Here’s All The Reasons Your Feet Are Itchy And What To Do About It
Rubbing your itchy feet on everything from gravel to grass? Here’s what’s probably wrong and how to make it go away. FYI: it could be tons of things.
The Usual Suspects
Even couch potatoes get athlete’s foot, a fungal infection almost three-quarters of the population will have at some point. Highly contagious, it can hide in laundry hampers or on the bathroom floor. The telltale signs are itchiness, especially between the toes, and white or red scaliness. If over-the-counter antifungal creams or powders don’t calm the infection within two weeks, see a podiatrist to check if it’s one of the conditions below.
Or… It Could Be Psoriasis
Thick, itchy, rough patches might be eczema or psoriasis. The former often responds well to simple remedies like using fragrance-free soap, taking lukewarm showers, and applying a lotion containing skin-barrier-building ceramides. Psoriasis, however, sometimes leads to serious complications like psoriatic arthritis and inflammation, says dermatologist Dr Lindsay Strowd. “So we treat it actively, with strong topicals like prescription-level steroid creams, or sometimes with oral or injected anti-inflammatory medications.”
READ MORE: Have You Got (Un)Happy Feet?
… Or Type 2 Diabetes
Itchy feet and legs can sometimes be a stealth symptom of type 2 diabetes because when there’s extra sugar in the blood, the kidneys make more urine to flush it out—and fluid loss equals dry skin equals irritation. Mention any risk factors for the condition (a family history, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or gestational diabetes during pregnancy) to your doc; if blood work or a glucose tolerance test is positive, she can suggest diet and behavioural tweaks that can help control the disease.