Known technically as Paresthesia, burning feet is a hot, painful, “pins and needles” sensation in the feet. These sensations can range from mild to severe, and may be acute (short term) or chronic (long term) in nature. The causes of burning feet are numerous and varied, ranging from simple fatigue to more serious conditions such as a nerve damage or circulatory issues.
The condition affects patients of all age groups, although patients over the age of 50 seem to report it more often than other groups.
There are several reasons why people experience burning feet, ranging from relatively trivial to a serious problem that requires immediate medical attention. Common causes of paresthesia include:
- Nerve damage
- Blood disorders
- Trauma (injury)
- Athlete’s foot
- Exposure to toxins or chemicals
- Contact Dermatitis
Treatment for burning feet may be as simple as changing footwear, or it may involve systemic medication to correct the primary cause of the condition. Simple things you can do at home to help alleviate the problem include:
- Avoid ill-fitting footwear
- Wearing socks made of cotton only (decreases sweating)
- Using insoles, inserts, and other types of orthotics
- Bathing the feet in cool (not iced) water
- Applying creams or ointments with cooling properties
- Resting feet as often as possible
- Elevating feet while resting
Other treatment options, prescribed by a doctor or specialist, include:
- Medication (fungal, narcotic, nerve, and diabetic)
- Ointments or creams
- Custom-made orthotics or footwear
- Surgery to repair damaged nerves or problems located in the nerves, joints or muscles
The following will help you avoid burning feet:
- Stretch and ice the feet regularly after a long day.
- Rest feet as often as possible.