The 7 major causes of itchy feet

In our daily life, there are many times when we feel the need for intense itching suddenly. It comes out of nowhere, you have no idea why is it happening but you crave to scratch your hand or feet, in most cases. Most of the time, you never get to know what it was. Sometimes it’s a mosquito bite, other times it may be a dry skin cause, or it’s just due to rising temperature and sweaty feet. None of them is intense or harmful that you would end up with an infection or need a doctor consultation immediately.

Usually, they are some common and regular cause that make your feet itchy, and once you start scratching, you start feeling itchier, and it becomes a pattern of itch, scratch and then again itch, scratch, which might end up with a problem because scratching your skin hard releases serotonin which ends up being infectious. So try not to scratch a lot, and if in case, your feet are being extremely itchy then it’s time to visit a doctor for sure.

Important Factors

Pruritus is a medical term that is used for the itching sensation you normally feel on your different body parts, it could be anywhere though, not necessarily any specific parts. The reason behind that itching sensation holds importance because if an itching cause is serious then it is needed to be a cure before getting bad. Your feet are more vulnerable to itching as they get sweaty on regular basis due to being trapped in shoes for most of the day. But if you feel continuous itching on your feet, it could be one of the following reasons:

  • Dry skin
  • Moisture in the environment
  • Some bacterial disease
  • Parasites
  • Walking barefoot on places where you shouldn’t

Foot itching could be a problem when it doesn’t go away soon, which means that it’s not usual. The itching area of the foot could be swollen, redness, scarring or flaking could occur due to scratching. Another reason behind foot itching could be chickenpox, which causes small bristles on your body including feet, and they are extremely scratchy.

Factors to consider

There are a million reasons for foot itching but all of them are not harmless. But regular foot itching, insect bites, mosquito bites could be usually healed at home. When your scar is healing, dryness of that portion also makes it itchy so that might not be the time for you to worry.

But in other cases, eczema, scabies, and pinworms could also be reasons behind your foot itching. Some rare reasons, other than allergic reactions could be related to some other medical problems. Diabetes could cause foot itching in some cases and will be a total disaster if not taken care of sooner. So whenever you feel foot itching that you have to keep scratching hard and it ends up leaving a scar, this is exactly when you need to think more seriously about your foot itching.

7 major causes of itchy feet:

Let’s have a look at 7 major causes of itchy feet:

itchy feet

Athlete’s foot

Athlete’s foot is a very common foot disease. And according to a survey, 30% get suffered from it. it’s a fungal disease and very frustrating with all itching, inflaming, and scaly skin. Athlete’s foot fungi raise in a moist, warm, and dark atmosphere which is exactly the behavior of sports shoes. this is exactly why it is called athlete’s foot. Itchiness and cuts between your toes and extreme burning and itching sensation could happen if you are suffering from an athlete’s foot.

If not taking seriously, it worsens and you can end up having a deep cut behind your toes.

Itching and scratching don’t work for it, you need to take care of it medically and practically and as soon as possible.

Dry skin:

Dry skin is another major cause of itchy feet. There are many reasons for having dry feet. Regular water exposure is one of them. Age factor, dry climate, and swimming in chlorinated water could be other reasons.

  • Dry skin problems can occur due to a lack of natural oils. People with dry skin are more vulnerable to this disease as compared to people with oily skin.
  • it can make your feet skin peeling, flaky and sore. You must keep them moisturized and hydrated to avoid dry and flaky skin.
  • Dry skin leads to itching and a lot of scratching makes your feet vulnerable to bacterial infection and it keeps getting worse.

Use of natural oils, moisturizing lotions, and creams could keep your feet hydrated, but if you have extremely dry skin that nothing seems to be working, then you must consult your podiatrist to prescribe an effective hydrating lotion or cream for you.


Atopic dermatitis which is usually known as eczema is the name of itchy small blisters which appear on your sides or soles of your feet. According to the National institute of allergy and infectious diseases, it is not confirmed that what causes eczema. You never know the reason; it might be because of dry skin or genetic factors could be a reason behind eczema.

Dyshidrotic eczema leaves small bristles on your feet which are extremely itchy, deep, sometimes could be swollen and sore. Normal starter eczema could be eased at home by soaking your feet in cold water or pressing ice bags over those bristles on your feet. These symptoms of having eczema bristles on your feet could be really painful, itchy, and frustrating.

Some possible causes of eczema could be sweating, continuous exposure to water, pollen, or stress. 


During extremely hot weather, while going out, we always take care of your head, face, hands by wearing hat and sunscreen lotions. We never forget taking precautions especially for our face but in the meantime, we forget to take care of our feet. Don’t bother to wear proper shoes and go out in flip flops. Or walking barefoot on your lawn during excessively hot weather. All of this could expose your feet to the dangerous and harmful rays coming from the sun.

We usually don’t look at our feet while applying sunblock to hands or faces. Sunburn leads to itchy feet. If not taken care of timely, it could turn to Hell’s itch, which is extremely and frustratingly unlikeable. This is when your feet are reacting strongly towards the sun.

Hell’s itch makes you feel like you are being bitten by thousand insects on your feet. Peppermint oil could be used as a home remedy but you should consult a doctor if the itching sensation is extreme.


Different allergic reactions towards plants, animals, food, or the environment could be the reason behind itchy feet. Like poison ivy, poison oak and closed shoe dermatitis could be caused due to some specific plants touching your feet while walking or continuously wearing shoes for a long time in hot weather.

These allergies could be extremely painful, itching and swelling along with redness could be seen. Painful and itching bristles could appear on your skin within 48 hours after your feet have touched the specific plant and they could last up to three weeks. You must wash your feet after getting in contact with those plants, that might help to avoid them.

Soak your feet in cold water if you see those bristles appearing on your feet. If itching gets worse, time to see your doctor.


Scabies is a disease that must be taken care of as soon as you are showing symptoms. you know you are suffering from scabies if you experience tiny bristles or pimples like rash on your skin. Itching could be a lot worse during nighttime.

Scabies is kind of an itching infection that is caused by itch mites when they enter your skin and lay eggs. This disease could be highly dangerous, painful, and extremely contagious. It spreads very easily, starting from feet to whole body, and from one person to another.

While suffering from scabies, you could see whitish lines on the surface of your skin.

Scabies couldn’t be taken easily and when you show symptoms, you must go to the doctor right away. If not treated properly and immediately, it could harm you and others too.


A diabetic person has insulin resistance, due to which blood sugar levels are out of control and could be extremely high at some point, which can lead to various other health issues as well.

Diabetes could sometimes lead to diabetic neuropathy which makes a patient feel itching, numbness, and tickling especially in the feet.

Diabetic patients could suffer from diabetic neuropathy due to uncontrolled glucose level and poor circulation of blood in your body. If you are diabetic and feeling any of these symptoms, you must consult your physician right away.


Itchy feet might not sound like a frightening or life-threatening disease to you, but let us tell you that reason behind those itchy feet could sometimes be a lot worse than you think. So whenever your itchy feet are leading to a severe itching sensation, accompanied by redness or swelling, you must know it’s time for you to visit a podiatrist. Stay safe and healthy!

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