If there’s anything more annoying than struggling with itchy feet during the day, it’s having them torment you at night. There are many different reasons feet can itch, and it’s important to try and figure out the cause so that the best possible treatment can be given.
The most common cause of itchy feet is athlete’s foot, which is caused by a fungal infection. Athlete’s foot can occur either at the bottom of the foot, between the toes, or both (ugh), and makes the skin look dry, scaling, and red. There may also be blistering and cracking of skin between the toes. The key to obliterating athlete’s foot is not only applying a good anti-fungal cream, but maintaining good foot care — did you know that the feet are the body part that people most often forget to clean?
But if you can’t stop athlete’s foot before it begins, snag some prescription-strength cream. It can kill foot fungus immediately, while over-the-counter creams can take several weeks to be effective (via Sol Foot & Ankle Centers).
Moisturizing cream may help soothe itchy feet
If your feet are itchy at night and athlete’s foot isn’t to blame, dry skin can also be a culprit, especially in older adults. Shawn Kwatra, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that “as you get older, you have less of an ability to retain water in the outer layer of skin” (via Men’s Health). The remedy, not surprisingly, is a good moisturizing cream — and the thicker, the better (think Aquaphor). Dr. Kwatra added, “Cream is more moisturizing than lotion. The more gooey it is, the more moisturizing it is.”
Unfortunately, there can be many other causes of itchy feet — ranging from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, to underlying medical conditions like neuropathy (nerve damage) and diabetes. If itching is recurrent and does not seem to have an obvious cause, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor about it.
In the meantime, moisturize, and consider using a product containing menthol. The cooling sensation it provides can help distract from the itch by confusing the nerves. And the extra moisture can only help.
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