When people have itchy feet, they can feel uncomfortable and irritated. Unlike other types of itching, it can be difficult to obtain relief if the soles of the feet are affected. Although itchy feet can be caused by minor issues, such as overheating, it can also indicate that a more serious health problem is present.
Whilst rare episodes of itching may not be too bothersome, individuals should obtain medical advice if the problem persists and if they are continually asking, why are the bottom of my feet itchy?
When the soles of the foot itch, the patient may complain of persistent discomfort. In addition to this, they may try to scratch the bottom of their foot in order to try and relieve the itching. Although this can be effective in some cases, excessive scratching may lead to more symptoms. If patients damage the skin whilst attempting to relieve the itch, they may experience the following:
Furthermore, continued scratching may result in broken skin and this could enable bacteria to enter the sole of the foot. As well as exacerbating the existing condition, this could lead to a secondary infection and may require additional medical treatment.
Due to the numerous possible causes of itchy feet, it’s important to determine exactly what is resulting in the patient’s symptoms. By examining the patient’s feet and taking a full medical history from them, physicians can ensure that the true cause of the condition is discovered and that the appropriate treatment is put in place.
Due to their highly infectious nature, fungal infections are not uncommon and can easily spread from one person to another. If one person in the home contracts a fungal infection, it’s highly likely that other people in the home will contract it as well.
Often, spores of the infection are shed from the sole of the foot, leaving other people vulnerable to the condition. When people walk around without shoes or socks, it’s easy for the spores to attach themselves to the soles of their feet and cause itching.
Athlete’s foot is the most common type of fungal infection to affect the soles of the feet but it can normally be treated fairly easily.
If dermatitis affects the feet, it can result in intense itching and painful skin. Allergic contact dermatitis is normally caused by an irritant, such as a new type of sock or washing powder, whilst atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition which can flare-up at any times.
People who exercise regularly or who live in hot climates may be more prone to itchy feet than others. When the feet become hot, they tend to sweat and this can lead to increased itching.
Similarly, wearing the wrong type of shoes can exacerbate itching and other foot problems. If shoes are the incorrect style or are too tight, they may irritate the soles of the feet or lead to increased sweating. As a result, the individual will experience increased itching on the soles of their feet, and may also be prone to blisters or lesions on their feet.
If an individual has a scabies infestation, they can experience extreme itching on various parts of the body. The soles of the feet and the palms of the hand are prime locations for scabies infestations to take hold and people generally notice itching in these areas when they have scabies.
When an individual has poor circulation, it means that the blood supply to their extremities is limited. Although this can be a condition in its own right, it can also be a symptom of many other health conditions. One complication associated with poor circulation is itchy feet. Whilst some patients with poor circulation experience numbness in the feet, others notice persistent itchiness on the soles of their feet.
This condition most commonly appears on the hands but can also affect the soles of the feet. Dyshidrotic eczema causes small, fluid-filled blisters to appear on the affected area and causes intense itching, as well as redness and discomfort.
Although the patient may not have a specific skin condition, such as dermatitis, dry or dehydrated skin can also cause the bottom of the feet to itch. If the skin begins to flake or crack, this can cause extreme and persistent itching.
Itchy feet can be a symptom of a pre-existing condition, such as liver or kidney disease. Whilst these conditions may cause the soles of the feet to itch, even some of the medications used to treat these illnesses can contribute to the itching and discomfort.
If the bottom of your feet are itchy, it’s important to determine what’s causing your symptoms. Before using any type of treatment, patients with itchy feet may want to determine whether they’ve worn new shoes, used new washing powder or exposed their feet to any new irritants which may be causing the issue. If not, further investigation may be required.
Fortunately, most instances of itchy feet can be treated fairly easily. Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, can generally be remedied with a topical solution. If the infection persists, oral anti-fungal medications may also be prescribed.
Similarly, scabies can usually be treated with a topical solution, designed to kill parasites which are present in and on the skin. In addition to using a topical solution, patients will need to wash bed linen, clothes and towels in order to prevent another infestation from occurring.
Poor circulation can often be treated with medication, such as Pentoxifylline. If limited circulation is causing the patient’s feet to itch, improving their circulation should also relieve the itching and prevent the condition from returning.
In cases of dyshidrotic eczema, patients are usually treated with a corticosteroid cream, along with anti-itch medication. This type of solution helps to minimize blisters and relieves the associated itching. Patients may also be advised to soak their feet in cool water and could be prescribed an oral steroid medication if it is deemed necessary.
If dry or dehydrated skin is causing the soles of the feet to itch, this can often be treated with self-care methods. Using a rich moisturizer, for example, can help to repair the skin. Once it is no longer dry, the itching should be alleviated.
When patients experience itching on the bottom of their feet due to existing medical conditions, their physician should be able to determine whether their illness or medication is contributing to the itching. If necessary, the patient’s medications may be changed to prevent the itching or they may be prescribed additional medications, such as antihistamines, to stop the itching.
If an individual is prone to itchy feet, they may be able to prevent the itching if they are aware of what’s likely to cause it. Individuals who are prone to dry skin, for example, may use moisturizer on a regular basis in order to prevent the skin from becoming dry. Alternatively, patients who have experienced allergic contact dermatitis before may want to avoid using harsh chemicals to wash their clothes in order to prevent itching on the bottom of their feet.
Furthermore, individuals may be able to prevent the soles of their feet from itching by wearing socks and shoes, rather than walking around barefoot. Using appropriate footwear at gyms and pools can also help to prevent the spread of infections, such as athlete’s foot.