How’re you sleeping lately? If you’re like most people, turning off the stimulus of the day isn’t always an easy process. Falling asleep can take time if you can’t get your mind to stop whirring. It’s even worse if you’ve got a physical problem such as this one that we see in some of our patients: itchy feet.
There are a number of reasons your feet might itch. Some don’t go any further than the surface of your skin. Others can originate deep within your body.
- Itchy feet may simply mean that you’ve got dry skin. You can get dry skin from indoor heat, not drinking enough water, and exposure to water (through frequent hot showering, for example). If you’re a swimmer, you should know that chlorinated water can also dry out your skin.
- Psoriasis and eczema are two different conditions that cause the appearance of red, scaly, itchy patches anywhere on your skin, including your feet. Eczema is very often an allergic reaction to laundry detergent on clothing or certain types of raw fruit that you eat. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s skin cells grow and reproduce much faster than they should. Red patches, or plaques, form on the skin. On the feet, we often see these itchy plaques form on the soles.
- Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that forms in between the toes or on the toenails. Dry, itchy skin, sometimes accompanied by inflammation and painful blisters, are some of the telltale symptoms.
- Diabetes can play a role in causing dry skin.
- Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) may lead to tingling, numbness, and itchiness in the feet.
Solutions for itchy feet
We can’t help you a whole lot if your thoughts are keeping you awake at night. But don’t lose sleep over itchy feet. Treat simple dry skin or a skin allergy with moisturizing creams, topical steroid creams, soaking your feet in a warm oatmeal bath, or cooling your feet with cold, wet cloths.
Itchy feet resulting from systemic problems like diabetes or nerve damage should be monitored by a podiatrist on a regular basis. Turn to Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists. You can request an appointment online or by calling our podiatry practice in Montgomery, Alabama at (334) 396-3668.