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White patches on feet turn white with moisture

Please read carefully! Most would think this is a podiatry issue, however I have been to two renowned podiatrists who were stumped which leads me to believe the root of my problem is dermatological.

I have four hardened patches on the sides of my feet that are symmetrical on my two feet- they are on the outer sides of my heel and on the sides of my foot right below my pinky toe. both look the same on both sides. When my feet are dry, these spots are pinkish/red in color and different texture (more hard/rubbery) than the rest of my skin. Whenever my feet come in contact with moisture for even a short period of time, these spots quickly begin to retain moisture and become raised and turn WHITE! The longer my feet are wet and soak, the whiter they become. This happens after showers/baths, swimming, and even wearing socks for more than an hour. They typically appear to have stay contained to a distinct border and do not appear to drastically grow larger or get smaller in diameter throughout the year.

I have had this problem for MANY years and have not found a solution. It does not appear that this is a commonly diagnosed problem as the only evidence I see of others with this condition are from forums such as these where people are desperately searching for an answer. No it is not pitted keratolysis because there are not pits. It's also not athlete's foot because there is not a smell.

I have tried tea tree oil, callus creams, and wart removers with no effect. The only way I have been able to combat this is by using a pumice stone or foot file to break down the patch each time I shower to reduce the white color. I have scrubbed to the point of bleeding in hopes to get to the "bottom" of whatever it is, but it still reappears. This is not dead skin that can merely be scrubbed away, because these come back in a matter of days. It's like they are alive and just regrow every time they get wet.

My first podiatrist said it was due to the way my feet were rubbing against my shoes near my toes and that orthopedic surgery would fix it. I tried to explain to him that I really think it is a skin issue because why would I have the same issue at the back of my heels where there is no rubbing! Plus, I have mostly been off my feet and barefoot this whole quarantine and no difference. The next doctor said we would break them down by putting a callus cream on each night, wrapping my feet in plastic wrap and covering with socks to soak the spots, and then scrub them away when I wake up in the morning. All this did was give me a terrible foot and ankle rash from sleeping with Saran Wrap around my feet.

These failed attempts and my own research believe me to be that it could be an internal fungal issue as is does not appear to be something that topical treatments can easily fix. However, I still don't know where to go with that information, what type of doctor to consult with, or how to get a doctor to actually listen to me and believe me! This has deeply affected my self-esteem and inhibits me from partaking in social events including pools, lakes, beaches, hot tubs, pedicures, etc or even getting out of a shower when staying with friends or a significant other because it is so damn embarrassing for someone to see my feet and ask what is that??? Also, about every time I get a pedicure, my technician (people who see dozens of feet every week) either tell me they have never seen anything like it before or have an obvious visual reaction.

Please please help. I'm so absolutely desperate to fix this. I would really like to explore all options before going on an elimination diet or paying for a procedure to remove them that will permanently scar my feet.

Thank you in advance.

1 Responses
Avatar universal
I suffer from the same thing. I did see one dermatologist but she seemed like she didn’t want to be bothered with anything regarding the foot. And recommended a podiatrist.  I have also gone to two podiatrists with no luck. I have spent so much money on creams and nothing seems to work. Have you gotten a diagnosis?
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