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Shoe Allergic Contact Dermatitis

Matthys, Erin BS*; Zahir, Amir MD; Ehrlich, Alison MD, MHS

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000049

Foot dermatitis is a widespread condition, affecting men and women of all ages. Because of the location, this condition may present as a debilitating problem to those who have it. Allergic contact dermatitis involving the feet is frequently due to shoes or socks. The allergens that cause shoe dermatitis can be found in any constituent of footwear, including rubber, adhesives, leather, dyes, metals, and medicaments. The goal of treatment is to identify and minimize contact with the offending allergen(s). The lack of product information released from shoe manufacturers and the continually changing trends in footwear present a challenge in treating this condition. The aim of this study is to review the current literature on allergic contact shoe dermatitis; clinical presentation, allergens, patch testing, and management will be discussed. PubMed and MEDLINE databases were used for the search, with a focus on literature updates from the last 15 years.

From the *Department of Medicine, Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; †School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and ‡Department of Dermatology, Medical Faculty Associates, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Address reprint requests to Alison Ehrlich, MD, MHS, Department of Dermatology, Medical Faculty Associates, George Washington University, 2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20037. E-mail:

Funding sources: Dr Amir Zahir was a research fellow at the George Washington University, Medical Faculty Associates, whose fellowship was partially supported by the Abbott and Janssen Biotech.

The authors have no conflicts of interests to declare.

© 2014 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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