Suffering from itchy skin on the feet can become quite distressing and frustrating depending on the severity of the issue. There are several causes of itchy feet and these may depend on age, lifestyle and health factors. Common causes of itchiness to the feet will be listed and discussed below.
Tinea Pedis (Athlete’s foot)
Tinea pedis, commonly known as Athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection of the skin on the feet. People of all ages are can acquire athlete’s foot Infection is usually acquired by direct contact with the causative organism, for example using a shared towel, or by walking barefoot in a public change room.
Other risk factors include:
- Occlusive footwear (for example, heavy industrial boots)
- Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
- Underlying immunodeficiency or diabetes mellitus
- Systemic corticosteroids or immune suppressive medications
- Poor peripheral circulation or lymphoedema.
Symptoms include dry, flaky skin on the soles of the feet and between toes as well as macerated skin in between toes and blister like vesicles on the soles of the feet.
Topical antifungal therapy are the most common treatment pathway but oral medication can also be prescribed by visiting your GP.
Eczema also known as atopic dermatitis, is a blanket term for a group of medical conditions that can cause itchy and inflamed skin, often occuring relatively early in life. Eczema can also be associated with allergic reactions.
Symptoms of an eczema flare include appear a red, itchy rash/rashes on the body. Sometimes the rash might be oozing and over time rough hard thickened skin may occur. It is a disease that gets better or worse over the space of days, weeks and/or months.
During flares, it is best to avoid scratching and picking off scabs on the affected area and apply specific creams and lotions to moisturise the area. Topical steroids may be prescribed by you GP to manage the inflammation and itchiness.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition for which there is no known cure. It tends to flare up and down over time. Lifelong treatment and intervention may be needed to keep the skin clear of psoriasis or treat joint disease.
Symptoms include characteristic thick, sharply edged (marginated) red to white/silvery scaly lesions known as plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis may be seen on any area of the skin but the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp are most commonly affected by the condition. Dry, scaly areas can make skin itchy–including on the feet. The scaly lesions are often over the joints on the toes and can present with joint swelling and pain.
Treatment includes topical steroids and ointments to help alleviate symptoms, as can UV light phototherapy. Some people with the condition might need oral medications or injections of certain biologic agents.
Conservative skin treatment as well as advice on how best to manage these conditions can be provided by your podiatrist.
Please call us on (03) 8645 9800 or book in online with one of our friendly podiatrists today if you are concerned about itchy feet!