Foot Itching? Get Rid of Itchy Feet
Foot Itching can be a real pain in the butt, but luckily, the majority of itches can easily be solved with at-home remedies, foot moisturizers, and self-care strategies. However, just because itchy feet can be solved at home doesn’t mean your problem isn’t serious. Itchy feet is your body telling you to take better care of yourself and you don’t want to ignore what your body is saying.
Let's cut to the chase, the best at home ingredients to use for itchy and stinky feet are baking soda, Epsom salt, and citric. These ingredients should be common staples in any wellness cabinet and at Spa-Da we’ve combined them to pioneer the Foot Fizzy, the bath bomb for your feet. Bath bombs are ideal for bathing away the itch and the Spa-Da Foot Fizzy is a one of a kind foot conditioner, moisturizer, and exfoliator (ground pumice stone) in one. Keep reading to learn the secrets and science behind why we itch and how to stop it.
When feet become too dry or too moist we increase our risks of developing itchy microbial infections and colonization.
Itchy feet can pop up at the worst times and everyone hates to get that hard to reach deep foot itch that requires you to take your shoe off at work. The reality is that our feet take a beating and are constantly being exposed to potential irritants like allergens, insect bites, poison ivy, thorns, and dangerous microbes. Furthermore, our feet are often neglected and left in moist shoes and socks, the perfect environment for breeding stinky microbes. When you combine foot irritants and moist environments you create a recipe for itchy and stinky feet. Solving your itchy feet problems may be as simple as fixing a bunched up sock, better hygiene, or regular foot bathing, but it could also mean something much more serious.
What Causes Itchy Feet?
Or more like, why in the hell are my feet itching like crazy? Believe it or not we can cultivate some pretty funky microbes on our feet and the bad ones are itchy and smelly!
Foot Fungi & Microbes
When our feet become too wet or too dry, bad microbes thrive and the most common reason for itchy feet are bad fungi and microbes! More specifically, a fungal infection called Athlete’s Foot is the most common cause for itchy feet.
Hard working feet have a tendency to sweat and this moisture is what encourages fungal infections and stinky feet. Microbes are the culprit and these microbes love moist environments where they can feed on your dead skin and natural oils. These microbes not only create inflammation and itch, but release organic acids and sulfur compounds that smell awful. The most common fungal infections that cause itchiness are athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, both of these fungal infections can be picked up in gyms, pools, and locker rooms.
The majority of itchy feet can be attributed to contact dermatitis, foot eczema or psoriasis, fungal infection, insect bite, or poison ivy and most of these causes can be prevented. - In some cases, underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, or thyroid gland disease may cause inflammation and itching. Other common cause of itchy feet may involve an infection that is gaining hold in broken or damaged skin or hormonal fluctuations in women that are going through menopause.
Itchy Bottom of Feet
The bottom of our feet are constantly exposed to unwanted moisture, skin irritants, and dangerous microbes. Knowing this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the bottom of our feet are one of the more common places for developing a pesky itch. Furthermore, the bottom of our feet and in between our toes are the areas most prone for developing itchy and painful blisters. Itchy bottom of the feet may also be the result of psoriasis, bacterial infections, or athlete’s foot. More specifically, there are two types of Athlete’s Foot, one type targets the bottom of the feet and the other targets the area between our toes. Athlete’s Foot is often misdiagnosed as psoriasis when it occurs on the bottom of our feet. Unfortunately, it is possible to get both types of Athlete’s Foot and if left unchecked Athlete’s Foot and high contagious fungal infections can spread quickly.
Itchy bottom of foot no rash
Itchy skin is commonly associated with red skin, bumps, scales, or dry skin patches, but what’s causing your itch if there’s no noticeable blemish or inflammation? Noticeable skin inflammation is typically associated with a microbial infection or damage to the skin surface, and when there is no rash or visual inflammation it typically means there is an underlying cause to be concerned about. This may or may not be serious, but medical advice should be sought. When our skin is itching, but there are no skin symptoms it often means there is a neurological problem that may be associated with diabetes, alcohol abuse, or cancer treatment. Neurological damage may cause our nerves to send itchy signals when there is no itch or damage may cause numbness or pain.
Itchy Top of Feet
If you like wearing sandals during the warmer months, you may be at a higher risk of itchy top of feet due to bug bites, poison ivy, and sunburns. If you live down south no-see-ums may also wreck havoc on your feet without you even noticing. Furthermore, many biting insects like to come out at night when our body is more aware of itching sensations. Insect bites and environmental irritants like poison ivy will tend to create visible bumps or rashes that are best treated using topical creams or lotions. Environmental irritants may also come from the detergent that you use to clean your socks. If left untreated, it is not uncommon for a fungal infection to spread from our toes and nail bed to the top of your feet. Fungal infections spread quickly and should not be taken lightly because you’re not in pain.
Sun Protection & Cancer Screening For Feet: A sunburn can cause itchiness on the top or bottoms of your feet and sun protection should be applied liberally. Our feet are often overlooked during skin cancer screenings and regular foot baths are a great activity to screen your feet for skin cancer. Skin cancer that develops on our feet may be attributed to the sun, but researchers believe that exposure to viruses and environmental chemicals also plays a role. Furthermore, warm water foot soaks with baking soda may soothe the inflammation that comes with sunburns. For more on the benefits of baking soda check out our article, Using Baking Soda to Soothe Sunburns.
Deep Itch In Foot
Most itches will start on the skin surface, but if you feel you have an itch that is more than skin deep then your itch may be attributed to nervous system damage. Medical professionals have identified this type of itch as a neuropathic itch and the exact molecular mechanisms are still a mystery. What we do know is that the same neurological diseases that may cause neuropathic pain can cause neuropathic itching. Strokes, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis are some of the most common underlying conditions that are associated with deep itches in our feet. Many scientists have reported that our nerve cells can actually hallucinate or become hypersensitive to the point where we can’t perceive what is real and what is physically itching.
Itchy feet is a common occurrence in diabetics and these patients are also at a higher risk for a debilitating foot injury or ulcer. The best way to stay mobile if you have diabetes is to exercise daily and check your feet daily. If you’re really trying to commit to wellness we suggest daily warm water foot soaks and to always get your foot checked during every medical check-up.
Diabetes affects our entire body and it shouldn’t be a surprise that diabetes has a major impact on our skin health and the functioning of our skin’s immune system. Diabetic itching is often caused by dry skin that is attributed to high blood sugar levels and poor circulation. Furthermore, nearly 50% of diabetes patients report nerve damage and much of this damage is done to our feet. This means many diabetics may lose feeling in their feet and not realize they have a foot injury. Incorporating daily foot soaks into your routine is often the best method to manage your diabetes, check for damage, and prevent serious foot injuries. Warm water foot baths also can increase blood flow, a major benefit for diabetic patients.
Warning: For diabetics, a simple foot injury such as a blister or stepping on a thorn can turn into a dangerous open wound that refuses to heal. Foot bathing should not be done if you have an open wound or ulcer. Check with your doctor if you think foot bathing can be right for you.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) affects 10-20% of new born children and their feet are some of the most prone areas for inflammation and red skin. Foot eczema affects both children and adult’s, but unlike Athlete's Foot and common fungal infections, there is no cure for this autoimmune skin disorder. Itchy feet caused by eczema can last for weeks and scientists believe this could be triggered by the combination of friction, moisture, and a disruption of the foot microbiome. In order to beat the itch of foot eczema, doctors recommend moisturizing with an oil based moisturizer, enjoy routine foot soaks, and get natural sun exposure. An estimated 3% of American adults have eczema and many children grow out of seeing symptoms by age of 10. Foot soaks aren’t intended to cure the patient's eczema, but the goal of foot soaks is to reduce inflammation, reduce stress, and optimize the moisture retaining properties of the skin barrier. When using foot soaks to manage your eczema, remember to use warm water as opposed to hot. Hot water treatments may dry out your skin further and compound your problem.
Foot psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that is known to flare up on our feet and many psoriasis patients are first wrongly diagnosed by a podiatrist for having athlete’s foot. If your athlete foot isn’t responding to traditional treatments you may want to see a dermatologist about psoriasis.
Psoriasis symptoms occur when your immune system accidently attacks healthy skin cells and causes your body to reproduce cells at a faster rate than is necessary. Symptoms include plaque build up, scaling, pus filled bumps, brittle nails, and arthritis pain. Genetics and environmental factors play key roles in trigger psoriasis flare ups and there are multiple types of psoriasis that will determine your best management strategy. Similar to eczema, foot soaks and natural sun exposure are encouraged to better manage flare ups.
Itchy Feet During Pregnancy
Chronic itching and foot pain isn’t the most popular pregnancy problem to talk about, but itchy and swollen feet are a real problem when you’re walking around with another human inside. If you have itchy feet during your pregnancy it may just be a common fungal infection or dry skin, but it also might be the change in hormones or immune system that is causing your skin to dry out. Similar hormone changes may be seen in women going through menopause. In more severe cases, you may be experiencing a liver problem called cholestasis of pregnancy that is causing bile to flood into the bloodstream.
Itchy feet at night is a common complaint by pregnant women, but full body itchiness or itchiness on other areas of the body may occur. In certain cases, women with no known symptoms of eczema have been diagnosed with the skin disease during pregnancy. The good news is that nearly all causes of itching won’t hurt your baby.
When should I be worried about itching during pregnancy?
Cholestasis of pregnancy tends to occur during late pregnancy, but If you’re feeling abnormally itchy during your pregnancy it’s a good idea to immediately chat with your doctor. Most of the time it's going to be something minor, but the peace of mind you’ll have will make for a more enjoyable pregnancy experience.
How to relieve itchy feet during pregnancy?
When you're pregnant there are many things you wish people told you prior to getting pregnant and one of them is that ice cream cravings at night are often paired with itchy feet. After you have talked to your doctor about your itch you may want to turn to popular homemade itch remedies. This may include warm water foot baths, exfoliators, and oil massages prior to bed.
How to Relieve Itchy Feet
The first step to relieving itchy feet is to stop itching your feet! Itching releases the hormone serotonin and it creates a “vicious cycle of itching and scratching”. More specifically, animal studies have found that the release of serotonin intensifies the itchy feeling in mice and that many chronic diseases that are associated with itching are also linked to an increase in serotonin levels. Instead of itching, try a Foot Fizzy. Foot Fizzies or ‘foot bath bombs’ can provide itch relief and regular foot bathing may prevent fungal infections and itches from occurring. - Further research needs to be conducted on serotonin’s role in itching, but pharmaceutical researchers are looking into compounds that have the ability to block the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A and TRPV4 that are involved with itching. At the end of the day, your mom was right, itching makes things worse!
Guaranteed Foot Itch Relief
No matter the reasoning behind your itchy foot, two solutions are almost guaranteed to help, (1) warm water foot soak and (2) exfoliation. There are a wide number of reasons why your foot itches, but proper foot hygiene is necessary to relieve itchy feet that are caused by fungi and microbes.
Healthy Foot Hygiene
Poor foot hygiene is a common variable in developing itchy feet and proper foot hygiene starts with warm water bathing. Furthermore, water conditioning agents can be used to optimize the foot bath water to neutralize the itch and the smell caused by microbes. Consult a dermatologist or health care professional if you have chronic or severe itchiness and be sure to properly clean your socks, shoes, and inner soles.
The best at home natural solution to preventing and managing itchy feet involve regular foot soaks, exfoliation, and oil therapy foot massages. If your partner isn’t giving you oil therapy foot massages then it may be time to find a new partner :). Remember, the first step to getting a foot massage partner is having great foot hygiene! Other ways to relieve itchy and stinky feet include:
- Wearing socks that wick sweat away and allow your feet to breathe. A fresh pair of socks should be used daily, this means you need lots of socks or you'll need to commit to weekly laundry.
- Get shoes that fit and avoid plastic shoes that hinder your foot’s ability to breathe.
- Don’t put on shoes that are still moist from yesterday’s workout. Shoes need to be dried out completely before being laced back up.
- Hit your shoes with a natural disinfectant or odor eliminator (kill the stinky microbes).
- Wash your shoes.
- Go open air. Going barefoot may expose your feet to fungi in public places, but wearing open air footwear allows your feet to enjoy the fresh air and dry out.
- Don’t share shoes or towels with your workout buddies.
Feet Are Itchy At Night
Why are my feet itching like crazy at night? Itchy feet seem to be the worst at night and feeling like you have ants crawling all over your feet at night is a surefire way to have a bad night’s sleep. In this article we’ve already highlighted some of the top reasons for having itchy feet, but if we are diagnosed with a fungal infection, why does it piss us off the most at night? This is the time of day where we don’t need distractions.
Why are my feet itchy at night?
Foot and body itches are like the monsters that used to live in your bedroom closet, the itches and monsters like to come out at night. Itchy feet at night can be annoying and experiencing chronic night itching can impact our sleep quality and overall mood. Unfortunately, many people have to deal with regular night itching and scientists are discovering that this phenomenon is due to our circadian rhythms (sleep cycle), hormone changes, and immune system fluctuations. Furthermore, our minds don’t have to deal with daily distractions at night and we may be more aware of the itchy sensation. Said another way, our feet do not itch any more or less during the day, our nerve cells and brain are just more prone to be aware of the itching sensation at night.
Itchy Feet at Night With No Rash
Itchy feet tend to come with a rash, inflammation, or dry skin, but on occasions we may experience itchy feet at night with no rash. Night itches with no rash may or may not be serious, but common causes revolve around underlying diseases that are slowly attacking our nerve cells. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider if you experience itchy feet and no rash for over 7 nights.
How to relieve itchy feet at night?
The best way to relieve your itchy feet at night is to draw a warm water bath or soak your feet prior to bed. Warm water foot bathing will not only soothe any of your physical symptoms, but put your mind at ease and better prepare your body for a good night's sleep. - Try the Spa-Da Foot Fizzy today, order a 3-pack and save 15% instantly.