Why Do My Feet Itch?

Causes of Itchy FeetAt certain times of the year it seems like more patients come into the office complaining of their feet or toes itching. This drives them crazy. Often times they notice this more in the evening when they are relaxing or getting ready to go to bed. Why does this happen and what is causing this?

There are many causes to the above problem. 

Athlete's foot, or tinea pedis, can cause the above symptoms; however, the itching occurs all day not mostly at night. This is an infection caused by a fungus which can produce dry, scaly, red skin and can also cause maceration between the toes. It may occur on a specific area of the foot, both feet and between the toes. Keeping the feet clean and dry and using antifungal powders in the shoes along with topical antifungal medication may eradicate the problem. If this is not satisfactory, your podiatrist can prescribe medication that will take care of the problem. 

Xerosis, or dry skin, can cause itching in the feet. Once you scratch the area, histamine is released which causes more itching and the cycle to continue. Hydrating the skin is very beneficial and can get rid of the itching. Start using a moisturizer three times a day on your feet and when under control switch to two times daily.

Another problem is called contact dermatitis. This is a condition when a material or chemical, very often ones in shoes, come in contact with an area of the foot and causes a skin reaction which can cause itching. Many times one can see the areas of contact when the shoe or sandal is worn. It is usually confined to the areas which touch the shoe and can occur on both feet. Finding out what the chemical in the shoe or material used will help prevent future outbreaks. Hydrocortisone cream is often used to relieve the symptoms.

Photo Credit: TiveryLucky via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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