Pruritus, the medical term for itching, can occur anywhere on your skin. However, the feet are especially vulnerable for the tendency people have to put them in sweaty situations with various types of footwear. Exposure to water, exposure to irritants when walking barefoot, and infectious bacteria and fungus can also lead to itching feet. While not typically cause for concern, itching feet can indicate an underlying skin condition or even disease.
Understanding what symptoms you should and should not be worried about can help you find relief. Itching feet may stem from a number of diseases, skin conditions, and exposure to irritants, which can include medications or topical ointments.
Skin conditions that cause itching specifically to the feet include:
- allergic contact dermatitis, which can be caused by something like new laundry detergent
- athlete’s foot/tinea pedis (fungal infection)
- atopic dermatitis
- juvenile plantar dermatosis
If you have athlete’s foot, antifungal sprays or creams may help. Chronic fungal infections may require prescription treatments.Topical anti-itch medication and steroid creams can help reduce itching, particularly in cases of cholestasis and neuropathy-related conditions. Good foot care habits can help reduce itchy feet and prevent some causes, such as a fungal infection. This includes always wearing waterproof shoes, such as flip-flops in shared shower facilities or gym floors.
Follow These Tips to Prevent Itchy Feet
- Refrain from putting on shoes and socks until your feet are completely dry.
- Wash your feet regularly with mild soap, paying careful attention to the areas between your toes and applying moisturizer after you finish bathing.
- Wear breathable socks that wick away moisture, such as those made from cotton.
- Wear shoes that are well-ventilated, such as those with mesh holes that help the feet stay dry.
If you are experiencing itchy or burning feet that will not go away, call our office to be seen by one of our podiatrists. We have different treatment options that can begin to give you some relief as soon as immediately.