Having itchy feet, particularly if you’re wearing socks and shoes and can’t get at them, can make you crazy! At New England Foot & Ankle Specialists, we treat many patients whose complaint is that their feet itch. There are, however, several different disorders that have itching as a symptom and they require different treatments.
Our podiatrists, George A. Abboud, D.P.M., Brian D. Tedesco, D.P.M., Carl Conui, D.P.M., and Kimberly Thurmond, D.P.M. will need to examine your foot and will want to ask you questions about your recent activities. Some common conditions that cause your feet to itch include:
Athlete’s foot—also known as tinea pedis, this is a fungal infection that usually starts between your toes. Initial symptoms are usually Itchy, red skin that’s dry and scaly. Athlete’s foot can spread to the soles of your feet and even blister if left untreated.
Dermatitis—this condition has two categories. Primary irritant dermatitis is a reaction to exposure to a harsh substance. This can occur if you have excessive exposure to chemicals, oil, or even hot water. Allergic contact dermatitis is the result of an allergic reaction to something like the dye in your socks, athletic tape or other material that has come in contact with your foot.
Xerosis—this is just a fancy medical term for very dry skin. Xerosis can develop from excessive showering or exposure to water, particularly hot water or using a soap that is very drying. Usually apply an extra-emollient moisturizer several times a day for a week or so takes care of this problem.
Once the foot doctor determines the cause of your itchy skin the proper treatment can be prescribed. Although these conditions are more of a nuisance than a medical threat for most people, patients with diabetes need to be extra cautious as any of these rashes can become infected and lead to long term problems. For all patients, however, it’s best to get skin conditions diagnosed and treated in their early stages when they are usually easy to get under control. If you have an irritating skin condition on your feet, contact our Reading office for an appointment.