A Calgary patient’s feet with a slight foot rash

Foot Rashes: A Guide to the Most Common Causes and Treatments

A rash on your foot can be itchy and painful, and you might worry that it’s contagious. We get a lot of questions about rashes at our foot clinic in Calgary, so we’ve put together a helpful guide outlining the most common causes.

Contact Dermatitis

Many of the rashes our foot doctor in Calgary treats have similar causes and symptoms to those that appear on other parts of the body. Contact dermatitis is one such rash. Like the name suggests, it’s caused by the skin coming into contact with either an irritant, such as a household cleaning product, or an allergen, for example metal jewellery. Rashes caused by irritants tend to be red, scaly, and non-itchy, while allergic rashes are usually itchy, red and bumpy. Regardless of the cause, the treatment of contact dermatitis is the same: avoid the substance that causes it, take antihistamines and apply topical steroids. 

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that can be caused by several different types of fungi. These fungi thrive in damp, warm environments such as sweaty shoes. The condition is contagious, most often picked up from gym shower floors. The rash is itchy, sometimes stings and can cause skin to thicken and flake. Anti-fungal medication is the go-to treatment. If you think you might have athlete’s foot, our foot specialist in Calgary can help.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Not to be confused with foot and mouth disease, which affects livestock, hand, foot and mouth disease is a contagious viral illness that commonly affects children. Red bumps appear around the mouth, hands and feet and may be accompanied by a fever. The viral infection usually goes away on its own, with treatments focusing on alleviating pain and making sure the infected person stays hydrated, as it can be painful to drink due to the sores.


Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a chronic rash that can affect the feet as well as other parts of the body. The dry, red, sometimes scaly or flaky rash has no known cause. Treatment usually revolves around reducing the symptoms with a variety of creams and ointments, including corticosteroids, as well as bathing in warm rather than hot water.

Unsure of the source of your foot rash? Looking for podiatrists in Calgary? For an expert opinion, contact Dalhousie Station Foot Clinic. Our experienced foot doctor is available for same-day appointments to help you get back on your feet fast.