Your feet are subject to many conditions that can cause itchiness. Warm, moist shoes and socks can trigger itchy feet and also leave feet vulnerable to fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. Your instinct may be to scratch to relieve an itch, but overscratching may lead to infections. Good hygiene and foot care should be your first remedy for itchy feet.
Feet may become itchy because of athlete’s foot. The fungal infection can appear between the toes and spread to the soles of the feet and toenails. Public showers, pools and locker rooms -- places with moist heat -- are breeding grounds for fungal infections, which can be transferred between children and adults. Other common causes for itchy feet include dry skin, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, allergies, irritants or simply poor hygiene.
A doctor, podiatrist or chiropodist can determine the underlying cause for itchy feet and may prescribe remedies. Continual itching of the feet over a prolonged period weakens the skin and may cause redness, inflammation, blisters and bleeding. Prescribed remedies for athlete’s foot may include anti-fungal medication applied topically or taken orally. Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis may be treated with prescribed topical skin creams containing steroids. Over-the-counter topical foot sprays or creams, available in most drugstores, may also offer relief from itching.
Because feet lack oil glands, washing with a mild moisturizing soap, followed by an oil-based moisturizer, each day may help prevent dry, cracked and itchy feet. Tea tree oil works as a natural antiseptic for athlete’s foot, according to "Best Health" magazine. The addition of olive oil to tea tree oil can help soothe tender feet and allow the tea tree to better absorb into the skin. According to Footvitals.com, soaking feet in lemon juice for 10 minutes, then scrubbing gently will help dissolve dead and dry skin associated with itchy feet. Follow with a moisturizer.
Some underlying causes for itchy feet may require medical attention, but good hygiene will help prevent less serious infections from spreading. Wash and dry your feet each day, particularly between the toes, where fungus can breed. Use a blow-dryer, if necessary, to ensure that your feet are dry. Walking barefoot in public showers and locker rooms heightens the chance of contracting athlete’s foot. Wear sandals or flip-flops to avoid catching or spreading athlete’s foot. When feet perspire heavily, change socks or pantyhose often to avoid excessive moisture buildup.