If you feel a little tickle or itch on your nose, it’s easy enough to give it a gentle scratch and move on. But if your feet itch, under your socks and shoes, while you are walking, or when you’re out in public, it can be much more difficult to remedy your discomfort. Not only that, but itchy feet may be a symptom of a more significant problem that may require treatment to resolve.
Here are four common causes of itchy feet and what you need to do to get to the root of the problem.
Locker rooms, showers, and similar environments such as poolsides where people often walk around in bare feet on moist surfaces are breeding grounds for the development and spread of the fungus which causes athlete’s foot. Frequent and prominent itchiness is one of the signature signs of athlete’s foot, along with skin inflammation, burning, peeling, and a slight odor. Over-the-counter or prescription antifungal creams and medications can usually resolve the problem and stop the itching.
Contact dermatitis is a condition caused by an allergic reaction. On the feet, the cause of such reactions is often the material contained in shoes or socks such as leather and dyes. Exposure to certain soaps as well as poison ivy can also lead to this condition which causes itchiness, pale pink skin, or red, scaly rashes and blisters. It can usually be treated with topical steroid medications or antihistamines.
People with diabetes are more likely to experience itchy skin than those without diabetes, including itchy feet. Often, diabetes-related itchiness is the result of conditions called diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy which occur when elevated blood glucose levels damage nerve fibers in the feet. Since persistent itching may be a sign of nerve damage, it should never be ignored or treated as unimportant.
Keeping your blood sugar levels in check and eating a healthy diet can help, but if you have diabetes and your feet are itching on a regular basis, you should set up an appointment with your doctor.
When the skin on the bottom of your feet gets too dry, cracks can form, especially on your heels. When those dry layers of skin are regularly exposed to pressure and friction, they can harden and build up into thick, dry callouses that will eventually crack. This may not only cause severe itching, but it can also make standing or walking uncomfortable.
Since dry skin, cracks on the heels, and accompanying itchiness are primarily caused by dryness, it’s no surprise that the most effective remedy is moisturizing your feet.
JAWSpodiatry: Hollywood, Florida Foot and Ankle Specialists
If you are experiencing itchy feet, we can help. The experienced podiatrists at JAWSpodiatry in Hollywood, Florida are a growing group of exceptional professionals who offer the highest degree of foot and ankle care in a welcoming, comfortable environment. Please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.