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What are some causes of severe itching of the feet?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many causes of severe itching of the feet, including allergens, infections and various diseases. It can also be caused by stress, extreme heat or cold, or pregnancy, notes Healthgrades.

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Full Answer

Allergic causes of itchy feet include cosmetics, detergents, metallic substances, poison ivy or oak, and exposure to various industrial chemicals such as those found in latex and elastic. Eczema and insect bites also result in allergic foot itching, states Healthgrades.

The type of infections that cause foot itch includes candidiasis, athlete's foot, chickenpox and strep throat, while the list of diseases that can lead to itchy feet includes Hodgkin's lymphoma, uremia, cholestasis and peripheral neuropathy, explains Healthline.

An itch is not usually serious, but it can sometimes be a symptom of a life-threatening condition such as anaphylaxis, chronic kidney disease or obstruction of the bile ducts. Patients should contact their doctor to rule out any serious conditions. Once a patient knows what the cause of his itchy foot is, he should follow the correct treatment plan to avoid complications such as secondary infections and cellulitis from untreated athlete's foot, states Healthgrades.

Itching, also known as pruritus, can occur anywhere on the body, but the feet are very vulnerable. This is because people often put their feet into sweaty situations due to the shoes that they wear. Exposure to bacteria, fungus and irritants when walking barefoot also causes pruritus, notes Healthline.

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