By Gary M. White, MD

shoe dermatitis

The term shoe dermatitis applies to allergic contact dermatitis of the foot in response to one or more components of the shoe.


The condition may be unilateral if one foot sweats more than the other. The tops of the toes, lateral sides of the foot and sole with sparing of the instep is typical.


Patch testing should be done and the offending allergen(s) avoided. Not only the offending shoes but also socks worn with those shoes must be replaced to eliminate exposure to the antigen. Occasionally, the socks themselves may be culprit if they have specific dyes, rubber (for non-sticky soles) or elastic. A variety of websites and companies give advice and sell hypoallergenic footwear. The footwear must of course be tailored to the specific offending allergens of the patient.

For those with allergy to mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), consider the following:

Additional Pictures

shoe dermatitis shoe dermatitis

Blistering shoe dermatitis.
shoe dermatitis shoe dermatitis

ACD to the straph of a thong.
shoe dermatitis


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