Wondering What’s Causing Your Feet to Itch?


If your feet are always itching, you may wonder what may be causing it and whether or not it’s a serious concern. Because this is a common condition, Dr. Brandon Holloway and Dr. Travis Holloway of Amarillo Foot Specialists are sharing five of the most common causes for itchy feet.

1. Athlete’s Foot: Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection, typically contracted while walking barefoot in public pools, locker rooms, or hotel showers. Symptoms may include a flaking red rash between the toes that advances to blisters and peeling. It won’t go away on its own, and if OTC topical creams don’t stop the itching, contact a podiatrist who can prescribe something stronger.

2. Bugs: Bug bites activate the release of histamine, which causes inflammation and itching. A topical antihistamine such as Benadryl can help decrease histamine levels in the body. A cold compress will also reduce inflammation and provide some relief.

3. Dermatitis: Your feet are in contact with all sorts of irritants in cosmetics, soaps, or plants, for instance. This is why a portion of the population is extremely susceptible to allergic dermatitis. It can take anywhere from 12 to 21 days from first contact to experiencing symptoms, so it’s often missed. A common cause is a dye that is found in dark socks, and wherever the sock touches the foot will typically itch if that’s the cause.

Other sources can include:

  • Bandages

  • Diaper wipes

  • Topical antibiotics

  • Laundry products

  • Shoe rubber

  • Fragrances

  • Hair and nail products

  • Nickel

  • Play mats

  • Poison ivy

The itching may also be accompanied by heat, swelling, redness, and cracks in the skin. Allergic dermatitis can be remedied by avoiding the root cause and using over-the-counter anti-itch creams.

4. Diabetes: The high blood sugar that is present in people with diabetes is linked to dry, itchy skin, especially on the feet. Circulation issues, also caused by diabetes, places patients at risk for foot fungus infections and open sores. As a general rule, we recommend heavy moisturizers, but we can also treat diabetes-related itching with medication for fungal infections and assist the patient in getting - and keeping - their blood sugars under control.

5. Dry Skin: In some cases, dry skin is hereditary or a side effect of a medication or other medical condition. Dry feet can lead to painful cracks in the skin and flaky scales. A thick everyday foot moisturizer - applied after a shower - helps a great deal. Consider sleeping with fuzzy socks on after your moisturizing treatment. 

If you are experiencing itchy feet that are causing you discomfort, call the offices of Dr. Brandon Holloway and Dr. Travis Holloway of Amarillo Foot Specialists today at (806) 322-3338 to schedule a checkup. We not only take care of your symptoms, but also try to figure out what is causing the itching to help prevent any chronic problem.