks (fissuring) often lead to secondary infection. Symptoms are found corresponding to the area of contact which is usually on the tops of the foot and toes. They can also be found on the sole of the foot, the legs, and the sides of the feet and heels. The area in-between the toes, is rarely affected. Common allergens include glues ( PTBP formaldehyde resin, and colophony), leather chemicals (potassium dichromate and pesticides), rubber chemicals ( Mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT) and thiuram mix chemicals) , biocides, dyes (p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), and metal components (nickel sulfate and cobalt chloride). Despite the obvious association shoe allergies can be difficult to diagnose and usually involve a Patch test for confirmation. Often the inflammation improves with changing footwear. Some people with severe dermatitis require special hypoallergenic shoes. Itching and inflection can be treated simply with topic creams. In the warmer months wearing shoes without socks can increase the risks of shoe allergies.
Shoe Allergies:A resource for those allergic to shoes