Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in your feet? Your feet may feel hot for no reason or tingle and become uncomfortable, especially at night. While hot feet syndrome is highly painful, it is extremely common and can affect anyone for several reasons. If you experience a burning sensation in your feet, learn about the cause and potential treatments for burning feet below.
Also known as neuropathy, nerve damage occurs when the sensitive nerves of the feet are injured. This is usually caused by disease. Nerve fibers can become overactive, misfiring and sending mixed messages to the brain. Sometimes they may send pain signals, while other times, they may send feelings of tingling, heat, or numbness. These sensations may be manageable with only slight discomfort, or they may be completely debilitating.
The most common cause of neuropathy is diabetes. Alcohol abuse, vitamin deficiency, kidney disease, and the side effects of some medications can also cause nerve damage. The nerves of the legs are often affected as well, causing pain and numbness to radiate down the lower legs and into the feet and toes.
Another common cause of burning feet is infection. Certain types of infection can cause hot feet. When the feet become inflamed, they can feel hot and uncomfortable. The skin of the feet may feel as though it is tingling and burning, and if not promptly treated, some infections may spread up the leg.
Blisters and cuts that become infected may cause burning feet. Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, can also cause pain and discomfort.
Other Causes of Burning Feet
Other possible causes of burning feet include:
- Inflammatory Arthritis: Sometimes, arthritic pain can cause a burning sensation in the affected joints. This from excess inflammation buildup, is most often seen with inflammatory arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, gout and psoriatic arthritis. Treating the underlying arthritis can ease or make the burning sensation go away.
- Contact Dermatitis: Contact dermatitis is your skin’s allergic reaction to a certain chemical or substance. It is associated with an itchy red rash. Sometimes, the rash can also feel like it’s burning. Contact dermatitis is caused by allergens and skin irritants. Often, identifying and removing the allergen/irritant can resolve the reaction.
Symptoms of burning feet
The symptoms you experience will depend on the cause of your condition. Some common complaints include:
- Feet that feel warm or hot.
- A burning sensation in the feet.
- Burning feet at night.
- Numbness or loss of sensation.
- Prickling or tingling sensation.
- Increased sensation to the touch (hyperesthesia).
- Impaired blood flow to the feet.
- Difficulty walking.
How are burning feet diagnosed?
Depending on your overall health, your health care provider may use a few different methods to determine the cause of your burning feet. If you have been previously diagnosed with diabetes, this is the likely cause of your neuropathy, and no further testing will often be required. However, if diabetes isn’t the culprit, your doctor may order a blood test, a nerve biopsy, a nerve conduction study, or an electromyography test. These tests will help determine the exact cause of your hot feet and allow your doctor to provide you with the best treatment solution.
Treatment for burning feet
The treatment for your burning feet will depend on what’s causing it in the first place. If your hot feet are the result of an infection, treating the infection should eliminate all symptoms. If you are suffering from a vitamin deficiency, such as a lack of B12, taking supplements of this nutrient will help. If you have neuropathy, the best option is to slow down any further progression of the disease and help minimize the severity of the symptoms.
Keeping your blood sugar levels stable and ensuring you take all prescribed diabetic medications will help keep your nerve fibers healthy. Minimizing alcohol consumption and following a healthy and nutritious diet can also help. On top of this, numerous prescription and over-the-counter medications can reduce your discomfort, help you manage your pain, and improve the quality of your life.