Foot Ailments

Why Do the Bottoms of My Feet Itch after Showering?

Your feet are itchy after showering. The skin is usually drier in the winter time due to cold weather and artificial heating. During the summer, people are guilty of going without shoes or sticking to their sandals. But perhaps this doesn’t describe the reason for the itchiness on the soles of your feet.

For some, it doesn’t matter if the water used for showering is cold or hot, but mainly, it effects those who enjoy the hot water. The itchiness can be severe for those same individuals. People report that their soles itch so much that the skin comes off. The sad part is that scratching doesn’t help.

The itching only lasts for about 15 minutes, 30 at the most, but that can seem like an eternity. It’s also the burning and tingling that makes life so uncomfortable.

Why Do My Feet Itch After Taking a Shower?

Individuals experiencing symptoms like the ones described above often don’t show any other signs of itchy feet. Severe symptoms include diarrhea, headaches, and abdominal cramps. The fact remains, the symptoms such as a rash, don’t flare up until the feet are hot or cold.

These people or rather, their feet, have a sensitivity to heat or sweating. Bouts of itchy feet don’t last long. More so, the signs are prevalent in allergy, atopic dermatitis, and asthma patients. When they aren’t experiencing a flare-up, life is fine, so what is it?

There could be many causes, and the best way to find out why do the feet itch after taking a shower is to seek medical care.

1) Cholinergic Urticaria

Cholinergic Urticaria could be the cause of this annoying, but rare condition. Both genders can get it, but more men seem to have it than women. It doesn’t discriminate against race either. However, it does seem to have a thing with age.

People who are between the ages of 10 and 30 years old are more susceptible than any other age group. They only notice the itchy feet during a nice, warm shower or a hot bath.  Women, more than men, seem to enjoy hot baths, but strangely, more men experience Cholinergic Urticaria.

The warm feeling is an indication of the onset of hives. Next, you can expect to see a reaction anywhere on the body, but more so on the upper torso, scalp, legs and the face. The pain is like someone pricking the skin with a needle. It can happen all at once and cover the whole body.

itchy skin after shower no rash

It feels like thousands of little needles poking the skin hundreds of times. The sensation is incredible as it itches and stings simultaneously. It might even feel like the skin is on fire. Again, in some people, it doesn’t matter if the water temperature is hot or cold as they still itch.

Hot weather can trigger the hives. However, cooling off will stop the reaction almost instantaneously. This condition is different from Cholinergic Urticaria.

2) Aquagenic Urticaria

Aquagenic Urticaria occurs after the skin is exposed to water no matter the temp. The good news is once the body temperature cools down, the itchiness stops.

This is also a scarce condition. Women, not men, are the majority sufferers of Aquagenic Urticaria and signs first appear at puberty.

No one knows the cause, but you can enjoy relief. These people go through misery in that they have severe discomfort when in contact with water. To get a diagnosis, a test should reveal certain aspects.

A test was performed using only a wet compress (35ーC) on the affected skin for about half an hour. Other signs may be visible although no skin lesions were present.

The lesions (wheals) appearing on the skin are tiny, red welts. They pop up on the upper portion of the torso and arm, along with the neck.  However, no area of the body is immune to it. Not everyone experiences itchiness. Once the skin is removed from the source, the rash will go away.

Aquagenic Urticaria happens to people who don’t have any history of it. It’s not common, but two or more people in the same family can have it.

Patients have tried using antihistamines, light treatments, creams, sodium bicarbonate, and steroids to treat Aquagenic Urticaria, but the outcome is never guaranteed to be successful.

3) Aquagenic Pruritus

Although this condition is rare, Aquagenic Pruritus is harmless. Aquagenic Pruritus is similar to Aquagenic Urticaria in that the skin breaks out in rashes, itches, and burns after it’s exposed to water. It, too, will last only minutes but could continue for a couple of hours after taking a bath or shower.

Surprising, irritation can occur after crying or sweating. More so, there’s another similarity in that the itch can happen any place of the body. This causes some emotional pain for plenty of people, but most don’t suffer from other allergic reactions.

On the negative side, experts are not sure what the cause is. One-third of the patients studied reported a history of the condition throughout their family tree. It’s commonly seen in people who have a bone marrow disease (polycythemia rubra vera).

Older men and women are likely to suffer from Aquagenic Pruritus, but it’s not limited to just the aging.

Conditions and Medicines Associated with Aquagenic Pruritus

Aquagenic Pruritus happens mostly with polycythemia vera is present. If there are other diseases present, it’s a rare occurrence. Also, there’s still no real cause for Aquagenic Pruritus, but people with wheat intolerance or lactose intolerance could be a common factor.

Other conditions include conditions and medications like:

  • Bupropion
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome
  • Hepatitis C
  • Juvenile Xanthogranuloma
  • Idiopathic Hypereosinophilic Syndrome
  • T-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

How to Treat Aquagenic Pruritus

Since no one knows the cause of Aquagenic Pruritus, it’s difficult to treat and understandably so.

Nonetheless, several treatments are known to work. Finding the one which works for you may take a little doing. Remember, what works for one person, may not work for you. Be patient, though.

uncontrollable itching after shower

Numerous people are successful by using the following products or remedies:

  • Analgesics or pain relievers
  • Alpha interferon
  • Antihistamines
  • Sodium bicarbonate [pour in bathwater to calm]
  • Cholestyramine
  • Capsaicin [topical cream]
  • Opioid receptor antagonists

4) Bartonellosis or Cat Scratch Disease (CSD)

Bartonellosis is one of the possibilities why the bottoms of the feet itch after showering. The bacteria is transmitted because of a bite or scratch from a cat, an infected flea bite, biting flies or ticks and fleas. How do you know if a person has CSD?

Take a look at the symptoms shown here:

  • Chronic bacterial infection
  • Fever
  • Skin rash,
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fatigue
  • Joint aches
  • Swelling
  • Neurological abnormalities

Living with the Itchiness after Showering

  • Some patients keep this condition under control by only wearing cotton socks. Walking on the carpet after a shower is out of the question while dust drives up the intensity of the itching. Sunlight reverses situations that are filled with dust and humidity.
  • In a similar situation, another person’s trigger is cold water. They are also a neat person and find that a dirty place sets them off. It can be a dirty towel, a bed that’s messy or worn PJ’s.
  • Also, keeping clean linen on the bed helps to calm the itch caused by Aquagenic Pruritus as well. With this in mind, baking soda and oatmeal are two home remedies.

Remedies for Itching After Bathing

  • Shower at night (some use the extremely hot water and pat dry)
  • Avoid lotions or creams
  • Use 100% cotton clothing
  • Stay away from dust, humidity, sweat, rain
  • Use an air purifier
  • Use bedding with a high thread count
  • Keep tile floors as clean as possible
  • Always wear slippers or socks around home
  • Limit shower times and make sure the room is cool
  • Avoid exfoliating gloves or stones
  • Pat dry or air dry thoroughly after a shower
  • Cool down before putting on layers of clothes
  • Use petroleum jelly on the infected areas

Imagine being allergic to water and never getting back into the shower or being able to step out into the rain for fear of pain. Life can be miserable at this point. While itchy skin is nothing to be alarmed about, some find the itching, pricking, and burning unbearably.

Sometimes, sweat will trigger a reaction, and a rash will occur. There are many different reasons why someone’s feet itch uncontrollably after coming into contact with water, hot or cold, but no one knows for sure why it happens. This condition is still under review by the experts.

It could be because of some food a person consumed. One person found a link between her condition and gluten. The recommendation most common is alleviating the burn and itchiness with cool water or air conditioning. Drinking water helps to cool the body’s temperature, so relief is possible.

Some people use a sponge for bathing, stop using it for a while and see if it makes a difference. Fortunately for the patients, the burning sensation only lasts a little while, but for some, it could be as long a two hours.

Creams and ointments don’t work, it seems, mainly because the condition has nothing to do with dry feet or skin. Drugs like Loratadine can be harmful if too much is taken. Only use what is prescribed by the doctor.