5 More Causes of Itchy Feet, According to White Plains Podiatrists
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, December 21st, 2018
Itchy feet is a terribly irritating problem that makes it hard to focus on anything else. Not only is it embarrassing in public, but it frequently ruins the chance at a good night’s sleep. In Wednesday’s post, we discussed common causes of itchy feet such as athlete’s foot, bug bites, dermatitis, diabetes, and dry skin. White Plains podiatrists from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine have five more common culprits behind foot itching.
Five More Causes of Itchy Feet
Eczema refers to a group of medical conditions that cause itchy inflammation. Most sufferers experience itchy, red patches that come and go on the cheeks, arms, legs, and feet in their childhood. Eczema flares can range from mild itching to almost intolerable. The release of inflammatory molecules leads to the development of dry skin, which perpetuates more eczema. Avoiding the temptation to itch, keeping the feet free from sweat, and applying moisturizer are important first steps. A White Plains podiatrist can prescribe topical or oral steroids to reduce the itch and rash symptoms.
7. Kidney or Liver Disease
Medical conditions like liver or kidney disease are linked to itchy hands and feet. Compromise of these vital organs causes fluid and waste to remain in the blood, causing increased fluid retention and itching in all the extremities. Itchy feet and legs are usually noticed first. Other symptoms of kidney disease or liver disease may include fluid retention and swelling, fatigue, persistent nausea, shortness of breath, or jaundice. Prescription medication or dialysis to treat the underlying condition will be required to find relief from itching.
8. Pruritus Gravidarum
Pregnant women with itchy feet may be experiencing pruritus gravidarum from cholestasis—the obstruction of bile leaving the liver that affects about 20% of pregnant women. The impaired bile flow in pregnant women can be attributed to pregnancy hormones slowing down normal liver function. Along with itchy feet, pregnant women may experience an itchy abdomen and palms of the hands as well. Pruritus typically goes away on its own within six weeks, but if the itching is madness, it can be treated by corticosteroids and antihistamines, with relief arriving within 24 to 72 hours. Oil baths and emollients are also helpful treatments. Most sufferers find relief after the baby is born and do not suffer it again with subsequent pregnancies.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes abnormally fast-growing skin cells, which accumulate and stick together in a white patch, rather than sloughing off like normal skin. These dry patches on the feet can be particularly itchy. Often, psoriasis affects the toes and presents along with joint swelling and pain. Topical ointments and oral medications were the traditional mainstays of treatment, but newer advancements include light therapy and injectable biologics.
10. Underactive Thyroid
Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, causes decreased cell turnover and dry, flaky, itchy skin all over the body, especially the feet. Other symptoms may include: lethargy, feeling cold, brittle hair and nails, weight gain, constipation, high cholesterol, irritability, irregular bleeding, and sexual dysfunction. Comprehensive treatment includes thyroid medication to address the underlying cases, as well as over-the-counter heel balms and foot serums.
See an NYC Podiatrist to Relieve Itchy Feet
If you are experiencing uncomfortable, itchy feet, see a podiatrist for relief and treatment. We are particularly adept at treating foot itching and can counsel you in methods of alleviating excessive sweating or chronic dryness–two extremes that contribute to itching. We not only take care of your acute symptoms but also try to figure out what may be causing the itching and help you prevent any chronic or recurring problem. Schedule an appointment with an NY podiatrist today.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.