Itching on the bottom of the feet has a variety of possible causes. Walking barefoot and wearing sweaty shoes make the feet susceptible to some disorders that cause itching. Other causes, such as scabies, may also cause itching on the bottom of the feet. A dermatologist can evaluate itchy feet to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. Athlete\’s foot, or tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the feet that causes itching on the bottom of the feet and between the toes. It is contagious, and typically spreads in damp or wet areas where bare feet are common, such as locker rooms and showers,. Athlete\’s foot can also be spread by sharing towels and improperly cleaned pedicure instruments. It starts with fissures, or cracks, between the toes. Skin becomes itchy, red and moist-looking. Although research published in 2013 in The Foot noted that soaking feet in a bath containing green tea polyphenols seemed to have some antifungal properties, the standard treatment is over-the-counter antifungal creams or powders. A doctor can prescribe drugs for stubborn athlete\’s foot. Scabies is an intensely itchy skin condition caused by mites that burrow deep into the skin. In children, scabies commonly affects the soles of the feet, palms of the hands, face, neck and scalp.
Adults most often experience symptoms in skin folds, such as under the breasts or armpits, between the fingers, at the belt line and on the inside of the elbows and wrists. A red rash, tiny blisters and burrow tracks are symptoms. Itching is usually severe, and typically worsens at night. Treatment with products that kill the mites and their eggs — scabicides — is available by prescription only. Pitted keratolysis, or toxic sock syndrome, is a bacterial infection of the soles of the feet that causes a foul odor similar to rotting fish, according to a 1998 article published American Family Physician. It is common in athletes. Causes include unventilated shoes, sweaty feet and hot, damp weather. Pitted keratolysis causes itching and pain on the bottom of the feet. It is characterized by white patches covered with small, superficial pits that may join together and form larger lesions. A combination of treatments, including minimizing moisture, oral and topical antibiotics, antifungal creams and prescription antiperspirants, is needed to resolve the infection.
Foot itch is an irritating sensation that can sometimes be accompanied by redness, flaking, swelling, soreness or scarring of the skin. While scratching can temporarily alleviate the symptom, it is not a cure.
Continuing to scratch will ultimately result in skin damage, increasing irritation and chances of infection. Exercising can sometimes cause feet to become irritated, and the reasons for this occurrence vary. There are several causes of itchy feet during or after exercising; however, the most likely causes are dry skin or athlete\’s foot. Dry skin itches because it is easily irritated. Feet tend to sweat during exercise, which is the bodyвs attempt to cool warm skin. When sweat evaporates off your skinвs surface, salt remains, pulling moisture out of skin pores causing dehydration. Physical stress placed on your feet when running can also remove moisture from your skin. Other causes of dry skin can usually be seen in people that have chronic diseases, such as peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, psoriasis or thyroid disease. Dry skin could also be caused by common reasons, such as age, geographical areas with low humidity or poorly fit shoes. Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Symptoms usually involve itchy, red, flaky patches of skin. Peeling and cracked skin could also appear and usually does in between toes, on the heels and soles of your feet. Use a pumice stone to remove hardened skin from your feet.
Daily moisturizers and creams can help restore areas of dryness to normal condition. Prevention of dry skin involves washing and checking feet daily, carefully choosing loosely fitting cotton socks, snug but not tight-fitting shoes and avoiding activities that could injure your feet. Medicated powder can also help relieve itching on your feet. Athlete\’s foot is usually found in people with foot perspiration or wet feet trapped in shoes and socks. Fungus grows in these warm, dark and damp places and thrives in these environments. Fungus growth can be exacerbated by exercise as perspiration increases when you are active. As the fungus spreads to other parts of the foot, it irritates the skin, causing it to itch. Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention Athlete\’s foot symptoms involve itchy, red, cracking, burning, scaly skin that usually appears between the toes. Common treatment involves over-the-counter anti-fungal creams or ointments. Prevention includes washing and drying your feet after walking, allowing your shoes time to dry before wearing them again. Don\’t share your shoes with others, wear slippers in public shared areas such as pools, showers or gyms, and avoid tight-fitting shoes.