Friday, June 27, 2008

Can We Talk About My Feet Some More?

I know: this is turning into the dying blog of whines. But, seriously, you don't want me to blog about the other things that are on my mind (though I did compose a good Nader/Obama/race post in my head the other day, it just never made it to Blogger).

So, as we all recall, there were the fab Born sandals to which I was allergic. Stopped wearing the sandals, itched for a while, and then there remained just a reddened, slightly scaly strip of skin across my foot to remind me of the ordeal.

Found cheap sandals at TJ Maxx: slides, brown, finished leather on the inside (did I mention my theory that some kind of chemical used to tan unfinished leather--you know, the kind of rough raw stuff--is the issue, because I have never been allergic to slides or shoes where the leather touching my feet is finished, i.e. shiny and smooth, and I wear all my shoes over bare feet?).

Wore the sandals for a few days, no problem.

Wore my fabulous orange Liz Claiborne moccasins on a hot sweaty day. Feet sweated a lot.

That night, yes, alas: itching. Massive itching. The reddened strip of skin (where I'd been allergic to the strap of the Borns) was red and inflamed. Some small bumps. More itching. Sometimes no itching. Then itching again.

But here's the mystery: Am I allergic to the fabulous orange Liz Claiborne moccasins, which I've been wearing for weeks now, on bare feet? Seems doubtful. Was it the new sandals? Could be, except I have been carefully observing my feet, and whenever I have been allergic to sandals before (the Bass, the Naots, the Borns), pretty much right after the itching started, a rash appeared in the shape of the sandal strap, and there is no such rash in the shape of the new sandals. These sandals cover a lot more foot than the Born does, and it's not itching on all that foot space, just, mainly, where the Borns were, only a little bit more. So could the sweat from the orange Liz Claiborne flats have triggered a re-outbreak of the rash from the Borns? I tell you, we have a regular medical mystery here. And a lot of itching. And a deep fear for my footwear fashion future.

And now I think I will go read Atul Gawande's article about itching in this week's New Yorker and see if it sheds any light on the matter. But first, I need to scratch.

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