Itchy feet or pruritus can be due to fungal infection, bad hygiene, athlete’s foot, or even a liver failure, diabetes or scabies. The skin can be dry and with a feel of discomfort, so the people having this kind of problems tend to solve it out quickly. The itchiness is treated depending on a cause, but it is important to know how to discern it.
This is probably one of the most common cause of itchy feet. The skin has a characteristic rough feel on touch and it looks dry and scrappy. It is more frequent in elderly because they lose water quickly and lack humid inside the skin. The winter is when these symptoms are mostly expressed. If you’re having this kind of problems, you should drink a lot of water and use moisturizing creams and lotions.
This is a condition which is caused by tinea pedis. It is a fungal infection and it looks like red itchy skin. After awhile, blisters can form on the skin where, if they break, a skin can crack and peel, creating a raw surface. It is contagious and mostly common in athletes, as the name suggests. The risky behavior for getting this fungus is walking barefoot in locker rooms, showers, sharing socks or towels, having sweaty feet. It is treated with over-the-counter drugs and anti-fungal medications which the doctor will prescribe. A home remedy that can help you with blisters can be soaking the feet into saline water or diluted apple vinegar.
Psoriasis is a chronical disease which is not contagious. It is a condition where the skin cells grow faster resulting in skin peeling and shedding. It can happen to all people, but it is more common in the age range between 15 and 35. The exact cause of this disease is unknown, but it is related to genetics and immune system. Skin becomes dry and flaky forming patchy layers. The cure for psoriasis doesn’t exist, but with the right therapy, you can minimize the symptoms to a minimum. Dermatologists suggest therapy which concludes moisturizers, salicylic acid, topical retinoids, vitamin D, and light therapy which can slow down the cell growth. There is no prevention to this disease also, but it is recommended to reduce stressors like smoking and emotional situations which can trigger the event.
Contact dermatitis is a kind of inflammation of the skin which occurs during contact irritation with some of the allergens. Some of the substances that can produce this can be inside soap, detergent, inside cosmetics. Symptoms may occur in a few hours after contact, so it is hard to differentiate the exact cause. It can commence with a rash, dry, burning skin and hives with blisters. The right therapy is what the doctor prescribes, but it is usually some antihistamines and corticosteroids, or over-the-counter medications.
Human itch mite is a small pest which digs into the human skin and lays the eggs inside the skin causing scabies. It is common in children and in areas where there is a high concentration of people with a lot of direct contacts. The itching that this mite cause is getting worse at night, so it can be very uncomfortable where a person can scratch the areas during sleep and cause even worse irritation. It can form blisters and rash. Scabies will not subside without treatment, so it is crucial to have the therapy at the early stages. Treatment consists of creams and lotions that are spread on and left for about 8 to 10 hours and then washed away. A doctor can also prescribe some drugs. It takes about 3-5 days for scabies elimination.
Lichen planus is a condition which is triggered by the immune system. It is not contagious and not that serious disease. It is most common in middle-aged people, but anyone can suffer from it. It looks like purple change on the skin with forming blisters and white lining on the top of the rash. It can be itchy and it spreads over the body. It lasts for a few weeks to a few months. For some mild cases, you might not need any therapy. For more severe ones, a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, antihistamines, antisteroid creams, and retinoids. In some cases, a light therapy can be helpful.
Pitted keratolysis is a skin disorder which reflects in forming craters and occurs due to superficial bacteria infection. The symptoms can be malodor, sliminess, itchiness, and soreness. It can go from erythema to macula with exacerbation. Pain could be present also. It is related with wearing tight shoes and having sweaty feet. The pits on the skin can merge and form bigger lesions on the skin. For a treatment, hygiene is crucial. Avoid wearing tight footwear and minimize friction. Topical antibiotics can be effective such as erythromycin or clindamycin twice a day. Use with caution and only following doctor’s prescription.
Itchy feet can be a symptom of a distant disease. This kind of disease can be diabetes, liver disease, polycythemia vera, kidney failure, lymphoma, a hormone diseases such as thyroid problems with hypo and hyperfunction of the gland. Other than that, it can be a symptom of the Crohn’s disease and HIV or vitamin insufficiency. If there is no obvious cause of the itchy sensation, it is usually called idiopathic.
Possible Treatments For Itchy Feet
Depending on the cause, a doctor can prescribe a few drugs and there are some home remedies also.
- Hydration. This is important to a dry skin. Avoid drying products like alcohol, certain soaps, and detergents. Use lotions, moisturizers, and ointments. Drink plenty of water and keep your feet clean.
- Calming The Inflammation. For this use, doctors prescribe corticosteroids and antihistamines. They reduce the edema and calm the irritation. There are long acting and short acting antihistamines. Long-acting one is terfenadine, or a short acting one hydroxyzine. As to corticosteroids, they shouldn’t be used for a long time because of the side effects.
- Phototherapy. This is a treatment often used in psoriasis and can help with other conditions which lead to itchiness and irritation. The light that are being used are UVB and PUVA.
- Bacterial And Fungal Infection. According to the cause, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics for bacteria infections or anti-fungal drugs for other diseases. You should follow the exact instructions to fully recover.
- Treating The Underlying Disease. If the symptom of itchiness is a distant sign of another disease, you should treat the root of the condition. That could be an appropriate therapy for diabetes, liver disease, a blood disorder, etc.
Schedule An Appointment To A Doctors Office
If the itching problem still persists and spreads, it is important to visit a professional and consult a dermatologist about the underlying problem.
- If it lasts longer than two weeks
- If it continues to spread all over the body
- If it doesn’t react to home remedy treatments
- If a fever starts to rise and you start to notice weight loss, redness of the skin and weakness
- If it gets more uncomfortable and prevents you from everyday activity
- If it gets worse at night and you are not getting your night rest.