People often experience an irritating and tingling sensation on their feet, accompanied by a constant urge to scratch the affected area. This is known as itchy feet, which can happen due to mild reasons like sunburn, hair regrowth, bug bites, dry skin, etc., or could be due to a few underlying health conditions.

What is Itchy Feet?

Itchy feet or pruritus causes a non-stop urge to scratch the feet. Among all the body parts, the feet are most affected as they get constant exposure to a moist environment due to wearing socks and shoes for a prolonged period.

What are the causes of Itchy Feet?

The causes of itchy feet may be due to exposure to external infections and irritants or some underlying health conditions, which include:

  • Healing of wounds 
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy (Damage to the peripheral nervous system)
  • Dry skin 
  • Psoriasis (skin condition which causes painful, red, and scaly skin) 
  • Eczema or atopic dermatitis 
  • Athlete’s foot (a contagious fungal infection that infects people while walking barefoot on contaminated areas, like public pools, gym locker room floors, etc.)
  • Allergic reactions (eczema, psoriasis, or contact with skin irritants like latex or pollen)
  • Hookworm infection (a human intestinal parasite; people get affected while walking barefoot in contaminated areas via hookworm larvae)
  • Scabies (a contagious infection via mites that disrupt a person’s skin and lay eggs)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (a disease caused by diabetes)
  • Severe burn
What are the symptoms of Itchy Feet?

People suffering from itchy feet may show the following symptoms: 

  • The sensation of something crawling on the feet
  • A tickling sensation in the feet
  • Dry feet
  • The continuous urge to scratch the feet

If a person is suffering from any of the above-mentioned symptoms, they should consult their nearest physician

What are the diagnosis and treatment options for Itchy Feet?

A physician may prescribe a few diagnostic tests for symptoms of itchy feet. A few tests could include:

  • KOH exam or skin scraping test (skin cell test to identify pathogens)
  • Skin culture test (to find and identify germs causing the skin problems)
  • Skin Biopsy (to diagnose skin conditions causing pruritus)
  • Blood test (to diagnose vitamin and mineral deficiencies or problems associated with the liver, kidneys, and thyroid)
  • Allergy test (to identify possible skin allergies) 

A few self-care treatments for itchy feet are:

  • Skin creams and lotions 
  • Use of sunscreen 
  • Use of mild bath soaps and laundry detergent 
  • Use warm water while bathing, instead of hot 
  • Use cotton clothes and bedsheets
  • Application of ice on the affected area 

A physician may also prescribe the following medications for treatment:

  • Antihistamines
  • Topical or oral steroids
  • Topical non-steroid creams (cooling gels, capsaicin)
  • Antidepressants 
  • Immunosuppressants
When should you consult a doctor if you have Itchy Feet?

If someone with itchy feet does not get any relief from home care treatments or their symptoms deteriorate over time, they should immediately consult a physician. 

Although the majority of reasons causing itchy feet are quite mild and non-concerning, a sudden development, unusual, or severe itching requires a thorough check-up immediately.


Itchy feet are a very uncomfortable skin condition that can hamper the quality of life. Consultation with physicians is highly advisable for such a condition and its related diagnosis and treatment. The Yashoda Group of Hospitals provides high-quality healthcare services in diverse specialities.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Itchy Feet

Yes, itchy feet are a common symptom found in people with diabetes.

Although the feet itch throughout the day, the human nervous system notices the itch more at night due to the lack of other powerful sensations during the daytime. Hence, the feet tend to get more itchy at night.

Yes, itchy feet can happen due to chronic liver disease.

The condition may be due to a bacterial or fungal infection, insect bite, or a preexisting health condition. Hence, the red itchy bumps.

The following can relieve itchy feet during pregnancy:

  • Ice compress, cold bath
  • Cotton socks
  • Foot massage
  • Odourless moisturiser
  • Medication

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.