What's The Deal With Itchy Feet At Night?
If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with an extremely itchy and intense urge to scratch your feet, you're not alone.
Itchy feet are a common problem affecting people all over the world; many of those whose feet feel itchy, especially worse at night. For many, it doesn't stop at the feet, suffering from both itchy hands and feet at night. While it can be irritating and disruptive, understanding what causes itchy feet and hands and how to manage the discomfort best can help you get a good night's sleep when the itch comes.
This article will discuss the potential causes that result in itchy feet and how to treat them. We will also provide tips for managing the itch so you can rest easy. We'll also discuss when to see a doctor for further evaluation and treatment so those feet don't itch worse. So if you're ready to learn more about itchy feet at night, read on!
Why Do Feet Itch At Night
Itchy feet at night are a common phenomenon that various factors can cause. Itchy feet causes can occur due to skin conditions such as regular episodes of Athlete's foot, eczema, and psoriasis. These conditions can become more active at night when the body is at rest.
Insect bites and stings, fungal infections, allergic reactions to certain materials such as socks or bedding, and poor hygiene can all contribute to making your feet suddenly itch. Certain medications and medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease, may also cause itchy feet.
Let's take a look at each of these factors in more detail.
Athletes' foot is a widespread cause of itchy feet at night. It is one of several common fungal infections that irritate the skin and make your feet itchy. This particular fungus is called Trichophyton. Symptoms include scratchy, scaly, and red skin between the toes and sometimes cracking, peeling, or itchy blisters on the soles of the feet. If left untreated, athlete's foot can spread to the top of your feet and other parts of the body as well.
Athletes' foot gets its name because it often affects athletes' feet; and can spread in communal areas such as locker rooms, swimming pools, and showers. It's very contagious and can infect the soles of your feet just by walking on the same floor or sharing a towel with someone who has athlete's foot.
So it is essential to prevent athlete's foot from spreading and recurring. This includes wearing shoes whenever possible, using shower sandals in communal areas, changing socks often, and drying feet thoroughly. Keep your feet clean and dry, and wear comfortable shoes made of natural materials.
Wearing open-toed shoes or sandals can also help keep athlete's foot from spreading. This will enable you to receive adequate ventilation to evaporate the sweat and reduce the heat on your body.
Additionally, it is essential to change and wash your socks in hot water regularly and refrain from wearing sweaty socks for an extended period of time. This is because your feet get moist and provide a perfect breeding ground for fungi like athlete's foot. When you choose socks, go for those made from moisture-absorbing and breathable materials, like cotton or wool. Avoid synthetic fabrics that trap moisture, such as nylon or polyester. Disinfecting floors and surfaces will also prevent the spread of athlete's foot.
As much as your itchy feet will make you want to scratch the itch, resisting is vital as this can make the condition worse and cause it to spread. Keeping your feet moisturized with lotion can also help to stop itchy feet from becoming overly dry and irritated.
For fast relief, a dedicated anti-itch cream like Dermeleve® may be applied directly to the affected area. Dermeleve® should be used in conjunction with an antifungal cream or antifungal powder to your feet to kill the infection. Specific home remedies can also help reduce discomfort and soothe the skin. These include soaking your feet in vinegar water or tea tree oil.
If you experience severe itching, redness, or swelling of the affected area, you should consult a doctor immediately. Leaving athlete's foot untreated can sometimes lead to more serious infections.
Eczema, or atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that can lead to intense itching, redness, and dryness of the skin.
It's been linked to several conditions, including allergies, asthma, and hay fever. Many people with eczema find that their feet are particularly itchy at night. This can be incredibly irritating and disruptive when trying to sleep.
This nighttime itching is often caused by an allergy or an irritant in the mattress or bedding material. Dust mites, pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and fabric softeners have all been found to be potential allergens in people with eczema who have problems with itchy feet at night.
Studies have also suggested that certain fabrics, such as wool, can irritate the skin of those with eczema more than others. Petroleum jelly can be used as a barrier cream around the feet before wearing socks made of wool or other irritating material.
A similar skin condition that can make the feet itchy is contact dermatitis, which is caused by exposure to irritants such as soaps, detergents, household chemicals, and certain fabrics. The best way to reduce the itching associated with contact dermatitis is to avoid the triggering substance and to keep the feet clean and dry.
To reduce nighttime itching, it's essential to take measures to limit exposure to potential allergens and irritants. Washing bedding in hot water with a mild detergent can help remove dust mites, pet dander, and mold spores. Investing in an air filter may also reduce the amount of pollen and other particles present.
Itchy feet at night can be exceptionally bothersome and are often caused by allergies.
An allergy is a reaction caused by the immune system identifying a substance as harmful and releasing histamine, which causes inflammation and itching. Itchy feet at night may result from allergies to a wide range of substances, such as:
- pet dander
Sometimes, the bedding, linens, and pajamas may also trigger allergies, especially if improperly washed.
To avoid itchiness at night, one should keep their bedroom clean and dust-free, keep windows closed during the allergy season, and avoid using harsh and scented detergents or fabric softeners on beddings and clothes, as these can worsen itchy skin and cause a rash.
In severe cases, antihistamines may be prescribed to alleviate allergy symptoms. It is necessary to consult a medical professional for the proper diagnosis and treatment of allergies.
Itchy feet at night can be a symptom of various underlying conditions, including diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that causes high blood sugar levels due to insufficient production or inefficient utilization of insulin in the body. Several factors, including genetic predisposition and lifestyle choices, cause it.
Overeating sugar and carbohydrates is a significant risk factor that can increase the chances of developing diabetes. Symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, and itchy feet.
Diabetes also affects the body's nervous system and can cause itchy feet due to nerve damage. This condition is known as diabetic neuropathy, which can lead to itching in the extremities, especially the feet, and toes. This can result in tingling or burning sensations, numbness, and itching.
This condition often worsens at night when the foot is at rest, and the blood flow is decreased, causing the nerves to misfire and send confusing signals to the brain, leading to itching.
If your feet are consistently itchy at night, one possible cause may be poor hygiene. Your feet are exposed to various environmental contaminants and microorganisms throughout the day, which can accumulate on your skin and nails. Understanding how many organisms are on your feet will make you want to shower immediately!
If you don't wash or rinse your feet regularly and thoroughly before bed, these residuals can linger and trigger skin irritation, inflammation, or infection.
For example, fungi like dermatophytes or yeasts can thrive in warm and moist environments, such as sweaty socks or shoes, and cause fungal infections like athlete's foot or toenail fungus. These infections can cause intense itching, burning, odor, and discoloration of the affected area.
Similarly, bacteria like staphylococcus aureus or streptococcus pyogenes can invade cracks or cuts in the skin and cause bacterial infections like impetigo or cellulitis. These infections can also lead to itching, pain, swelling, and redness.
Therefore, to prevent itchy feet at night due to poor hygiene, you should develop a daily foot hygiene routine that includes washing your feet with warm water and soap, drying them thoroughly, trimming your nails regularly, and changing your socks and shoes often.
If you suspect a fungal or bacterial infection, consult a healthcare provider for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Dry skin can be a common cause of itchy feet, particularly at night when our skin is more prone to dehydration due to the lack of moisture in the air.
When the skin on our feet becomes dry, it can cause itchiness and discomfort. This can be particularly noticeable at night when we are more relaxed, and the itchiness can be more distracting.
To prevent dryness, we must moisturize our feet by applying a good-quality foot cream at least once daily. Choosing a cream containing natural ingredients such as shea butter or cocoa butter is recommended, which can deeply nourish and hydrate the skin.
Additionally, wearing breathable socks and shoes can help minimize irritation and prevent further drying, particularly during the colder months or in spaces with air conditioning.
If you notice that your feet are getting raised rashes during the night, those bumps on your feet could mean that you're sharing the bed with more than a teddy bear or your significant other.
Bed bugs are pesky little insects that can cause a lot of discomfort, with itchy feet at night being just one of the many symptoms they can drive.
Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown creatures that look a bit like chiggers. They feed on human blood while we sleep, and their bites can lead to irritated and itchy skin. When bed bugs bite, your feet may develop a slow, burning itch that can prove difficult to ignore. This can cause restlessness and difficulty sleeping, leading to a poor night's sleep. The itchy sensation may last for days and is often accompanied by a rash-like appearance on the skin. Bed bug bite itch may also prompt an allergic reaction in some people, so it's essential to get to the bottom of the issue as quickly as possible.
If you suspect that bed bugs are biting you, it is essential to take action quickly to eliminate them before the problem gets worse. Regularly changing your sheets and mattress coverings and vacuuming or steaming the area can eliminate any eggs or larvae.
Keeping your bedroom clean and clutter-free can also help, as this eliminates many of a bed bug's hiding spots. Finally, consider using insecticides or natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth to eradicate any existing bed bugs in the area.
With proper prevention and treatment, you should be able to keep these pests away from your home and finally get a good night's sleep. For immediate relief that lasts all night, Dermeleve® is the answer. It starts working immediately upon application, and its powerful natural ingredients provide up to 8 hours of itch-free protection so you can rest easy. Give it a try today for a good night's rest tonight!
Kidney or Liver Disease
Firstly, it's important to note that not all of the reasons your feet are itchier at night would be caused by any severe issue like liver or kidney disease. But getting it checked out is essential if you notice the itch is not improving after trying other techniques.
Itching, particularly in the form of itchy feet at night, can be an indicator of kidney or liver disease symptoms.
One such condition is intrahepatic cholestasis, a disorder that impairs bile secretion from liver cells. In this type of disease, bile gets trapped in the liver. The ailment causes severe itchiness, yet there are no signs of a rash. The itchiness usually affects the hands and feet, though it can also manifest in other areas of the body.
Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to this condition.
Not everyone with liver disease experiences itching at night, but it can significantly affect an individual's quality of life.
There are various symptoms associated with liver diseases, such as jaundice, dark urine, pale stool, easy bleeding, ascites, chills, pain in the biliary tract or gallbladder, and an enlarged gallbladder.
If an individual has been diagnosed with a liver condition, they should consult their doctor to explore possible treatment options to alleviate unpleasant symptoms. Your doctor must do a test to check your liver enzymes to determine if you have one of these conditions so you can get relief and clear what causes the itch.
It's important to remember that the liver is a resilient organ, and outcomes from liver diseases can vary. With proper care and management, an individual can still lead a fulfilling life despite having issues with the liver.
Pregnancy can cause itchy feet
During pregnancy, many changes happen in a woman's body due to hormonal changes that are necessary for the development of a healthy baby.
However, some of these changes can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as itchy feet. The increase in blood circulation and water retention that often occur during pregnancy can also make your feet swell along with the legs, which can result in skin irritation and itching.
Additionally, the skin of pregnant women tends to be more sensitive and prone to dryness, which can exacerbate the itchiness. In some cases, itchy feet during pregnancy may also be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as cholestasis of pregnancy, a liver disorder that affects pregnant women.
If the itching is severe or accompanied by other symptoms, such as jaundice or abdominal pain, it is essential to seek medical attention right away. It is recommended to avoid scratching or rubbing the itchy area to avoid further irritation and to wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing that allow proper circulation.
Symptoms Of Itchy Feet At Night
Obviously, the most common symptom of this condition is the itching itself, often accompanied by a burning or tingling sensation. This condition affects the feet in multiple ways. The itching can be mild or severe and affect one or both feet. A common place for an itch is on the top of the feet, not just the bottom of your feet. It can also spread to other areas of the body, such as the legs or ankles.
The reason why your feet usually worsen during the night is that blood flow to the feet decreases during periods of rest or inactivity, which may exacerbate symptoms of itching or other uncomfortable sensations. Histamine levels, a chemical released during an allergic reaction and causes itching, are also higher at night, which can contribute to nighttime itching.
Additionally, people may be more aware of the itching sensation while trying to fall asleep or when waking up in the middle of the night, as there are fewer distractions and the brain is more focused on bodily sensations.
This can create a cycle of itching and sleeplessness, as the discomfort can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep, leading to further sleep disruption and worsened itching.
One common symptom that can also accompany the itch is burning. This sensation can be caused by nerve damage or inflammation in the skin, making it difficult to relieve the itching.
Additionally, burning sensations can be accompanied by redness, swelling, or even blisters, making it all the more uncomfortable.
If you are experiencing itchy, burning feet, contact your doctor to determine the underlying cause of your pain and find the appropriate treatment. Itchy feet can indicate a more severe condition, such as diabetes or peripheral neuropathy, so it's always best to consult a medical professional if your symptoms persist.
In addition to the itching sensation, some people may also experience a tingling feeling when they itch at night.
This sensation of pins and needles may be attributed to the release of histamine in the affected area, which can trigger nerve endings and cause tingling. Tingling is also often associated with certain skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, and hives, that can produce intense itching and irritated skin.
Tingling can also be a symptom of damage to the nerves that send the itch signals or a neurological condition, so it's essential to recognize any other signs that may be present with the itchy, tingling sensation. If the itching and tingling persist, it's recommended to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Treatments For Itchy Feet At Night
Itchy feet at night are often treated with antihistamines, which block histamine, a chemical produced by the body as a reaction to an allergen. Histamine causes itching, sneezing, and other allergic reactions.
There are two types of antihistamines: first-generation and second-generation. They are available over the counter or prescribed by a doctor. They come in different forms, such as tablets, capsules, liquids, and creams.
In addition to causing drowsiness and impairing mental alertness, first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine aren't suitable for daytime use.
Second-generation antihistamines, such as cetirizine and loratadine, are less sedating for daytime use.
Before using antihistamines for long-term use, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider first, as they may cause unwanted side effects.
While there is no shortage of topical creams designed to help stop the itch that's been bothering you, not all are created equal.
There is one major factor to consider and be on the lookout for as you look for the best solution. And that factor is steroids.
A wide variety of creams available contain some form of corticosteroid. These are often in the form of hydrocortisone or cortisol. While they can offer short-term relief, they are slow to work, often requiring many days of regular use before any meaningful effects are noticed.
Even more important, however, is that long-term use of these corticosteroids can cause severe skin damage. Thinning, stretch marks, and a host of other unwanted side effects are not uncommon and are often more detrimental than the symptoms that were being treated in the first place.
For this reason, avoiding any cream containing these ingredients is crucial, and opt for a more natural solution instead. Look for creams and lotions labeled "steroid-free" and focus more on natural ingredients.
Over-the-counter options such as calamine lotion or antihistamine creams may provide quicker relief and offer fewer side effects than steroids. However, consulting with a doctor for a proper diagnosis is still essential.
One of the most effective non-steroid anti-itch creams is Dermeleve®, which starts working immediately. So instead of suffering for days or weeks with uncomfortable foot itching, Dermeleve® starts offering relief within minutes. Not only that, a single application lasts for hours, making it the perfect solution for those who miss a night of uninterrupted sleep.
Even better, Dermeleve® is safe for long-term use, meaning you can use it for as long and as frequently as you want, unlike topical steroids.
If an allergic reaction causes your itchy feet at night, one possible treatment option is allergy shots. Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, work by gradually desensitizing your body to the allergen causing your symptoms. With regular injections of small doses of the allergen, your immune system learns to tolerate it and stops triggering an allergic response.
The process can take several months to several years, but the results can be long-lasting and prevent future allergic reactions. It is usually an allergist who administers allergy shots. Follow-up visits are required to monitor progress and adjust the dosage if necessary.
While allergic reactions to environmental triggers can't always be avoided, allergy shots can help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms, including itchy feet at night.
Home Remedies and Cures For Itchy Feet At Night
Fortunately, several home remedies can treat itchy skin and allow you to relieve itchy feet.
One common remedy is soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salt to help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation that worsens the itch. Epsom salt works by drawing out toxins from the skin on your feet, reducing pain and swelling; while providing relief from itching.
You can also try using essential oils to soothe itchy feet at night. Lavender oil is known for its calming effects, while tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that can help reduce inflammation.
Additionally, apply a coconut and tea tree oil mixture to the affected areas for anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties.
Finally, applying an oatmeal paste or apple cider vinegar solution can also help alleviate itching and discomfort. Overall, these natural remedies can help you find relief from itchy feet at night; so you can rest easy and feel comfortable throughout the day.
In conclusion, many conditions can cause your feet to itch at night, including dry skin, irritants, allergies, infections, medications, and certain medical conditions.
However, many of these causes can be easily treated or controlled with simple lifestyle modifications, topical creams, antihistamines, or other medications.
Therefore, it is vital to identify the underlying cause of your foot itch by consulting a healthcare provider who can recommend the most appropriate treatment options. The importance of seeing a doctor for itchy feet may seem overreactive, but without having a doctor examine your feet, you may not realize you need further medical treatment until it's too late.
Also, good hygiene habits can help prevent itch and promote overall foot health. These include washing clothing and linens in hot water, wearing comfortable and breathable footwear, moisturizing your feet, and avoiding harsh chemicals or fabrics.
By addressing the root cause and adopting proper care habits, you can finally put your foot down and alleviate the discomfort once and for all!
In the meantime, for fast itch relief that's both safe and long-lasting, try Dermeleve®!