Sweaty sock syndrome (juvenile plantar dermatosis) may be a condition where the skin becomes scaly and red on the soles of the feet of youngsters and young teenagers.
The explanation for sweaty sock syndrome is unknown, though alternating moist and dry conditions may cause the condition. It tends to be a long-lasting (chronic) condition, lasting, on the average, about 3 years. Sweaty sock syndrome usually goes away when a toddler reaches puberty.
Who's at risk?
Sweaty sock syndrome occurs in children aged 3–15, but it seems to be commonest in boys aged 4–8.
Children who have eczema (atopic dermatitis) seem to possess a better risk for developing sweaty sock syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common locations for sweaty sock syndrome include:
Ø Big toe
Ø Ball of the foot
The creases between the toes (toe webs) are not usually affected. Sweaty sock syndrome occurs as shiny, red patches on the weight-bearing surfaces of the feet. The skin appears tight and smooth. Occasionally, painful cracks (fissures) may be present. Even though children may complain of heavy sweating, the skin feels dry and scaly.
If you think that your child has Sweaty sock syndrome, have him or her try the following:
Ø Wear sandals or breathable shoes.
Ø Avoid wearing shoes with rubber or plastic soles.
Ø Wear thick cotton socks and change them if they get sweaty or wet.
Ø Use gentle, non-soap cleansers.
Ø Apply greasy moisturizers, such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline®), at night.
Ø Apply barrier creams containing dimethicone during the day.
Ø Seal cracks in the skin (fissures) with liquid bandage or superglue.
When to Seek Medical Care
See your child's doctor if he or she has red, scaly feet that haven't improved with self-care measures. If the kid has cracks within the skin additionally to a foot rash, attempt to see the doctor even sooner.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
The doctor will probably check your child for a fungal infection (athlete's foot) by scraping a small amount of surface skin (scale) and examining it under a microscope. If fungus isn't seen, the doctor will probably consider the diagnosis of sweaty sock syndrome.
However, athlete's foot is much more common than sweaty sock syndrome, so the physician may want to try a course of topical antifungal creams before concluding that your child has the later.
Once the diagnosis of sweaty sock syndrome has been confirmed, the doctor may recommend the subsequent additionally to the self-care measures mentioned above:
Ø Prescription-strength topical corticosteroid (cortisone) cream
Ø Antihistamine pills, if itching is severe
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