What Causes Itchy Feet?

itchy feetPerhaps nothing is more irritating than having itchy feet, although the problem is a common one and usually easily cured. Having itchy feet can be even more annoying when you are wearing shoes, since it is not always practical to scratch such an itch in public. There are a number of conditions that can bring on itchy feet symptoms, and knowing what causes itchy feet is the first step to recovery.

Eczematous Dermatitis

One of the most common causes of itching feet is eczematous dermatitis. This type of dermatitis occurs when the fatty layer that covers your feet and that protects your skin from drying out is lost, usually due to using soap that is too harsh or from bathing too often. When this happens, the skin enters a state of dehydration, with areas of irritation and redness causing itchy feet. A fairly fast solution to this problem is to cut back on bathing, forgo the use of scented soaps, and apply a heavy-duty moisturizer that contains lactic acid to replenish the skin.

Contact Dermatitis and Itchy Feet

Another type of dermatitis that causes itchy feet is contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis causes an allergic reaction that makes the feet itch. This can be a reaction to a type of fabric inside a new shoe or to a substance that you encountered when walking barefoot outdoors. Antihistamines and cold compresses can relieve the itching, although you may need a steroidal-based skin cream to get total relief.

Itchy Feet and Athlete’s Foot

If your itchy feet are accompanied by cracking, peeling, and scaling between your toes and/or the bottom of your feet, you have likely come into contact with the fungus that causes athlete’s foot. This fungus thrives on moist or irritated skin on the feet, and is typically contracted at the pool or in the locker room of your local gym. There are special creams and lotions that combat and heal athlete’s foot. You can prevent itchy feet from athlete’s foot by avoiding walking barefoot in places where the fungus likes to hang out.

Remedies for Itchy Feet

Treating itchy feet is usually a simple matter. Begin by keeping them clean, and washing with an antibacterial soap, preferably in an unscented format. Take care of dry skin on the feet right away, and do not allow dead skin to accumulate on the feet. If common foot problems that are treatable at home are ruled out and your itchy feet persist, the best advice that you can heed is to seek out the opinion of your personal doctor or a dermatologist. Your doctor may prescribe a faster-working prescription cream or other treatment to combat your itchy feet and relieve your symptoms.



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