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Health and Medical

Burning Feet – Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment and Home Remedies

Burning feet most commonly results due to nerve damage. And, this often relates to diabetes. There are other likely causes also. The pain from burning feet might be continuous or intermittent. It may range from mild to severe. A person’s feet might feel hot, scratchy, tingling, or numb. The pain is frequently worse at night. Treatment for burning feet usually depends on the underlying cause. The feeling of burning feet may arise due to wide range of conditions. It’s vital to determine the real cause so as to receive a proper treatment. There are treatment options for causes including foot fungus like athlete’s foot or too tight shoes. In few cases, the cause remains unknown.


Diabetic neuropathy

If high sugar levels remain uncontrolled, they may gradually damage blood vessels and nerves. High blood glucose lowers the transmission of signals from the nerves. This may impact sensation to various body parts like the feet. Also, high blood glucose weakens the blood vessel walls that transfer oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.

A person’s risk for neuropathy increases if he or she:

  • is obese
  • has high blood pressure
  • drink alcohol
  • smoke cigarettes

It’s important to visit a doctor if a person observes any signs of neuropathy. Controlling the levels of blood sugar prevents nerve damage or slow its course.

Small fiber sensory neuropathy (SFSN)

SFSN is a painful neuropathy condition. It gives rise to painful burning in the feet. Other signs can be short bursts of pain and loss of feeling in the feet. It happens due to loss of the myelin sheath. This sheath covers and protects nerve fibers.

Heavy alcohol use

Heavy alcohol intake may cause another type of nerve damage. This is known as alcoholic neuropathy. Along with burning feet, signs include:

  • urinary and bowel dysfunction
  • drowsiness
  • speech problems
  • muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and loss of muscle function

Stopping the use of alcohol may prevent worsening of signs. Yet, some nerve damage might be irreversible.


Erythromelalgia is a moderately rare disease. It includes red, hot, and painful feet without a known cause. The severity of this condition differs from individual to individual. Pain might worsen after exercise, standing, walking, or exposure to heat.

Nutritional deficiencies

These vitamin B deficiencies may result in burning feet and muscle coordination issues. Anemia is a deficiency of healthy RBCs. It might result due to vitamin B deficiencies. Other signs of vitamin deficiency anemia may involve fatigue, drowsiness, and breathing problems.


An underactive thyroid alters the hormonal balance in the body. This may result in swelling that puts pressure on the nerves. Signs may include burning feet, fatigue, weight gain, and dry skin.

Infectious diseases

Burning feet may be one of many signs of various infections, such as:

  • Lyme disease
  • HIV
  • syphilis
  • shingles

Ask a doctor about tests if a person believes he or she has an infection. Or if the person is experiencing burning in his or her feet.

Kidney problems

When kidneys stop working properly, toxins accumulate in the blood. This may result in inflammation and itching of feet. It may also result in:

  • nausea
  • confusion
  • reduced urine output
  • fatigue
  • coma
  • unexplained breathing difficulty
  • seizures

Treatment options for burning feet

Treatment for burning feet is based upon the underlying cause. Often, treatment might be direct. A person might require:

  • corrective insert in shoes
  • vitamin B supplements
  • an antifungal prescription for athlete’s foot
  • more comfortable shoes
  • thyroid supplements

In case of diabetes, a person might require a diet or medicine change. The doctor may also suggest drugs to help with nerve pain.

Home remedies for pain relief

It’s vital to visit a doctor about this type of pain. But there are few things a person may try at home for brief relief:

  • Soak feet in cold water or ice baths for some minutes. Yet, this isn’t advisable for individuals with erythromelalgia. It might damage their skin.
  • Soak feet in Epsom salts or an apple cider solution. If a person has diabetes, ask a doctor before trying this remedy.
  • Use a turmeric supplement. The curcumin in turmeric offers relief for nerve pain. Curcumin has protective anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects.
  • Use a topical cream containing lidocaine or capsaicin. A homemade ginger or turmeric solution might function as well.
  • Massage foot to aid improve blood flow and circulation.

The burning feeling in the feet may cause pain. This pain ranges from mild and intermittent to life-disrupting and chronic. It’s vital to work with a doctor to identify and treat the underlying cause. If reason is nerve damage, it might be permanent in few cases. However, treatments are available to avoid further damage.

Also read:- How to Use Gabapentin Tablets

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