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Blistering rash on both feet

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About a week ago, a cluster of bumps appeared on the top of my left foot. They looked and felt like pimples except they had no white heads on them. Within a day, they began to itch. I scratched the cluster and it became a little red and inflamed but that's it. The next day, the bumps had spread across the toes and side of the same foot and the rash became itchier. I would scratch it but it seemed as if the itch was deeper than a surface irritation. Immediately after scratching, the skin became sore, swollen and weepy with pus. The next day, a similar cluster appeared on top of my left foot. (By then I had considered that touching my foot may have been causing the rash to spread so I had been very careful about washing my hands after touching the left foot.) Even though I only touched the right foot with cotton balls or tissue to apply medicated lotion, the rash spread even faster than on the left foot. Small blisters formed in the crease between my big toe and the next one on my right foot. One blister got so big that I had to pop it with a sterilized needle because it became uncomfortable (but not painful) to walk. I have swabbed that area with alcohol pads daily and there is no sign of infection. There are now blisters on/ between the toes of both feet and on top of the left foot.
I have tried soaking my feet in water, applying two different medicated creams I have been prescribed for eczema, alcohol, calamine lotion... I am at my wits end because it itches SO much. Cold compresses offer great relief but I can't apply them 24/ 7. And I keep waking in the middle of the night to find myself scratching one foot with the toenails of the other foot. I clipped my toenails but still find myself doing that. In the meantime, my left foot in particular is a oozing, weeping mess that sticks to my socks and seems to get worse everyday. I have an appt for Friday but would love some options for relief until I can see the doctor.
*Edited to add: I have not been barefoot in the woods or anything like that so I have ruled out poison oak and poison ivy and other people have touched the cluster of bumps without being affected by it. From what I understand, shingles mainly affects the torso. I had chicken pox as a child- and so far, the rash is confined to my feet. so, I don't know what this could be.
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replied April 3rd, 2010
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Hi detergram: Hopefully you have seen the Dermatologist by now and have some answers about your foot problems...I will add this to possibly help you out...Alcohol Pads are the one thing I would stay away from...I was told by one doctor that alcohol in itself is used for a marinate for meat products...The same applies to your body...For this reason I do try and use this very, very sparingly....Itching will make it spread...Not itching it can drive you bananas...Try ice cubes....Put them in a wash rag or even put them on the affected areas....At night in bed do not get too warm...Warmth makes the itch worse...Keep your feet comfortable and on the cooler side so that it does not start up...I have found that covering the area with medication of near any kind makes it worse...Warm water bathing three or four times a day and air can be a healer....If socks or shoes irritate then don''''t wear them until you heal...I know this is difficult, but try to keep loose binding on them...All of these things I am saying not knowing what your doctor has said...I guess many times I did my own doctoring with words from many doctors...Each may have another thought and you add your own to help...

I wish I knew what it was, but it sounds like some kind of problem that medication could cure...Either that or self cure using the words of others....Many times we have had to be our own scholar in figuring out skin problems and even though these words may not make sense to some it is the combination of two and sometimes three Dermatologists that have helped....

Hopefully a few things I have said may help....Either way I am trying...I hope by this time that you have improved and are doing well....Take care...

Caroline
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replied April 3rd, 2010
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Thanks for responding Caroline. I wasn''t able to see a dermatologist but I did see my family doctor. He seems to think I have scabies but I don''t see how in the world I contracted it. My boyfriend has not had a rash for the past several months and- other than my dog who can''t carry the mite- there is no one else I am in close contact with. My feet blistered because they became infected with Staph. I have had a fever for the past several days- 101.6 now- and am on antibiotics for the infection and permethrin cream 5% for the rash. I won''t know for up to four weeks if this is the right diagnosis and cure because the itching continues long after treatment. Just to be on the safe side, though, I followed all the instruction for scabies such as washing all my clothing in hot water, changing the bedding... I''ll just be glad to get some relief from this itching!
I''ve been using cold to combat the itching and you''re right, it does help quite a bit. Thanks again for the helpful advice.
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replied April 5th, 2010
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Update for anyone interested:
I talked to my boyfriend and, as I expected, he has no rash now and has not had a rash in the past few months. And I am super suspicious of rashes because I am allergic to practically everything in the world and get rashes very easily. (Allergies include dogs- yeah, I have one but she''s worth it- cats, horses, dust, mold, pollen, certain trees and even grass). I would have noticed a rash and questioned it if he had one.
I think I am suffering from chigger bites. The doctor did not take a swab or sample of the rash to diagnose me, he simply looked at it and declared it scabies. I have looked at photos of scabies and it does not look like my rash.
I live in the South where we typically have very mild winters but the snows from this past year were so massive that they caused our carport to collapse. We had two dead cars in there but our running cars were out of harm''s way. I had been asking my brother, the landlord to get rid of it or replace it but he was too busy, so I started taking it apart. The panels were connected by screws and came apart easily. There are lots of bushes and shrubs surrounding the carport and I had to stand in the middle of them to get to the screws. I had on jeans sneakers and footies but and could have easily been bitten by chiggers or another bug on the very top of my shoe/ sock. That''s where my rash started so that is what I believe happened.
To make a long story short, this is one where you have to get a second opinion. I am going to try to make another appointment with a different doctor to get a more definitive diagnosis. The two are very similar but I don''t like the stigma attached to scabies- the CDC all but calls it a STD and most people think it occurs only in unclean people and that is not the case with me.
One good thing though, the active ingredients in the permethrin cream will treat chiggers as well, so either way, the problem is being treated.
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replied April 5th, 2010
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You may well be right on this...Add to the fact that they may have crawled into your socks or even your shoes and infected you for a few days...If this does not clear up I would suggest that you see a Dermatologist...You don''t want it to happen again...Good luck and take care...

Caroline
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replied April 5th, 2010
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It is already clearing up nicely. Had a fun filled trip to the ER this morning because my temp went from 100 to 96 abruptly and I was freezing to death, shaking, experiencing nausea but now I am back up to 99.6. I''m like a human seesaw. But at least the rash is disappearing. Guess my body (and the antibiotics) will get things under control eventually. lol
Hey, if I couldn''t laugh about this, I would have to cry. Thanks again.
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replied May 20th, 2010
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Just my luck. Turns out that now I am allergic to the plastic or whatever material is in tennis shoes.
I bagged the shoes for about 5 days because I could not wash them immediately. Then I doused them with permethrin spray and let them air dry for a few days. Next I washed them in the washing machine alone with the same detergent I have been using, let them air dry at home, put them on and bam- new blisters appeared on the same location of my left foot. This would be where the tongue of the shoe touched the bend of my foot. So, now I am trying to find 100% leather sneakers. I have custom insoles because I am flat footed and I need shoes that are deep enough to fit them into and dress shoes are all too shallow and cause my ankle to flip out when I walk. I found a pair of Sketchers that are mostly leather and they seem to be doing well. Just can't believe I have a NEW allergy. I was already convinced that I was allergic to everything but oxygen but apparently I missed one. lol
Hope my bad experience helps any readers who suffer the same.
You have to remember that you can develop a new allergy at ANY time.
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replied May 20th, 2010
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Hi again deteragram...That is a shock to me...I never knew that people could be allergic to the material in tennis shoes...I want to offer one thought....Were they made in China?...I have seen more problems coming from that country both in food products and products in general...You may want to check this out....Take care...

Caroline
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replied May 20th, 2010
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Yes, they were Nikes made in China. I thought maybe there was something on the shoes but washing them in hot soapy water should have removed something like that, shouldn't it have? I did not wash the shoes with anything else to make sure that 'whatever' was removed- just one load on hot with only the shoes in regular Tide, no bleach. I did not use any softener or dryer sheets, either. I let them air dry in the spare bedroom. *shrug* I have no clue. I tossed those shoes in the trash today!
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replied May 20th, 2010
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Not if they are in the product themselves...Remember the deal with all the dry wall that was purchased from China!!!...It was Florida's nightmare (I believe this was the State)...If I were you I would try to find a product made in the USA (if you can) and go from there...Either way, I am happy you found it out...Take care...

Caroline
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replied May 20th, 2010
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Ha! I'd love to find some shoes made in the USA but they are IMPOSSIBLE to find. Do we Americans even make anything anymore or do we simply import everything? lol I just looked at my Sketchers and they, too, are Made in China. But they are mostly leather. The tag says Leather/ Textile Upper. I'm still looking online for some American made shoes but doubt I'll be successful. lol
Thanks for the advice and support, Caroline.
*hugs*
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