There’s nothing quite as annoying as an itch that just won’t let up. And when it’s a tough-to-reach area like our feet, it’s even worse. But luckily, with the help of your chiropodist and a little foot care, itchy feet are a problem you can solve. Your first step is understanding what foot condition might be causing your itchy feet and then learning about top treatment methods.
Causes of Itchy Feet
Athlete’s foot is a contagious fungal infection that causes itchiness on top of the feet, often on and between the toes. Both adults and kids can contract it by walking on contaminated floors without shoes (locker rooms, public showers) or sharing towels and other items. The excessive itching will eventually produce a scaly rash.
Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Both conditions cause dry, itchy patches of skin to form on the feet, with psoriatic arthritis producing additional, painful arthritic symptoms. Medical News Today notes that psoriasis can also lead to pus-filled blisters on the soles of the feet.
This is another term for an allergic reaction to a product that touches your feet. New fragrant lotions, fabrics or detergents you’ve never tried may be the culprit. Symptoms generally include an itchy rash that forms along the area that came into contact with the allergen.
Atopic dermatitis is a medical term for eczema. It is a chronic, non-contagious condition that often develops during childhood and lingers into adulthood. In addition to extreme itchiness, it can cause inflamed red skin, swelling, cracking and may produce a clear fluid if you keep scratching.
Additional Causes of Itchy Feet
Keep in mind that itchy feet can have numerous causes — here are some more you may recognize:
- Diseases like liver disease, kidney disease and cancer
- Bug bites (check to see if you have bites in other areas)
- General dry skin
- Diabetes-related neuropathy
- Chilblains (reaction to cold temperatures)
It’s important to speak to a foot specialist and your family doctor to understand what’s causing your itchy feet. Their combined expertise will give you peace of mind and advice on how to proceed.
Treatments for Itchy Feet
General Self Care
Morning and evening foot care routines can soothe the nagging itch from many conditions. This includes moisturizing, exfoliating, and enjoying warm foot baths. Try medicinal products from companies like Gehwol; they use ingredients that promote foot health and steer clear of harmful chemicals and fragrances.
When a chiropodist performs a medical pedicure, you also get the added benefit of a thorough cleaning and moisturizing season that relieves itchy feet and may protect you from future flare-ups. Skipping cosmetic pedicures and opting for medical ones can also help you avoid further contamination from nail salons.
Medications and Anti-Fungal Products
If you have athlete’s foot, it might not respond to self-care and nonprescription products. In this case, you may need to try an anti-fungal ointment, cream or spray recommended by a chiropodist. Serious infections may warrant oral anti-fungal pills.
Furthermore, those with contact dermatitis can try over-the-counter antihistamines like Benadryl, Claritin and Allegra.