Burning Feet (Neuropathy)

Neuropathy is characterized by mild to severe burning feet, redness, and aching, which can be painful to the touch. Some possible causes of burning feet are over exertion, Athlete’s foot, and contact dermatitis. However, Peripheral Neuropathy or Burning Feet Syndrome is a more serious condition which can result from such conditions as traumatic injuries, diabetes, infections, metabolic problems, and exposure to toxins, often referred to as foot neuropathy.

Other conditions, such as axonal neuropathy, which is a dysfunction of a type of protein in nerve cells is inherited and generally appears in early childhood and becomes more severe with time. Neuropathy usually begins in the peripheral nervous system, which controls movement and sensation in the legs, arms, and other parts of the body. Other indications of burning feet are elevated skin temperature, excessive sweating, and a tingling sensation, which can be mild to severe. In some cases, the symptoms of neuropathy foot pain or burning feet may be so painful that it interferes with sleep.

Picture of Burning Feet (Neuropathy)

Burning Feet Symptoms

The Symptoms of Neuropathy associated with such conditions as Athlete’s foot are usually limited to the area of the fungal infection and can be characterized as burning in feet, itchy burning feet, redness, scaling, and cracking skin.

Other symptoms can cause Neuropathy pain and may be an indication of more serious conditions such as damage to the nerves to your feet. Small Fiber Neuropathy or Diabetes (Peripheral Neuropathy) can cause burning soles of feet, “pins and needles”, numbness, stinging, tickling, or tingling feet.

Burning Feet Causes

Some simple causes of burning feet are prolonged standing or walking, allergies and/or sensitivity to the fabric or dye in your shoes or socks, or possibly the detergent that is used to wash your socks. Also gout, arthritis, infections, certain blood disorders, heavy metal poisoning, or nutritional deficiencies can cause the sensation.

Other serious causes of burning feet are:

  • Alcoholic Neuropathy – caused by prolonged alcohol abuse
  • Erythromelalgia – a rare circulatory disorder
  • Diabetes – also categorized as Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Polyneuropathy – a neurological disorder that occurs when several peripheral nerves malfunction simultaneously
  • Autonomic Neuropathy – which involves damage to the nerves.
  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy – often associated with severe Diabetic Neuropathy pain
  • Idiopathic Neuropathy – burning feet that occur for an unknown reason

Burning Feet Prevention

Proper foot care is the key to preventing some neuropathy causes such as Athlete’s foot. Fungus likes to grow in damp places, so changing your shoes often and allowing them to dry out between uses is important.

Some additional ways to prevent burning feet include:

  • Socks made of cotton rather than synthetic fabrics should be worn
  • For mechanical problems (tired/overworked feet) look for good fitting shoes with support
  • Avoid prolonged periods of standing or walking
  • Shock absorbing insoles or cushioning may make standing more tolerable
  • Magnetic therapy insoles can be helpful
  • Light exercise, such as walking and massaging often improves circulation to the feet

Burning Feet Treatment

Minor conditions may benefit from topical anti-inflammatory cream or Epsom saltss ome of the following may help:

  • topical and ointments with cooling properties
  • soaking your feet in cool water and Epsom salts
  • may help reduce neuropathy symptoms and can be used for peripheral neuropathy treatment in some cases. However, many of these treatments can be quite costly and ineffective.

It is also important to have your condition properly diagnosed since neuropathy foot pain can be related to a serious condition such as those related to Diabetic Neuropathy in which specific Diabetic Neuropathy treatment may be needed to manage your diabetic neuropathy symptoms. This is where a podiatrist can be helpful. Without proper diagnosis, it can be difficult to choose the most effective treatment for treatment for neuropathy. Monitoring and adjusting treatments requires expertise, since even effective treatments usually require an extended period of time to see results. Pain relief medication is often prescribed for the treatment of the chronic causes of burning feet.

We Can Help

As director of the Colorado Foot Institute, Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rear Foot and Ankle surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions. He and his family are natives of the Denver area.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education.

Dr. Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four month post-graduate residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery.

Dr. Mechanik is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Surgery.  He is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery.

A variety of conditions can cause burning feet. Dr. Mechanik can help you find relief. He and his family are natives of the Denver area. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at 303-333-3383.