3 Causes of Itchy Feet


AT NY Foot Health, we know that when your feet itch all you care about is getting it to stop as soon as possible. For the podiatrist, however, tracking down the source of your skin irritation is necessary in order to prescribe the proper treatment and tell you how to prevent a recurrence. Below are 3 common disorders that cause severe itching on the feet:

1.       Contact Dermatitis—this is basically a reaction to chemicals that come in contact with your skin. The two most common kinds are irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. With the irritant variety, your skin becomes itchy and inflamed because the chemical irritates it, such as what can happen if you use a harsh detergent or step on a surface that has been recently cleaned with bleach. With allergic contact dermatitis, your body is actually allergic to a chemical, such as latex or an ingredient in a skincare product, and the body releases inflammatory chemicals which create the itching.

2.       Athlete’s Foot—this fungal infection is spread by direct contact. That’s why it is particularly prevalent in the summer months when more people are barefoot and walking in places like beach changing areas and community pools that get a lot of foot traffic. Athlete’s foot often starts between the toes and then spreads to the soles of the feet. As the infection progresses, oozing blisters and cracks may also appear on the skin. Athlete’s foot can spread to the toenails and other parts of the body and to other people as well. For this reason, it’s advisable to keep feet covered, especially in public places, and not to share any items that touch someone else’s feet.

3.       Psoriasis—whitish silver patches of skin that itch is part of this autoimmune disease. Patients with psoriasis experience faster than normal growth of skin cells. The new skin cells move to the surface so rapidly that the dead cells don’t have a chance to slough off and instead build up and form itchy patches.

It’s important to get a case of itchy skin checked by your podiatrist. If you don’t see a podiatrist regularly, we can help you find an excellent foot doctor close by with our online directory. If the itching is not controlled, the skin can be broken and allow harmful bacteria to enter and cause a secondary infection. To learn more about conditions that affect your feet, subscribe to our free e-newsletter or contact us.