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July 21, 2017
By L. Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

The saying goes that when you have itchy feet you can’t wait
to get away. But what about when the soles of your feet
really do itch? You’ve got some sort of health complaint, but
what could it be? Itching on the bottom of your feet could be
caused by a wide variety of factors. Some disorders that
cause itchy soles of the feet are caused by bacteria or fungi,
but in other cases a more serious disorder could be the
culprit. Find out more about the real reasons for itchy soles of

What Are the Causes of Itchy Soles of the Feet?

The feet are at risk of a number of ailments since you walk on
them every day, and also since they are usually encased in
socks and shows. Sweaty feet are breeding grounds for
fungi, and a fungal infection can cause itching on the soles.
Athlete’s foot is one such infection, which causes itchy and
red skin on the feet including, but not limited to, the soles of
the feet.

Itchy soles could also be caused by a bacterial, not a fungal,
infection. Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial infection that affects
the soles and can cause pain and itching, and manifest itself
as white patches on the feet. It is caused by sweaty feet, not
changing out of damp socks, and warm, humid weather.

Scabies is another itchy skin condition that can affect the
soles of the feet. Scabies is caused by mites that make their
home beneath the skin. It is a common condition that affects
the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands, as well as
other places like the neck, scalp, and face. Itching with
scabies is usually severe and it often gets worse at night.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that usually lasts a long time and
can affect the soles of the feet. It is characterized by patches
of red skin, soreness, painful and stiff joints, and itchiness.
Different types of eczema affect the hands and feet, including
a type called dyshidrotic dermatitis. An insect bite or sting n
the sole of the foot often results in itching. And you may be
allergic to something, which is causing itching on an area of
the body like the feet.

Some more serious conditions that can result in itching on the
soles of the feet include liver disease. Itching with liver
disease is usually more severe in the evening. This happens
because bile salts are deposited onto the skin at this time, to
try to help the liver get rid of waste.

And sometimes the first sign of diabetes is a skin problem like
itching on the soles of the feet. A skin condition called
eruptive xanthomatosis, which is caused by diabetes which is
not properly managed, makes the hands and feet itch.
We looked at recent scientific literature to see what can be
done about itching soles the natural way. Here are some
strategies for combating itchy soles of the feet, considering
the underlying cause of the itchiness.

Tea Tree Oil Could Cure Itchy Soles of the Feet

Tea tree oil is traditionally used for treating skin infections
and if your itchy soles are caused by a fungal infection it
could help. This is because tea tree oil is believed to be an
antiseptic and acts against many different types of bacteria
and fungi.

In a 2002 study from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital,
Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia, 158 people who
had itchy feet caused by athlete’s foot were treated with a
placebo, a 25 percent tea tree solution, or a 50 percent tea
tree solution, for four weeks.

Both of the tea tree oil solutions were more effective at
treating athlete’s foot than placebo. And the 50 percent
solution was more effective than the 25 percent solution.

Could Garlic Cure Itchy Feet?

If a fungal infection is the cause of itchy feet, there is another
remedy that may help and it’s smellier than you think. Garlic
has topical antifungal properties. Some studies show that a
compound in garlic, ajoene, could help treat fungal infections
of the foot that cause itchy soles.

A 1996 study from Universidad de Oriente, Puerto La Cruz,
Venezuela looked at 34 patients with a fungal infection and
found that ajoene in a 0.4 percent cream cured the condition
in 27 out of the 34 patients after seven days. The remaining
patients were cured within 14 days.

Clove Oil as a Treatment for Itchy Soles of Feet

A 2010 study from the Queensland Institute of Medical
Research has discovered that clove oil could be a valuable
treatment for scabies, which can cause itching on the soles of
the feet.

Scabies is an itchy rash caused by the scabies mite.
Researchers looked at the effectiveness of clove oil, nutmeg
oil, and ylang ylang oil on the mites themselves.

They discovered that clove oil killed all the mites within the
space of 15 minutes. It might be worth trying….

Oregon Grape Can Remedy Itchy Soles Caused by Psoriasis

A cream made from the Oregon grape herb can help to
reduce the itchiness and other symptoms associated with
psoriasis, according to a 2006 study from Dermatology and
Cosmetic Center, Rochester, New York.

In the study, 200 people used a cream containing 10 percent
Oregon grape extract, or a placebo, for three months, twice a
day. Those using the cream with Oregon grape experienced
better results than those using the placebo.

Try Aloe Cream for Itching Soles

Aloe vera cream can help to treat the symptoms of psoriasis,
which include itching soles.

In a 1996 study from Malmö University Hospital, Sweden, 60
people who had mild symptoms of psoriasis used either a
topical Aloe vera cream or a placebo cream three times a day
for four weeks. Those that used the Aloe cream experienced
better results than those who used a placebo, and these
results appeared to last up to a year after the treatment

Hot Cayenne Pepper Treats an Itch on the Soles of the

The hot component in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, is believed
to be effective against itchy skin conditions, even when it may
not appear to be possible.

There are some studies that show how capsaicin cream helps
treat itchy psoriasis, including a 1993 study from the
University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor that looked
at nearly 200 people. In the study the cream improved levels
of itchiness, as well as other symptoms and the general
severity of the condition.

Try Licorice Cream as a Remedy for Itching Soles of the

A 2003 study from Mazandaran University of Medical
Sciences, Sari, Iran looked at the effectiveness of one percent
and two percent licorice cream against a placebo cream in
order to treat itchy eczema.

According to the results of the study, both of the licorice
creams were more effective than placebo. The study also
showed that the two percent cream was more effective than
the one percent. The study looked at 60 people.

Vitamin B12 as a Treatment for Itchy Soles of Feet

Another possible treatment for itchy soles caused by painful
eczema is topical vitamin B12. This vitamin is believed to work
on itchiness caused by eczema as it affects levels of nitric
oxide in the affected area.

A 2004 study from Ruhr University Bochum, Germany looked
at 49 people with eczema over a period of eight weeks and
found that a cream containing Vitamin B12 at 0.07 percent
was effective.

Could Your Socks Be Causing Your Soles to Itch?

Experts have long said that the type of material which is worn
close to the skin can affect the severity of itching associated
with eczema.

People with eczema on the feet are advised to wear cotton
socks or socks made from smooth fabric to stop the itching. A
2017 study from the University of Nottingham in the U.K
looked at whether wearing silk clothing benefited children
who suffered from eczema. The researchers conducted a
randomized trial on 300 children aged between one and five
years old. They wore either silk clothing or regular clothing as
well as receiving regular care for eczema.

However, at the end of the trial it was found that silk clothing
did not have a significant effect on the condition, so it may
not be worth splashing out on silk socks.

The Cause of Itchy Soles Could Be in the Genes

If you suffer from itching soles of the feet it could be due to
your genes. A 2007 study from Washington University School
of Medicine, St. Louis has identified a gene that governs the
itch sensation, which is the Gastrin-Releasing Peptide
Receptor (GRPS). Since this gene has been discovered
researchers believe new cures could be developed based on
the targeting of this gene.

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Cayenne pepper can help stop itchy feet.
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