Peeling skin and rash on ankles

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I have been suffering from a rash on my ankles. The major symptoms I would say are a very itchy rash that waters when I scratch, and more prominently, 'dead' skin forms around my ankle and peels. The skin also seems to be getting tougher (maybe due to the scratching). Please find photo in the link below: and

I have been to 2 doctors so far. The first felt it was contact dermatitis and gave me a corticosteroid (mometasone furoate) which cleared it up for some months but then it came back again. I've been to another doctor 2 weeks ago who gave me an antifungal cream (daktarin), but after 2 weeks of applying, I can't see any significant improvement to be honest. In fact, the infection spread to the left ankle only after I had started this treatment. I don't know if there's a connection. I would be seeing a specialist next if this treatment fails but I would like to have a good idea of what it might be. Thanks.

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  • Posted

    I tend to think it is a contact dermatitis; but think the corticosteroid was not enough.  Your skin appears very dry.  Try aloe gel to help hydrate your skin, including the itchy area.  After you apply the aloe, put some hydrocortisone lotion on the itchy area - or you can try calamine lotion.  Also, might want to alternate with witch hazel solution.  Witch hazel is cooling and somewhat astringent.  Since your skin looks dry, consider taking Vitamin E and A by mouth which may help the overall health of your skin.  Also, Vitamin B complex may be helpful.   

    Additionally, I wonder what type of soap you use, due to skin appearing so dry.  Might want to try something less harsh, maybe ask at the health food store for a mild cleanser and be sure to rinse all soap residue off very well.

    I think the second doctor saw the circular pattern of the dry itchy place and thought it was fungal.  Usually they take a skin scraping (which does not hurt) and look under the microscope to see if it appears as fungal or bacterial.  I do see faint red scratched areas below the dry flakey area.  The hydrocortisone or calamine will help to stop the itch, which may give your skin a chance to heal.  Something definitely is causing this itching - but I don't know what it is at this point.

    Also, regarding the dryness:  I'd suggest you try a good quality lotion and find one that absorbs well.  Another thought about dryness is try castor oil or peanut oil.  The castor oil won't soak in quickly, but placed at night it will be absorbed by morning and your skin should be softer.  (I don't recommend the oils on the itchy place, though.)   You need to try some of these to see what works for you.

    If it is fungal, perhaps soaking in 50 % vinegar solution for 10 minutes twice a day will help this area.  Good luck and let us know what finally works for you.  Remember it may take a week for you to notice improvement, but if it does not improve in a week, then the treatment is probably not what you needed.   Just some thoughts....

    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Curious. What about the peeling? I think that's what bothers me the most. What possible reasons to make skin peel (and itch)? Is any kind of vinegar okay for the foot soak? Regards.
  • Posted

    Any type of vinegar will work; but usually people like white vinegar or apple cidar vinegar since red vinegar is more pricey and may stain - but vinegar is vinegar.

    Skin peels when that layer of cells has died.  You have new cells replacing these peeling ones, but the new ones are also faced with the same irritant, so they die and peel also.  We have to eliminate the offending agent that has affected this area - whatever it is.  Try the vinegar for a few days and see if it improves somewhat - fungus and bacteria can't live in vinegar very well, but our skin can.

    Another weird thought - do you have a cat or dog who may have rubbed against your leg there?  Could have brought in something that found it's way into a bit of open dry skin and settled there - setting up this itchy inflammation.  (Just another guess - it is hard to tell for sure)    Wishing you good luck with this - please let me know how it turns out.  Thanks

    • Posted

      No, I don't have any pet. I've started the vinegar treatment and would see how this goes! Thanks for the advicce smile
  • Posted

    Hello 10309,

    I thought I was the only person that have the exact same kind of Rash and itchiness on my ankles..I have tried so many different kind of Corticosteroid creams/ointments, but nothing is helping,, I have had this problem for the past 11 years. I am going to try the mometasone furoate.

    Their is one soak I do and  really helps with the inflamation and itchiness, ( 1/4 cup of Tumeric powder in my Footsoak for about 15mins) it helps for a couple of days.. The skin peeling is the worst. At nights its unbearable, because I am constantly itching and peeling the dead skin.. I am seeing my Skin Specialist next week. Thanks you



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