General Question

ava's avatar

Why are the tops of my feet itchy?

Asked by ava (982points) August 8th, 2008

The tops of my feet are itchy every night after I get home form work. I have no rash or bug bites. It’s so bad that before I even realize it, I’ve scratched the skin right off. A friend of mine said this might be symptom of Hotchkins disease…yikes! Any advice, similar experiences etc?

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27 Answers

babygalll's avatar

Are you wearing socks and shoes to work everyday?

loser's avatar

Does diabetes run in your family?

ava's avatar

sometimes I wear socks and shoes, sometimes just sandals, but it happens no matter what I wear.

And no, diabetes does not run in my family as far as I know.

shilolo's avatar

Sounds a lot like athlete’s foot. Even without the cracking in the feet that typically is associated with athlete’s foot, you might have it. You might want to go to the pharmacy and pick up an over the counter treatment. The other options brought up, i.e. diabetes or Hodgkin’s disease are not likely.

sarahsugs's avatar

if you’ve been out in the sun lately, sunburn is a possibility…i have found that the tops of my feet are sneaky places that often miss out on sunscreen.

ava's avatar

I tried athletes fott medication, but that didn’t help either. I just looked up symptoms of diabetes, and besides the itchy feet, I get bouts of thrush as well as yeast infections in other not so delightful places…I’m tired all the time, and I’ve gained a lot of weight within the last year. After I kept getting thrush, they tested me for diabetes, but it came up negative. Could I have a mild case of diabetes that wasn’t picked up in a blood test? Oy vey.

babygalll's avatar

Read this there should be some answers here to help you.

ebenezer's avatar


El_Cadejo's avatar

@ava i know this sounds pretty gross, but do you have really sweaty feet?

sndfreQ's avatar

If it’s fungal, you could try soaking your feet in warm water and apple cider vinegar. It’s a natural remedy and will not only “eat away” the fungi but will condition your skin. Kinda stinky the first couple of times but you can easily rinse and wash your feet afterwards.

scamp's avatar

You may want to visit a podiatrist or a dermatologist to see if you need treatment for tinea pedis. If you are using an antifungal over the counter and then putting your feet back into the same shoes, you may be defeating your purpose. Keep your feet clean and dry, and buy some new shoes. If you still have trouble, you may need a prescription for an oral antifungal. Some strains can be pretty pesky to get rid of.

whatagrl's avatar

I found this thread on a search… I have same problem: at night, after working all day… itchy TOPS of feet and ankles… NO rash or bumps….drives me crazy! My feet don’t sweat, and I wear any combination of shoes/sandles/socks/ panythose.

It happens that I am diabetic,and have a number of other autoimmune disorders. I read that those with autoimmune disorders are more likely to be sensitive to detergents and lotions. I am wondering if the latter is my trigger…

Antdina's avatar

The tops of my feet also itch and its driving my crazy. This happens mostly at night, and I scratch until the skin breaks. It even wakes me up. Benedryl is all that seems to work. I have tried Gold Bond powder, but it does not work for me. I have no rash or bug bites that I can see, and I do not have sweaty feet. I have mild hypertension, well under control, and have no other medical issues to speak of. I am male, and very fit.

Jane456's avatar

My husband has the same problem. Many evenings his feet drive him crazy with itching, but the skin is healthy and shows no sign of rash ever. It’s usually the tops of the feet near the base of the toes – sometimes his ankles or lower legs are itchy, also. The most effective solution we’ve found is to soak them in warm water, then rub on Euccerin anti-itch lotion (basicaly a quality lotion with menthol added for the itch). Or, if we don’t have time for the soak, he rubs on some Absorbine Jr. He’s quite overweight but otherwise healthy. Does anyone out there have a suggestion for the cause? We’re managing the itchiness, but I’m concerned it’s a red flag for something more serious.

Izzy's avatar

For Jane456, I would have to guess that your husband’s condition is caused by poor circulation in his hands and feet. I suffer from the same thing…there is no itching during the day because of being active and the heart is pumping harder and able to keep the circulation in check. But at night when the body is relaxed and at rest, the heart isn’t working as hard which causes there to be less circulation to the limbs. I would suggest having him see a doctor for poor circulation in the extremities. At the very least, he could try some exercise in the evenings to improve his circulation before going to bed.

shawnm64's avatar

I too have had the same problem for at least 5 years now with many scars from scratching but never any redness or rash,I have used Era detergent for all of these years with a break for All free detergent which did,nt seem to help at all,I have worn colored socks for at least 10 years as I do not like white socks,2 weeks ago I bought some white socks and some Arm & Hammer detergent,my feet and ankles have not itched now for over a week,can,t say if it was the detergent or the socks,but I,m hoping either way that I remain itch free for years to come.

Jada's avatar

From what I have read it can be caused from poor circulation…. It happens to me too..the sock are adding more restriction as the capillaries expand to allow more blood flow..when I wear shoes without socks I dont have this issue unless the shoes are restricting in some way…try one day to wear comfortable socks while just relaxing at home making sure the band is not tight and see if it makes a difference..if it does at least you can narrow it down to movement…why?..because when we are at work, the store, etc..we are moving and heating up the is an answer from
David Berkoff MD (Sports Medicine~Duke University School of Medicine):

“Well this can be a result of a number of things. Commonly, when we exercise we dilate our peripheral capillary beds shunting blood toward the skin to assist with cooling. This capillary dilatation can lead to an itching sensation. NO may have some vasodilatory properties and thus be enhancing these feelings.

More ominous is exercise-related anaphylaxis in which—with high intensity exercise—your body can have a reaction similar to any other allergic reaction. This is not very common but if you experience other symptoms beyond just itching I would seek the advice of a local sports doc.”
Hope this helps

robroyy's avatar

I have a problem with the tips of my toes getting itchy after I eat an apple or some candy. It seems anything with sugar. It drives me crazy. It all started when I was eating oranges at night. Sometimes I would eat two at a time. I stopped eating oranges but now it seems to happen with apples or a small amount of candy. What could cause this. There isn’t any rash or swelling. Just very itchy.

Joyce711's avatar

I’ve had the itchy problems on the tops of my feet for years, usually worse in the spring. I’ve tried everything as I was scratching until my feet bled & scared. I recently read an article in the paper written by a doctor & pharmacist. It was about itching & rashes. The cure? Soak a cloth (I used a paper towel) in vodka- yes vodka- & keep on the area that is itching. I doubted it; however, I was ready to try anything! I bought the cheapest vodka, soaked a paper towel with it & applied to the area that was itching. Result? Area stopped itching almost immediately! Who would have known?!! Give it a try!!

storyteller's avatar

I have had the same problem and my podiatrist told me it was most likely a nerve condition. Not Stress but psychical impingement of nerves between lumbar 4 and 5 due to spinal compression. So if you have any lower back pain see if your itching coincides with that.

pacificcity's avatar

I can identify with the first person, shoe wear doesn’t matter – neither does activity or inactivity-color of socks and there is no rash, bumps or anything, JUST the bloody itch & I have scratched them raw during the night. This condition will flare for a week or 2 & then disappear.
I use a combo of Prep H-calamine-lidocane -all topical, apply with a power face brush because it kinda grinds the stuff into the skin & scratching in any form just feels good. It is absolute torment & it is not an allergy to soap of material, not diabetic, all I do is pray for it to get over the flare.

begonya's avatar

I have Renaud’s and attribute my itchy limbs to poor circulation.

jimbowman111's avatar

I had this problem and it turned out to be my socks were too tight. I switched to a lighter less tight sock and the itching went away. I switched to sockettes for men.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
reggie45's avatar

I have the same problem with the top of my feet. I believe its poor circulation. The itch happens after I have been sitting for awhile. Try dancing! Especially effective is imitating the girl in Flashdance when she pounds her legs up and down fast, left, right, left right (I have to do it sitting down, but it still works), hitting on the balls of your feet. After stimulating my circulation, no itch! My feet feel warm after I do this.

Kathy1234's avatar

I had this problem and it was milk. I stopped drinking milk and the tops of my feet don’t itch anymore. Good luck.

Jarble154's avatar

Have you ever looked up “pressure urticaria?” Its basically hives that are due to clothing that is too tight. I get it from my socks, (mostly on the top of my feet), from wearing a belt, or from the waistband of my jeans. The area where that item was gets red, raised and itchy and I scratch the heck out of it. However, the itching usually subsides within 20 to 30 minutes.

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