Best Shoes For Hand Foot Syndrome

Hand foot syndrome is a common condition that affects many people. It can cause you to lose feeling or tingle in your feet and hands, which can have a serious impact on your quality of life. In order to prevent these symptoms from getting worse, it is important to find the right shoes for hand foot syndrome.

In this article, we will discuss the best shoes for hand foot syndrome, so that you can make an informed decision when purchasing new ones.

Best Shoes For Hand Foot Syndrome

Hand-Foot Syndrome or Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia

Hand-foot syndrome is also called palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia. It is a side effect of some cancer treatments. Hand-foot syndrome causes redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet. Sometimes blisters appear. Hand-foot syndrome sometimes happens elsewhere on the skin, such as the knees or elbows. But this is less common.

Relieving side effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment. This is called palliative care or supportive care. Talk with your health care team about any symptoms you have. Make sure you bring up any new symptoms or changes in your symptoms.

Symptoms of hand-foot syndrome

Symptoms of mild or moderate hand-foot syndrome include:

  • Redness similar to a sunburn
  • Swelling
  • A feeling of tingling or burning
  • Tenderness or sensitivity to touch
  • Tightness of the skin
  • Thick calluses and blisters on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet

Symptoms of severe hand-foot syndrome include:

  • Cracked, flaking, or peeling skin
  • Blisters, ulcers, or sores on the skin
  • Severe pain
  • Difficulty walking or using your hands

Causes of hand-foot syndrome

Some cancer drugs affect the growth of skin cells or small blood vessels in the hands and feet. This causes hand-foot syndrome. Once a drug is out of the blood vessels, it damages the surrounding tissues. This causes symptoms that range from redness and swelling to problems walking.

Some drugs are more likely to cause hand-foot syndrome than others. Types of chemotherapy that can cause this syndrome include:

  • Capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • Cytarabine (available as a generic drug)
  • Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  • Doxorubicin (available as a generic drug)
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • Floxuridine (available as a generic drug)
  • Idarubicin (Idamycin)
  • Liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil)
  • Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  • Vemurafenib (Zelboraf)

Targeted therapies that are more likely to cause hand-foot syndrome include:

  • Axitinib (Inlyta)
  • Cabozantinib (Cabometyx, Cometriq)
  • Regorafenib (Stivarga)
  • Sorafenib (Nexavar)
  • Sunitinib (Sutent)
  • Pazopanib (Votrient)

Not everyone who takes these medications develops hand-food syndrome. The severity of hand-foot syndrome can be different for everyone. Even people taking the same drug for the same form of cancer may not have the same symptoms.

Preventing and managing hand-foot syndrome

Hand-foot syndrome is usually worse during the first 6 weeks of treatment with targeted therapy. With chemotherapy, it usually appears after 2 to 3 months.

If you notice early signs of hand-foot syndrome, or if you notice your symptoms worsening, call your doctor’s office. Your health care team may need to change your treatment or help you manage the symptom. The following tips may help:

  • Limit the use of hot water on your hands and feet when washing dishes or bathing.
  • Take cool showers or baths. Carefully pat your skin dry after washing or bathing.
  • Cool your hands and feet. Use ice packs, cool running water, or a wet towel for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Avoid applying ice directly to the skin.
  • Avoid sources of heat, including saunas, sitting in the sun, or sitting in front of a sunny window.
  • Avoid activities that cause force or rubbing on the hands or feet during the first 6 weeks of treatment. This includes jogging, aerobics, and racquet sports.
  • Avoid contact with harsh chemicals used in laundry detergents or household cleaning products.
  • Avoid using rubber or vinyl gloves without a liner to clean with hot water. Rubber traps heat and sweat against your skin. Try using white cotton gloves underneath rubber gloves.
  • Avoid using tools or household items that require you to press your hand against a hard surface. Examples include garden tools, knives, and screwdrivers.
  • Gently apply skin care creams to keep your hands moist. Avoid rubbing or massaging lotion into your hands and feet. This type of movement can create friction.
  • Wear loose fitting, well-ventilated shoes and clothes so air can move freely against your skin.
  • Try not to walk barefoot. Use soft slippers and thick socks to reduce friction on your feet.
  • Consider visiting a podiatrist to remove any thick calluses and thick nails before you begin cancer treatment. A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in conditions of the feet. He or she can also recommend products that lower friction and put less pressure on the feet.

Treating hand-foot syndrome

When taking medications known to cause hand-foot syndrome, topical anti-inflammatory medications may help. These include corticosteroid creams such as clobetasol (multiple brand names) or halobetasol (Ultravate). In addition, your doctor may lower your chemotherapy dose or change your chemotherapy schedule. Your doctor may need to temporarily stop your chemotherapy until the symptoms of hand-foot syndrome get better.

The following options can be used to treat hand-foot syndrome:

  • Topical pain relievers, such as lidocaine (multiple brand names). These are used as a cream or a patch over painful areas in the palms and soles.
  • Topical moisturizing exfoliant creams are available, either over the counter or through your doctor. Those containing urea, salicylic acid, or ammonium lactate are most useful.
  • Pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (multiple brand names), naproxen (multiple brand names), and celecoxib (Celebrex). Tell  your doctor if you are already taking any of these or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Ice packs under the hands and feet while chemotherapy is being given to prevent hand-foot syndrome from paclitaxel, docetaxel, or doxorubicin.

What Is Chemotherapy Hand-Foot Syndrome?

The outlook for many types of cancer has improved in recent years, largely due to improvements in treatment.

Chemotherapy is a therapy commonly used to treat cancer. Chemicals in these drugs keep cancer cells from replicating, but they can also cause side effects.

Hand-foot syndrome is one of the most common chemotherapy side effects that affects the skin. While it isn’t considered life threatening, it can cause swelling, numbness, and pain that seriously impacts your quality of life.

Keep reading to learn why hand-foot syndrome sometimes develops after chemotherapy treatment and what you can do to manage it.

What is hand-foot syndrome?

Hand-foot syndrome also goes by the medical names palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, Burgdorf’s syndrome, and acral erythema.

It’s characterized by redness, pain, and swelling in your palms and the soles of your feet. It’s a side effect of some chemotherapy drugs and targeted therapies.

Hand-foot syndrome can begin anywhere from 24 hours to 10 months after starting treatment.

Symptoms tend to start in your palms before affecting your feet. People with darker skin may develop patches of hyperpigmented skin instead of redness.

Other potential symptoms that may affect your hands and feet include:

  • numbness and tingling
  • feeling of tight skin
  • calluses and blisters
  • rash
  • itchiness
  • tenderness
  • swelling

In rare cases, people with hand-foot syndrome develop symptoms in other areas of the body, such as their knees or elbows.

More severe hand-foot symptoms include:

  • slow wound healing
  • nails lifting from their beds
  • trouble walking or using your hands
  • severe pain
  • sores
  • cracking or flaking skin

Some people with hand-foot syndrome can lose their fingerprints or the quality of their fingerprints, which can cause problems with personal identification.

What is the connection between hand-foot syndrome and chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy drugs contain chemicals that kill cancer cells. These chemicals can also damage healthy cells in your body, especially those that replicate quickly such as skin cells, blood cells, and cells inside your hair follicles. Damage to these cells can lead to side effects.

The exact way that hand-foot syndrome develops isn’t well understood, but it occurs when the chemicals from the drugs leak into the tissues of your hands and feet from small blood vessels. It’s thought that different classes of chemotherapy drugs may cause tissue damage in slightly different ways.

Your soles and palms contain beds of small blood vessels called capillaries. When chemotherapy drugs leak out of these blood vessels, they can damage the surrounding cells. Skin cells in your palms and soles tend to divide more quickly than other parts of your skin, which makes them particularly prone to damage from chemotherapy drugs.

Your feet also have a high concentration of eccrine sweat glands. Some chemotherapy drugs may accumulate in these glands.

For the chemotherapy drug capecitabine, some scientistsTrusted Source think that high concentrations of the enzymes that break the drug down in your feet may cause high concentrations of toxic substances to build up in these parts of your body.

How common is hand-foot syndrome?

Hand-foot syndrome is one of the most commonTrusted Source dermatological chemotherapy side effects, along with hair loss and mouth sores. Studies report that 5 to 62 percent of patients treated with sorafenib or sunitinib develop hand-foot syndrome, with severe symptoms occurring in about 6 to 8 percent of people.

Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely to cause hand-foot syndrome than others. The most common drugs to cause hand-foot syndrome are:

  • 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil)
  • capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin, Doxil)
  • ixabepilone (Ixempra)

The occurrence of hand-foot syndrome tends to be dose-related, meaning it becomes more likely at higher chemotherapy doses. There are other personal factors that may put you at higher risk of developing hand-foot syndrome, including:

  • advanced age
  • being assigned female at birth
  • diabetes
  • circulation problems
  • peripheral neuropathy

Tips and remedies for coping with hand-foot syndrome

Hand-foot syndrome can be uncomfortable, but there are ways to help manage your symptoms. Here are some ways you can cope with your symptoms at home:

  • Avoid using tools such as screwdrivers, knives, and hammers that put pressure on the palm of your hand.
  • Avoid prolonged heat exposure to your hands and feet, especially when bathing or washing dishes.
  • Stay off your feet while your feet are irritated.
  • Put ice packsTrusted Source under your hands and feet while receiving chemotherapy with paclitaxel, docetaxel, or doxorubicin.
  • Try topical pain relievers such as prescription lidocaine patches.
  • Some research suggestsTrusted Source that taking vitamin B6 might help, but the data is mixed.
  • Talk with your doctor about possibly changing your chemotherapy dosage.
  • Try applying 10 percent urea cream to your hands and feet three times per day after washing them.
  • Reduce stress to your feet by wearing loose-fitting socks and shoes.
  • Wear socks or slippers instead of walking barefoot.
  • Cool your feet and hands with cold water or icepacks wrapped in a towel for up to 15 minutes at a time.

What is the outlook for people with hand-foot syndrome?

Hand-foot syndrome isn’t a life threatening condition, but it can be very painful and seriously impact your quality of life.

Typically, symptoms go away once your chemotherapy treatment is finished. However, symptoms may continue for a short time after treatment as your body heals itself.

If you have sores or open wounds, it’s possible to develop an infection. You should contact your doctor if you experience:

  • a fever over 100.4°F (38°C)
  • chills
  • worsening symptoms, such as pain or redness
  • skin that feels hot or warm to the touch
  • yellow or green drainage
  • bleeding
  • a bad smell coming from your soles or palms
  • any new symptoms else you find concerning

The bottom line

Hand-foot syndrome is characterized by redness, pain, and swelling on your palms and soles of your feet due to chemotherapy medication or other cancer drugs.

Hand-foot syndrome can cause severe discomfort for some people, but it’s not considered a life threatening condition.

If you’re experiencing hand-foot syndrome or any other complications after chemotherapy, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about how to best manage your symptoms. A number of home remedies may provide some relief.

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