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Itchy heel problem

Posted by Angela R on 12/15/03 at 00:26 (140013)

I have a very uncomfortable itch in both of my heels during periods of inactivity or when going to bed. It is so itchy that I often lose some sleep every night. The itch is not localized to just one spot ont he heel....it just feels like the entire heel itches. I work at a job 8-10 hours a day where I am on my feet 100% of the time on ceramic tile. I thought that was the problem but unfortunately, it did not improve when I purchased more comfortable shoes and I have tried every itch cream or powder on the market. I can only get temporary relief by physically itching them. The itching comes back just as bad as it did before. Some days are better than others, but I have found no cure. My feet are not unusually calloused and look absolutely normal with a normal arch. I was hoping that somebody out there has experienced the same problem and has a cure or someway of providing relief. Thank you.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Deb H. on 1/08/04 at 10:24 (141627)

I have a very similar problem. It is not always concentrated in my heels though. I also get a 'deep' severe itching on the ball of my feet, at night, or at rest. The itch in the heel or on the ball of my feet appears not to be a surface itch, but stemming from the inside. It is extremely annoying. Maybe it is a nerve condition, but I have yet to pursue the issue. I mentioned it to my family doctor, and of course, no answer! Nothing seems to relief the heel itch which can occur anytime of the day. I have started to apply ice to the itch on the ball of my foot when I can't sleep -- seems to relieve it a little - probably numbs it! Please, any other suggestions?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Marin B. on 8/07/06 at 09:25 (206546)

I have the SAME exact problem. I have searched the Internet all day, looking for answers. I have explained this itching in my heels to friends and family, but no one seems to have ever heard of such a thing. Please, if there is anyone out there reading this that has answers you will make the few who have this problem very happy! I would love to sleep through the night once again!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Claire on 8/15/06 at 11:20 (207358)

I have this problem too!

It's only ever on the inside of my right heel- there's a 'crack' in the skin, and the itch is right inside there. It drives me MAD, especially at night, and the only thing that gets temporary relief is serious scratching!

I have no idea what it is either- it feels like a bug laid its eggs inside me and now they're driving me mad!! (tho' that's not what it REALLY is!)

Re: Itchy heel problem

Carol B. on 8/20/06 at 08:07 (207904)

My heel started itching about 3 months ago. I have not injured it nor is there any external visual problem you can see. It is a deep itching inside of my heel. I did notice there is a lump in the posterior bottom part of the heel. The itchimg keeps me awake at night. Does anyone know what the cause of this is?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom on 9/01/06 at 14:23 (209008)

Oh my...I have this problem, too...on my left heel. It only started rearing up about 4-6 months ago. I thought it was something that would be short-lived, but it has become more of a daily problem, now.

I do have what I believe to be a very small concentrated area of Athlete's foot on the top part of the toe next to the pinky on my left foot, which hasn't really subsided since treatment with Tea Tree Oil the last month. But I do not feel this is related to the itch on my heel, as my heel is not cracked and dry by any stretch.

Any help on this would be appreciated. I don't think it's a plantar's wart or any of the other possible causes mentioned.

Re: Itchy heel problem

KP on 9/14/06 at 23:41 (210340)

I have the same problem as well. Every night, my right heel will just start itching and won't stop, even after applying cream. All I can think that it may be is dry/irritated skin, and continued lotion application may solve it (hopefully)!

Re: Itchy heel problem

SueH on 9/21/06 at 06:02 (210804)

I have the same problem, there is no dry skin and it appears to be deepin the heel. It feels a little hot. The itchy drives me mad and seems to be pretty continuous. I wonder if there is a link to sonething wrong elsewhere in my body. Perhaps someone who is into Chinese Medicine can help

Re: Itchy heel problem

Carlos on 10/02/06 at 13:52 (212015)

Itchy heels are predominantly of neurological cause. I am a podiatrist, not a neurologist.
If symptoms persist over a significant period of time, it would be wise to seek a neurological consultation.
Certain auto-immune disorders which typically affect women could be responsible.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Daithi on 11/07/06 at 10:26 (215108)

I have this too...left heal for the past 3 weeks. No visible signs of skin disorder and appears to be deep. Its terrible! I'm using sand paper now.

Re: Itchy heel problem

PM on 11/29/06 at 08:04 (216384)

I have had this problem for quite some time...No skin abnormalities such as cracked skin or wart - I went to three different Podiatrist and none of them could diagnose, the fourth applied the the wart removal syclic acid over the area and short time after he went in and 'dug' out a very deep lying wart. This wart was not visable from the surface. that was three years ago and just in the last couple of weeks I began the itching again...and NOTHING relieves it but intense scratching - I use one of those metal foot scrubbers and basically stand on it - the sharper end - and press my heel hard into it. The itching is always bad at night when I put my feet up at the end of the day and ofcourse just as I climb into bed. After the holidays I will go back into the Podiatrist and see about the same treatment.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Fabio on 1/19/07 at 00:41 (220133)

both my heels itch, not on the bottom of my feet, but on the angle, where they are curved. After couple years I finally figured out that they hitch only when my feet get hot. Like after some hours of wearing shoes with warm socks or at night when I am under blankets. They itch so bad that I have to put them out of the blankets or take my shoes off until they cool off. I can't find an answer! I have no callus

Re: Itchy heel problem

Azeila on 2/15/07 at 09:12 (222608)

I see a lot of references to this problem but no one has posted whether or not they have found any relief. If anyone has any suggestions as to what to talk to a doctor about or what the cause of the symptom was for you please let me know. My husband has it so bad that he has barely slept in 3 weeks (just got worse). I don't want to got to the doctor and have them run tests that are pointless if I could just instruct them as to what I want them to look for. PLEASE HELP WE ARE DESPERATE.

Re: Itchy heel problem

EMG on 3/08/07 at 14:16 (224643)

Please let us know if your neurological tests yielded any results!

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoniC on 3/14/07 at 16:52 (225129)

Well I got the results of the Nerve Conduction Study, and it looks like based on that, there is no problem with any of the nerves. The Neurologist still wants me to get an MRI, in the case that something shows up there that didn't in the NCS, but he's skeptical, and the MRI will be many months from now. He said he was going to forward a list of a couple of low-side-effect neurological/anti-seizure medications to my GP, which they often presrcribe to folks whose tests come back negative, just to to see if they can treat the problem without having definitively diagnosed it. But again, he was skeptical. So I feel like I'm back at square one with y'all, and considering the old hatchet. But just on the heels of course, no sense losing the entire foot! I will discuss these medications with my doctor, but I need to know more about the side effects before I decide if I'll try them or not. I'll post back if I find out anything more.

Re: Itchy heel problem

cathb on 3/19/07 at 19:26 (225507)

I have the exact same problem you have all described -- a deep itch in my heel that is worse and night and keeps me awake/wakes me up. Completely maddening.

Does anyone else have restless leg syndrome? I do...and if I am tired at night my legs twitch and feel like they have 'creepy crawlies' in them. I have not been able to find a link on the internet but wondered if anyone else out there has restless leg too. Both problems are much worse if I am sleep deprived or stressed.

Maybe I just need a big vacation!

Re: Itchy heel problem

rossdudley on 3/20/07 at 20:24 (225589)

I have the very same problem as all of you. In a desperate search for relief I tend to scratch and pick at them as well. Some times I end up with large painful cracks in my heels and still, despite the pain, they itch. I am desperate to find something that can relieve the itch.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ryan L. on 3/21/07 at 17:08 (225663)

I would like to know how many of us here with the same problem do the same things. My left heel started itching about 2 1/2 years ago when I started cycling. I have trained very hard since I started and I am wondering if any of you are tri-athletes, cyclists, etc. I posted the note that mine has gone away since I took the B Complex vitamins, but now the itch is coming back. I am linking it to the training on my bike. I train on a bike trainer during the off season, but now I am back on the road, pushing it harder and the itch is coming back. There has to be a link there.

Re: Itchy heel problem

hulitoons on 3/25/07 at 13:04 (225918)

I'm glad I'm not the only one and the itching and feeling of tenderness (though not when the heels are touched) are inside and not due to skin problems. I noticed this progressing though just a few months ago and found a couple things that do help a little since this itching also occurs if I'm off my feet for awhile as well. It 'feels' as though my heels are getting more pressure or HAVE gotten more pressure than they used to get when walking, standing etc. But I sress the word 'feels' because I know that the heels of my feet have not suddenly been given an extra load.

I have discovered that when I wear shoes with a slight lift in the back (like a wedge or slightly higher heel) I get less itching. I have also noticed that my achilles heel tendons are much tighter (or feel shorter) than they did a few years ago so I have begun doing foot flexing while my legs are straight out where I can feel the pull (not forcing though). Since this both increases as well as decreases itching, I am pretty sure there must be some nerve pressure along the tendon that seems to be responsible for itching and feeling of tenderness when at rest.

I don't know if these will help in the long haul, or if they will help others. I guess I'll know better over time. Has anyone else tried any of these things?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Kurt on 4/01/07 at 05:42 (226431)

Same problem. and I think the training thing might be a clue. I run every other day and the days I run it is much worse. Perhaps it is those particular running shoes? Maybe it has something to do with the stress on the heel? I wonder how many of us are women wearing heels? Are their fewer men replying?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Theresa on 4/09/07 at 20:44 (227247)

I also have had the intense itch on both my heels. I believe my itch is related to chronic compartment syndrome (recently diagnosed and surgery date scheduled). None of the research that I have done on chronic compartment syndrome has this symptom mentioned but after surgery if itch doesn't come back then I will attribute it that.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Anne on 4/11/07 at 10:08 (227456)

Please Please, if any of you has found a solution to this problem please post it because I have the same exact problem. A deep itch at night in my heel. Now it has started in my left heel too. It has been going on for about three years and it is getting worse. Please help.

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoniC on 4/13/07 at 14:50 (227695)

I'm interested in the Chronic Compartment Syndrome suggestion. Several of the posters have suggested that constant pounding from running and other exercises are part of their routine. My itch began long before I started trainng at a kickboxing gym, but it has gotten worse since. And I have always walked quite heavily on my heels so I'm wondering if there's something to this. Theresa, I would be very interested to hear what happens after your surgey. Can you tell us how you were diagnosed with Chronic Compartment Syndrome and what kind of doctor you had to see for the diagnosis? Thanks a lot, and good luck with your surgery.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Theresa on 4/13/07 at 21:43 (227707)

It took 4 years to get a diagnosis. 2 family physicians, 1 vascular surgeon, 1 neurologist did not have any idea and tests were all great. Finally sports doc diagnosised it in 2 minutes. Pressure testing done and confirmed. Severe itchy feet is just one of the symptoms I have but i never did mention that to most of the docs because one of the family docs said 'Oh you probably have athletes foot' I know it was not athletes foot.
The orthopedic surgeon had mentioned that I have small feet and that alot of the people he has done surgery on for compartment syndrome have small feet but he said that is just his observation that no studies have been done on it. He believes that having small feet may put more stress on the calf muscles.
Hope this helps

Re: Itchy heel problem

EllenV on 4/16/07 at 21:30 (227930)

Wow - I was wondering how old most people are with this problem - My 5 year old son recently started having an itchy heel during the day - mostly riding in the car he would take off his shoes. Now at night he is having fits because the pain in his heel is so great. He rubs it on the carpet and then claimed it was dry so hesoaked his feet in the tub for a couple of minutes and then finally went to sleep.

I would appreciate any help with this!!! A 5 year old has a hard time letting me know exactly what is going on!

Re: Itchy heel problem

rick s. on 4/17/07 at 11:10 (227964)

hi, i am just doing this one time post with a suggestion for relief from
itchy heels, as i also have them. it may sound weird, but i have a
welcome mat that i keep under the bed, the kind that has the fake grass.
when my heels itch, i slide the mat out, stand on my heels on it and
swivel back and forth, drag my heels back and forth,etc. my wife thinks
i am nuts, but it feels heavenly. i weigh 200 lbs, and it takes a couple
minutes of scratching, but it really works.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Beckie W on 4/19/07 at 16:56 (228135)

I too have this problem and my husband thinks that I am nuts! Mine started about 12 years ago at the age of 18. I have used creams, sprays, pills, changed my detergent anything that would help and I have never had any success. I have never seen a Dr about it because I thought I would sound crazy. I am glad to year that I am not the only one. Instead of using a plastic rug (which is a great idea) I scrape my heals on my heater vent in the floor because my itching generally comes in the evening as well and that is what is close and convienient. I hope someone does a study of some sort on this. It is a real issue and causes many people sleep loss.

Re: Itchy heel problem

brad on 4/22/07 at 23:01 (228303)

I too have had itchy feet for three years now. I never went to the doctor because he would think I am nuts.

Two things have helped, but only for short periods. When the itching starts, I put lotion on my feet then put a tight pair of socks on. The itching then still drives me crazy for three minutes but I do not scratch it. It then seems to slowly subside and I am able to fall asleep. The second remedy has keep my itching away for a month at a time before. When we vacation in Florida I have repeatedly rubbed my itchy heel on the rough floor of a heavily chlorinated swimming pool for 5-10 minutes daily for two or three days. This seems to rub off the callosed skin so my heel is very soft. Amazingly, I had no itch for at least a month after returning home. I have wondered if the chlorine has has an effect on my feet or if the itch subsided simply because I almost scatched 1/8 inch off my heel. I have considered soaking my heels in bleach but I didn't want to damage my feet.

Furthermore, I also live in the Midwest. Winters are cold. During the day I wear heavy socks and shoes which cause my feet to sweat and be moist all day. At night I take a shower and go to bed. When in bed the itching begins or I wake up to it. I have thought it may be the dry heated air in our house drying my heels. In the summer time they itch but not as bad. Any similar stories or cures I would love to hear about. Maybe we should start an itchy heel club, or maybe I am just nuts!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Sheri S on 5/30/07 at 04:20 (230790)

Wow, I decided to research this itchy heal thing, thinking that I just had really dry heals, but after reading all of your postings, I am shocked as to how chronic this issue really is. An interesting fact...I would have never thought the itch was from a neurological problem, but my mom was just diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgea (i hope I spelled it right), which is basically a chronic version of Shingles. I wonder if the nerve aspect is a genetic issue. You guys have posted some very interesting things and I am glad I researched the 'itch'.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Sheri S on 5/30/07 at 04:25 (230791)

I also forgot to add that I began Hot Yoga several months ago and that is when it seemed to start. My mom's neurologist told her (with the shingles) that heat can activate the nerves and irritate them. I wonder if the same philosphy applies to us. Some of you have commented that icing your feet helps. I will research more and post what I learn.

Re: Itchy heel problem

michelle on 6/17/07 at 18:20 (231730)

Anyone seen a doctor and receive a diagnosis - Other than, we are not sure, it might be athletes foot (since we all KNOW it's not that!!). I would love to hear if anyone has been officially diagnosed with anything.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ian on 6/25/07 at 23:05 (232068)

Wow... who what have thought, huh? Glad to know that this isn't that unusual but worried that no one has come up with a long-term fix! I've had an itchy left heal for over 20 years (since I was in my early teens). It always occurs at night and nothing eases the 'itch' short of time. Without getting repetitive, the symptoms everyone mentions in this thread are the same.

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoniC on 7/12/07 at 14:45 (232879)

I figured I'd post a summary of things that are common to most posters here, and what kind of tests I've been through. Maybe putting everything together will help us come up with some possibilities. I'd also like to help anybody new here to not waste their time on certain treatments if possible.

1) I don't believe this is a nerve problem for the following reasons;

- My neurologist did some office tests, a Nerve Conduction Study, and an MRI, all which came back fine.
- He prescribed Gabapentin first, and then Amitriptyline (which are often used to treat people with painful neuropathies), just in case there was something wrong that the tests didn't catch, but neither made any difference.
- I have tried topical treatments such as Orajel, Lidocaine, Cortisone, and Neurogen, none of which did anything.
- Zostrix HP produced a painful burning when my heels got too warm, but didn't affect the itch at all. I used it for a couple of months because the burning (when it did set in) was less hellish than the itch, but discontinued use on my doctor's advice.

2) I don't believe this is a skin condition for the following reasons;

- We all seem to have tried Athlete's Foot treatments with no results. I personally have tried three different kinds.
- I've also tried all sorts of drug-store creams such as Gold Bond and what-not, and a bunch of silly internet itch sprays and creams to no avail.
- I saw a whole team of dermatologists, all of whom were very supportive, but they all agreed there is no skin problem, and I was referred to the above neurologist.
- i also took several different anti-histamines in case it was an allergic reaction to something but they didn't help.

3) I went for acupuncture and took a couple of Chinese herbal medications for a while but it didn't help.

4) I saw a Naturopath who suggested I cut dairy out of my diet (something I had done a couple of years ago for a different reason but it didn't help the heel problem at all) and also that I wrap my feet in warm towels every night. I think we all know warm towels are not the answer.

5) I have been checked on numerous occasions for Plantar's Warts and trouble beneath the skin, but nothing has ever been found.

6) Some posters have mentioned they are runners, and perhaps the itch is related to constant pounding of the heels. I am not a runner, but I have always walked heavily on my heels so maybe that is a possibility. This relates to number 7 below...

7) One poster said that she was diagnosed with Chronic Compartment Syndrome by a Sports Medicine Doctor and was hoping the surgery it would cure her itch, so hopefully she'll let us know how that went. From the research I did (and apparently she did as well) it doesn't say much about itch, but who knows.

8) The ONLY thing that seems to offer common relief for most of us is icing or freezing the area. Creative scratch methods provide very temporary relief. The only time I am sure my heels won't itch is when they are very, very cold. But at night, as soon as they warm up even slightly, the itch is back.


Re: Itchy heel problem

bios on 7/15/07 at 16:14 (233022)

I'm another person that just started to get this itchy problem. I go to the gym regularly and i live in west texas, its really dry and hot here. I'm pretty sure this isn't a fungus or athlete's foot because i've had athletes foot before and it doesn't feel anything like it. Its not a surface itch or burn, its a deep tingle itch. I would think its a deep worm in there over athletes foot. I don't do any cardio so i dont think its from impact. It comes and goes, i can be fine for days and then all of a sudden it itches for an hour or so then goes away. I haven't found a pattern yet, since it just started a couple months ago. Also its only in 1 spot on my left heal right on the inner curve. No where else. It might have something to do with nerve problems because i have been having back problems from going heavy in the gym and also hours infront of a computer reaching for the mouse with my right arm. This is my 2 cents.

Re: Itchy heel problem

CFried on 7/16/07 at 16:29 (233072)

I am going absolutely insane from the itching! I have it only on my left foot. I have had it for a few years on and off, but in the last few weeks, it has increased 10 fold. I have actually bruised the inside of my foot because I was scratching the itch so intensely with a screwdriver! I have found a bit of relief from the icing suggestion, but only for a few minutes at a time.
I just was reading that Wellbutrin can cause this sort of itching. I just started that a few weeks ago.
Is ANYONE else who is experiencing this itching on Wellbutrin??

Re: Itchy heel problem

itchy on 7/17/07 at 01:53 (233098)

I am 35 and I have gotten itchy heels every once in a while throughout my life. I have also experienced a similar sensation in my wrists as well. Basically itching that won't go away which points to a nerve problem. It usually lasts no longer than an hour or two and years pass between incidents. When my heels itch, I feel the underside of my leg itch as well. There are a couple of things that seem to trigger it, lack of sleep, changes in humidity/temperature and dehydration.

Re: Itchy heel problem

houdeA on 7/19/07 at 15:35 (233209)

I also have had itchy heels for about 2 or 3 years. The itching has never woken me up in the night (to my knowledge), but I usually wake up to pee once in the night and I ALWAYs have itchy heels. I use a really hard bristle brush and brush my heels vigorously for about a minute and it seems to work. Anyway, just thought I'd mention that I too walk A LOT. 5 miles minimum per day. Walking/Running must have something to do with this problem.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Scott R on 7/19/07 at 16:09 (233212)

This itchy heel thread has really taken off (eventhough it's 4 years old) thanks to google. I wonder if there's anything useful for itchy heel that i could sell.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Claire C on 7/20/07 at 05:41 (233240)

Oh MY GOD.. there is other people out there like me!
I started getting really itchy heels about 5 months ago, and is worst at night

Mine started to itch after a trip to America, I'm a heavy walker too.
Sounds strange, but I really think this is an allergic reaction to something that my shoes are made out of, or the spay that I started to use to stop the shoes smelling.
I think that my heels perhaps is an area that prone to this type of irritation?

I have to say that I know allot of you have tried cream e.c.t, and I'm not sure if you can get this everywhere but I swear by it…
I'm a New Zealander living in London and I get my mum to send me this to me.

This is manly used for sunburn, Try it, you have to get the CREAM… DO NOT buy the Aloe vera version
This helps buy Numbing the skin, takes the heat and itch away, if only for a few hours it at least lets you get some sleep.

Generic Name: lidocaine topical (LYE doe cane)
What is lidocaine topical?
Lidocaine causes loss of feeling (numbness) of skin and mucous membranes. Lidocaine is used to relieve pain associated with sunburn; insect bites; poison ivy; poison oak; poison sumac; minor cuts; scratches; and burns; sores in the mouth; dental procedures; hemorrhoids; and shingles (herpes infection).

Re: Itchy heel problem

Dr. Ed on 7/20/07 at 08:32 (233245)


I think what people are describing here is a type of paresthesia, that is, a deep itch due to small nerve irritation as opposed to a skin itch that would be treated via a topical. That being said, any OTC topical that is of the class known as 'counterirritants' would probably help. Menthol and camphor are common ingredients in such preparations as they create a burning sensation on the skin which makes it difficult to perceive deeper sensations (gait control theory -- the nerves have too many signals fed to them).

Dr. Ed

Re: Itchy heel problem

Theresa on 7/23/07 at 17:09 (233400)

My itchy heel problem is gone....had fasciectomy surgery 10 weeks ago. Surgeon says that all nerves in my calves were severly intraped. So for me it was the nerve causing the intense itch.


Re: Itchy heel problem

Autumn on 7/24/07 at 09:12 (233443)

I'm going on 1 1/2 years of an itchy right heel and suffer from pretty much the same symptoms described above. I read about the fasciectomy surgery and it says it is usually caused by contact sports. I am an ice hockey goalie and wonder if I stretched or tore the tissues or muscles they refer to. I am going to bring this info to my doctor and see where it goes. Thanks for the help!

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoniC on 7/26/07 at 08:47 (233576)

Dr. Ed, another doctor on this board suggested the same thing, and it does sound reasonable. Also the poster above (Theresa) had fasciectomy surgery and it helped.

I saw my doctor yesterday and she said that if I'm not having any other pain, it can't be Chronic Compartment, and if the Nerve Conduction Study I had didn't pick it up, that also proves it isn't a nerve problem. However I've been through everything else (listed in a long-winded post above) and it only posts to nerves.

Is it possible that it could still be a nerve issue, or Chronic Compartment, if I'm not having any pain? I've been dealing with Shin Splints for about 6 months now, but my heel itch has been going on for years, long before I ever had any shin trouble.

Any help would be great. And Theresa, thanks for posting back, I'm really glad it worked out for you.


Re: Itchy heel problem

Gabriella K on 7/26/07 at 12:48 (233594)

I have also had this intermittant problem in both heels. My symptoms are internal not surface. I have past history of running alot on concrete when in my twenties (now I'm in my 40's). Developed plantar fascitis after birth of 2nd child in my thirties. Seems worse in summer (dehydration very likely since I have never been a big water drinker but do drink coffee). Never been a high-heel wearer.

Best method of relief so far - I rub them on the carpet until they heat up and hurt more than they itch - that gives me relief until the next occurence.

This itch to me is very similar to something I experience when I have been inactive for a long period of time and than I either run or do something else that stimulates circulation to a certain area of my body i.e. jet tub or foot massager. Once the circulation increases to the area it gets very very itchy!! The heel itch could be working on similar circulatory change patterns. ie. walking and standing on them (increasing pressure) and then resting them (decreasing pressure).

Re: Itchy heel problem

Theresa on 7/27/07 at 12:06 (233644)

JoniC,I also has a nerve conduction study and the results were no nerve problems. Well the surgeon would disagree since the nerves were intraped and he had to spend alot of time releasing them. Your doctor is right when she says you would have pain with Chronic Compartment Sydrome. Have you thought about seeing a sports doc? The sports doc is the one that made the diagnosis in about 2 minutes.

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoniC on 8/01/07 at 11:46 (233823)

I actually saw a Sports Med this morning. She was very interested (the first one so far), and is sending me for tests for Chronic Compartment. As you suggested, she was a little perplexed that there is no painm but I've been having trouble with Shin Splints for the past 7 months so she thought it might be a mild Comartment syndrome. She also suggested something called Heel Fat Pad Sybdrome, which I'm going to look into. I'll post back after the tests, thanks again.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Christine N on 8/02/07 at 19:47 (233904)

Hello fellow itchy-heel sufferers! I have had an intense deep itch on the outside of my left heel for about 16 months so far. I thought it was related to the lumbar disk herniation (for which I had surgery (discectomy) in Jan 2007). I talked to the Neurosurgeon and he said it was unrelated because the affected leg would have been the right one. I have had no luck with a diagnosis or treatment through my Navy medical providers. Going to try the sports medicine route, I think because the itch shows no sign of stopping. Seems like we could all use some peace in our heels. Good luck to everyone!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

michelle on 8/05/07 at 20:13 (233991)

After reading Claire C's suggestion to try lidocaine, I went to my local drug store to find an over the counter product with lidocaine. I found Burn Jel Plus with 2.5% lidocaine. I love how this feels on my heels. It really cools off the area and relieves the itch. I would highly recommend you go to the store to pick some up. It was the best $6.00 I spent all week!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Bill D on 8/08/07 at 16:21 (234093)

One solution - The only test subject is myself so maybe some of you can keep me posted. I have had similar symptoms to the ones listed above...mainly at night, can't sleep, want to freak out, etc. Tried many things with minimal if any relief. My girlfriend's mother told me to soak'em in an epsom salt bath (easy, cheap soln). I ignored that. Instead, went surfing in the Pacific for 3 days. Voila, itchiness is history (for now). This was 2 months ago. I read this post during a sleepless night over 2 months ago and realized I needed to post myself for you poor souls. In hindsight, the girlfriend's mother was probably right. I'm sure it's possible there are several different problems assoc'd w/ the above people but I know this worked for me. ahh, eureka. Good luck!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Robert S on 8/16/07 at 13:18 (234505)

I have had this on and off for about 4 years. I also had RLS and was given Mirapex for that. Both the RLS and the itch were immediately GONE. That lasted for a year, almost to the day. The Mirapex still does away with the RLS but the itch is back. Drives me nuts. It sometimes disappears for a few days, then return. I'll try the lidocaine that someone suggested. Keep this thread going!! It is somewhat comforting to know you're not alone. Another thing: Vicks Vaporub seems to be a cure all. Might give that a try. I'll be back to check on this conversation. Cheers!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Robert S on 8/21/07 at 09:13 (234697)

PS: Cut down on caffeine. I did (doc said it may help) and it has. Just since the last post (above).

Re: Itchy heel problem

Robert S on 8/21/07 at 09:15 (234698)

PS: Cut down on caffeine. Doc told me to try that and it seems to be working. (This is after I posted the one above).

Re: Itchy heel problem

Krystal H on 9/02/07 at 15:25 (235375)

I have the same exact issue, but mine is ONLY on the left foot not both and yes I loose sleep over it, I cant seem to get rid of it, dont think its a fungus because Ive used the creams and it doesnt make a difference...


Re: Itchy heel problem

lisaj on 9/02/07 at 22:16 (235393)

i also have this problem. itching just does not cut it... i tend to agree that it would be when my feet are warmer, i am also heavy on my heels when i walk and have had shingles before..
i can't believe there is not a simple solution!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Karri on 9/14/07 at 10:16 (236091)

I have the Same Problem. Every Night my Heels itch so bad i have sanpaper to take away the itch. But it doesn't Go away. It itches so bad almost everynight that i start to scratch so hard my heels start to peel. The peel is fine b/c it will start to hurt.. I would rather deal with the Hurt then the Itch. But once it heals or is healling the itching comes back. It drives me crazy.. I've tried everything from salts to itch cream nothing works. Please help!!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

mklyn on 9/14/07 at 22:48 (236133)

I soak my feet in epsom all the time. NO RELIEF ! My heel are the worst but it also feels like bugs are crawling under the skin on the bottom of me feet. I gave myself a planter's wart trying to shave my heel with a razor. I am very bad with going to the doctor, I think I will have to break this tradition because it is getting so bad that I can't sleep.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Deborah N. on 9/17/07 at 10:11 (236203)

Wow! I have had this itchy heel problem now for about two years.
Of course only at night when I am trying to sleep.
My husband is starting to think I am crazy!
BUT... I do take Wellbutrin. AND I have been on it for like 3years.
Could it be?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 9/18/07 at 06:50 (236273)

Went to the doctors, everything he told me to try I have already, and has been mentioned on this board before. Lets try to figure out what we all have in common. (this is for me) 23 year old white male. 140lbs, 5'7. Been abou 1 year with the problem. I take adderall. I don't put a lot of stress on my feet. Its 10 times worse at night then any other time, to visual problems

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ryan on 9/18/07 at 16:13 (236316)

I am 5'10', white male, 170 lbs, avid cyclist. It has been going on for about 2 years now. I take B vitamins and that seems to help. It's my left heel only. I sit at a desk all day.

Re: Itchy heel problem

michelle on 9/18/07 at 17:04 (236317)

Anyone suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 9/18/07 at 18:53 (236323)

I don't have RLS, and it is ONLY my left heel, not the base of the heel (the part I step on) but directly in the middle of the back of it

Re: Itchy heel problem

MonicaN on 9/30/07 at 13:36 (236989)

I've had the same problem in my right heel for over 10 years. It is worse when I go to bed and when I wake up in the morning. My symptoms and attempts at relief are quite similiar to other posts here. My medical insurance is an HMO, and I've resisted trying to explain this to my doctor knowing that he would likely dismiss it or send me to a dermotologist. Reading all these posts over the last hour make me think back to when I broke my right leg in 1992, and 18 months later having surgery again to take the screws and plate out. From what I can remember, the itch began sometime after that second surgery. It makes me wonder if the fasciectomy surgery could work for me. It's just convincing my doctor now to investigate the possibility!

Re: Itchy heel problem

CarliBeth on 10/13/07 at 21:04 (237695)

So I'm having the same issues but only since I've been pregnant. I'm in my 7th month now and I'm going crazy. I feel the tingly feeling in my feet and my hands. I'll have to bring it up to the doctor but it seems like I'm the only one here that is pregnant. However, I live in Miami and my feet stay warm. Plus I have a 15 month old son who keeps me on my toes, literally, all day long. Don't really know what to do about it but I think I have RLS along with it. I'll ask my brother (he's a pharmacist) if he's heard of any such thing.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ashlee on 10/18/07 at 00:43 (237977)

Good evening everyone.. Im 20.. I work in a bank where i constantly wear high heels. One weekend we took a trip to California to go to California Adventures and i wore tennis shoes... We ended up getting wet on the water ride and i had to walk the entire night in wet shoes.. THe socks and everything.. My feet burned SO BAD! After returning home i noticed my heels started to itch, but they werent dry.. and they had no sign of crack or anything. I started putting lotion on them and all it did was make the itching worse and dry my feet to the point where everything but my heels peeled.. It was gross.. One night i was so bad i actually started researching when i found everyones poll on their itchy feet.. I must say it is a relief to know im not the only one who has had this problem.. It is absolutely ANNOYING.. I cant sleep and i work on my feet ALL DAY plus i walk to work everyday.. :( so that same night i glanced over to my TV and noticed a solution called AQUAPHOR, now most people say it hasnt worked for them yet.. What i did was i soaked my feet in hot soapy water and then pumice stoned them for about 15 min to get all the dry skin and anything left behind off.. Then i layered AQUAPHOR on my feet and put socks on.. This is the grosses feeling EVER, and honestly it is the only thing that has been giving me ANY relief.. other than this i am SOL.. I must admit that my feet felt warm and like they were sweaty but i just resisted and kept my socks on.. Finally my feet stopped itching the entire night through.. However this is the only thing that has ever worked, and i have tried.. well everything in short of having a dermatologist look at the skin.. So, i hope my method gives some of you some relief.. Good luck everyone!!


Re: Itchy heel problem

Autumn on 10/22/07 at 05:10 (238191)

To reply to the request for commonalities: 32 year old, 110lb, Caucasian female, teacher, athletic contact sport enthusiast. Had the problem for more than 2 years. Had a baby in June and have not had symptoms recur since. They were very intense while pregnant.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Kimberly wilhelmsen on 11/04/07 at 21:54 (238974)

I doooo!!
Very often when I?m trying to sleep, I get this tingly feeling in my feet.
I?ve had that as long as I can remember, and I just have to kick and jump around to try to make it go away, but it rarely helps. I also get the same feeling in my arms sometimes.
It?s driving me crazy..It doesn?t appear in patterns though, atleast not that I?m aware of.

When it comes to the itch you?re all suffering from, I started getting it just a few days ago and it?s been coming back and keeping me up every night since it began.
I also use carpets to scratch my feet. It?s mostly my left heel. I scratch em so hard it feels like it?s,,burning.On me it always itches on the same part/ spot though. This is starting to really annoy me..I even had to go scratch my feet at work the other day cause they were itching so bad.
It?s 5 am here now, and I just had to google it after waking up and having scratched myself for like an hour..

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jane on 11/11/07 at 21:54 (239347)

I am a 44 year old woman and I have had this itchy heel problem for about 1.5 years. I am not on my feet all day but I do play tennis twice a week and dance twice a week. The itch has been causing a major sleep problem for me. I haven't slept through the night in the past 1.5 years. I recently bought the 'Dr. Scholl's For Her Exfoliating Stone File'. The box says that it is for 'extremely rough, callused skin on your soles and heels'. My heels are not particularly rough or callused but it just looked like it might feel good on my itchy heels. I used it on my heels after a shower when my skin was soft (not at night and not when they were itchy) and it felt great! I then put some body butter on my heels. The best news is that I slept through the night for three nights so far! I don't know if it is a coincidence or not but I am going to keep using it every day and hope it continues to let me sleep.

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoelD on 11/15/07 at 05:24 (239501)

Hi All,

To add to the request for commonality:

Same symptoms here but in left heel only (and definitely not topical). Only for past few weeks. So, here are a few points which may be relevant to finding common link...

1. Currently taking Ibuprofin (Advil, Motrin, etc.) for impacted wisdom tooth.

2. Due to my line of work (music producing/mixing), there are many days of around-the-clock work and generally extended hours (don't sleep much).

3. I am right-handed and work from computer 75% of the time.

Note that itching is sometimes listed as a rare (1% - 3%) symptom of Ibuprofen.

Could it be some strange combination of sleep deprivation, Ibuprofen and work posture?

Hope this is helpful,


Re: Itchy heel problem

heelhumor on 11/16/07 at 20:17 (239552)

Heel Humor for those who can't sleep!


'Keep on scratch'en in the free world'

'If your heels itchen, don't start __en'

'It's more common than scratching your ass'

'Honey, would you scratch my heels?'

'Itchy heels are always better than stinky feet'

'Itchy Heels 'R Us' My computer won't make the 'R' backward.

'I spend every night at the Itchy Heel Institute'

'Bend over and scratch it'

'Lets have a scratch off'

'It gives scratch and sniff a whole new meaning'

'I think I'm nuts but so are you!'

'If we ever find out who or what causes itchy heels, I know a good lawyer, lets sue 'em!'

'Itchy Heels' Just another reason for the loony bin to put me in a straight jacket!

The movie 'SAW' gave me some new ideas!

I hope my funnies didn't get in the way of this truly intellectual blog!

By the way I'm 34 white male, wouldn't jog if I had too, and I have had itchy heel for 6 years.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Annie on 11/20/07 at 01:20 (239649)

I am a 28 year old female and I will admit that I am overweight. I won't tell you by how much. I have had this problem for about seven years now. Like most of you I have tried the same home remadies. I mostly use the carpet method. None of them seem to work. I have had worts in the past but only on my left foot and it's my right that's itchy. I have not had any children so that conections doesn't work for me. I do however have arthritis in both my hips and my left knee due to a birth defect. I also have a few skin issues as well. I live in New England and find it's worse in the winter. I do get very dry skin in the winter but I don't know if that has anything to do with it. I sit at a desk all day but I am a heavy walker on my heals. Mostly due to the arthritis. Over the past few years I have noticed that some nights are worse than other. Sometimes my entire body starts to inch. Mostly at the base of my spine. I find that if I go to my couch and turn the tv on it takes my mind away from my feet and I'm soon sleeping. I would say that I sleep on the couch about twice a week. I also find that putting pressure on my feet tend to take away the itch. I put my feet between the couch cussion and it helps me sleep. I sometimes take a sleep aid called Sonata and that seems to work. Over the years the skin on my feet has gotten very dry and cracked. I do soak them but that doesn't help. Well I hope this helped someone. I'm off to watch tv again for the second night in a row.

Re: Itchy heel problem

LyndaC on 11/27/07 at 13:33 (239906)

I had the same problem on the side of my right heel. Intense itching, especially at night, felt like it was under the skin. I also used a razor blade and wore a spot in the carpet with all the scratching. I ruled out athlete's foot after a month of doctor-supervised treatment with no change. So I started trying every possible cure, and think it's Heel Fat Pad Syndrome. None of the websites list itching as a symptom, but when I taped my heel and started using gel heel cups in my shoes, the itching stopped and hasn't come back now in over a month. It can't hurt to try it. Good luck to everyone.

Re: Itchy heel problem

BonnieZ on 12/04/07 at 13:24 (240247)

I can't believe I am reading all of these reports. I have been going nuts with a deep itch in my right heel for several years.
I do step classes currently, but when the itch started, I was not working out at a gym. I have to conclude therefore that my problem is not related to my increased aerobic activity.

I did see my doctor about this a few years back - and he was not impressed ... like - it wasn't a big deal (and it usually isn't during the day). I have smooth non-callused feet and there is no sign whatsoever of irritation.
Sometimes, however, the itch is horrible enough to awaken me at night - as many of you have reported.

Let me say that I did have severe heel pain and a bone spur in the same foot (heel) almost 7 years ago - and that did precede this itchy problem. I was fitted with orthotics and the heel pain was alleviated completely.

I had read somewhere else that heel problems are often associated with sciatica. I used to suffer from that also but no longer.

I am shocked that I found you all today because occasionally I go on-line to Google 'itchy heel' and this is the first time I have seen so many comments and reports of identical symptoms to mine!
Good luck to us all!

Re: Itchy heel problem

BonnieZ on 12/04/07 at 13:33 (240248)

One more thing. If/when I do use a cream at night (like Lanacane) to try to get relief, the cream always feels very cool on the hot skin of my heel. (Sounds like neuropathy, right?)

I do concur with someone who said that putting socks on after applying cream seems to help calm the itch. Don't know why.

BTW, NOT ONE of the 'itchy foot' products on the market (including Cortizone 10 PLUS) does ANYTHING to help! False advertising for sure!

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoelD on 12/06/07 at 18:02 (240345)

Don't think it is really false advertising as the symptoms we collectively list here show the itch to be 'inside'. None of the topical medications would really apply here :-(


Re: Itchy heel problem

Rhys J. on 12/07/07 at 12:55 (240376)

The itch under the skin of my right heel started a few weeks ago. At first it didn't seem like such a big deal. Just a minor nuisance that I noticed but was able to ignore, thinking it was temporary. But then it started to bug me enough that I looked it up to see if it was a 'thing.' This message board proves it's a thing, alright.

I noticed some people said their problem started when they began going to the gym. I did start going to the gym around the time the itch began, but not very often, and the time I spent there, I didn't really push myself to any kind of limit. Maybe that's a clue anyway.

The other major change I made in my life around the same time was to change from a vegan diet - which I'd had for 8 years - to an 'Evolutionary Diet' (basically the caveman or Paleolithic diet). Which means that I cut out grains and beans and all processed foods from my diet and added meat and eggs in their place... while still eating lots of vegetables, fruits and nuts.

As I'm not used to eating meat, I'm still eating probably less than I'm supposed to on this diet, and have only been eating fish, chicken and lamb, but mostly fish. Eggs sometimes, but not a lot. I usually make two eggs mixed with lots of vegetables. So I'd say the most dramatic changes overall are that I've added fish to my diet and taken away grains and beans.

I do feel healthier on this diet overall, and it is most likely a coincidence that the itch started right around this time.

Re: Itchy heel problem

BonnieZ on 12/07/07 at 15:25 (240383)

Dear JoelD,
Agreed. Just venting. :-)
Always hopeful when I bought a new product. But I am sure you understand that!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/10/07 at 21:54 (240582)

Here is me just hoping someone has found a solution...

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/11/07 at 05:44 (240591)

I am starting to think it is RLS, After looking at all the symptons, what seemed 'normal' to me, I guess isn't. I tried a benzo at night a few days ago, what a difference that made! Perfect 8 hours, no interuptions, and more importantly, no itch. I'm going to call my doctor today.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Cin L on 12/11/07 at 14:02 (240617)

Hello, I too suffered from itchy heels. I developed a lump on the sole of my foot which was diagnoised as plantar fibromatosis which can be associated with glucosamine/chondroitin supplements. Of course, I stopped the supplements and the itchy feet syndrome disappeared. The doctor who examined me said I had signs of thickening on both soles of the feet. Over production of connective tissue, collegen associated with taking the supplements - I don't know for sure but there does seem to a connection in my case.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/11/07 at 22:07 (240655)

Here is an interesting question. I only have one itch spot on my left heel. It is the size of a quater on the back part of the heel, the part that does not touch the ground. I am also left handed.

I think we realize that is it neuro related. I'm left handed and have this issue only in my left heel. Is this corrolation true with anyone else?

Re: Itchy heel problem

walt on 12/14/07 at 21:43 (240807)

i too have the same symptoms of a deep tissue itch on my left heel right at the curve up towards my achilles tendon. often a deep hard rub into my heel temporarily alleviates the itch. i've taken a look at the shoes i wear the most & there seems to be a wear mark right where my itch occurs. the sole of the shoe right where my heel would strike the ground is also more worn out than anywhere else. i am thinking this is an inflammation of my heel tissue from being on my feet all day. not standing but walking a lot striking that same spot on my heel repeatedly. i thought it might have been my heel bone/tissue repairing itself while blood flow is best at night, indicative of warm feet. but i have nothing to substantiate that. i'll consider new shoes and or possibly orthotics to see if that helps to alleviate some of the itching over time. i'm male 40yo 120lbs. incidentally, i do cycle at least once a week. but since that is essentially zero impact, i'm not sure this would be a cause of my itchy heel. i do run also. low miles with very lightly used almost brand new running shoes. my 2 cents...

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/17/07 at 20:21 (240952)

Went to the doctors today. Explained what I know doesn't work, and what does work. Bascially anything that causes a little pain to my heel works, because it off sets the itch.

He said it is a neuralgia. It is heel pain. He said it might not hurt, but any sort of discomfort is a form of pain. This nerve bascially can cause an itch or a hurtful pain.

I am seeing a neurologist this week. One option is to inject some sort of drug that will kill the nerve completly, but I might lose feeling in my heel. I honestly wouldn't mind that vs the itch

I will keep everyone updated!

Re: Itchy heel problem

ChristineN on 12/18/07 at 19:49 (241006)

Hello everyone, I have everything everyone else has and have had it for 2 years. I have suspected a connection with a spinal disk herniation (L5-S1) that I had operated on about a year ago, but in order to test everything, I am FINALLY seeing a neurologist and she is doing a EMG (needles detecting nerve activity) on my heel soon. My heel is quite numb all the time and itches to varying degrees in approx three month increments. I have found some relief with the 'heel pads' in my shoes. Someone mentioned they sat at a computer all day - I note that my itching started very soon after I got a 12 hour shift job at a computer. I stopped that job a couple of months ago, but haven't really noticed a change. Good luck!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 12/21/07 at 17:16 (241129)

I have itchy heel, too. As described! I lost plenty of good sleep because the little worms that burrowed into my heel decided to have a sock hop in the middle of the night. I think they were rockin' to Chuck Berry on steroids, or thrusting miniature pitchforks into my itch receptors just to piss me off because I have to go to work in the morning. Therefore, I googled itchy heel, and I read this thread.

However, I cannot accept the idea that I have a nerve disorder, spinal disk herniation, or some problem that requires expensive surgery that only a specialist can perform. Hence, I took it upon myself to take a close look at my own, itchy heel.

I have a history of athlete's foot spanning nearly six years. An ex-roommate, who exercises at a local gym, where he also showers, brought it home as a special gift. I soon discovered how stubborn foot-fungus is. Therefore, I spray my feet with anti-fungal liquid EVERY DAY.

Recently, my itchy heel problem arose. At first, I got it into my head that I had contracted ringworms. It felt like worms! I've never had ringworms, but I remember how kids used to get ringworms when I was in grade school. Therefore, I looked up ringworms to see if I could figure out how to get rid of them. I learned that ringworms are not really worms. They're just a fungus. They're the same thing as athlete's foot. That's when I realized that whenever I sprayed my feet with anti-fungal spray, I had been neglecting the bottoms of my feet, particularly the heels. I had also been failing to keep my shower clean. Therefore, I changed my routine, and began to spray my whole feet, top and bottom. I started to clean my shower more frequently. Soon, my itchy heel went away.

However, a few months later, my itchy heel came back stronger. That's when I read this thread.

Firstly, I noticed that the skin on the bottom of my itchy heel (the right foot) was substantially thicker than the skin on the bottom of my other foot. Aha!

Now, I own a special pair of toe-nail clippers. They double as callous removers. You hold them like a pair of pliers, and the blades are straight across. They're made in Switzerland and you can cut a wire close-hangar with them. I have often used them to remove callouses from my feet that form below the achilles tendon.

After a long, itchy night, with several sleep interruptions, I decided that enough is enough. I took my special toe-nail clippers and started to chunk out the thick layer of skin on my itchy heel. It stretched from below my achilles tendon, all the way to the bottom of my foot behind the arch. I was amazed to discover just how thick it was. I spent nearly a half-hour chunking. Then, I took a strip of #40 grit (very rough) sandpaper to get the rest. I was amazed to find out how tough the skin on my heel is. I could have chunked and sanded all night without penetrating to the quick. After at least an hour, I finally stopped. It felt so good! The itch that seemed like it was coming from deep within my heel now seemed to be near the surface. I sprayed both my feet heavily with anti-fungal liquid, and went to bed. Unfortunately, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a violently itchy heel. It didn't work! Crap! Maybe it is a nerve problem!

Anyway, I stuck to the program. A couple days later, I soaked my itchy heel in hot water to soften the skin, and went at it with my clippers again to see if I could remove more skin layers. I got a little, but most of it was already gone. I sanded until my heel was very smooth, and starting to get a bit sore. I sprayed more anti-fungal liquid on it. It got better! I slept that night with only one interruption. A week later, after a bit more sanding, I can say with near certainty that itchy heel is nothing more more than a deep fungal infection. I spray my feet at least twice a day. I sand my itchy heel to remove the dead infected layers. I spray my shower with scrubbing bubbles, which has an anti-fungal chemical in it, EVERY DAY. THIS IS WAR! The itch is decreasing. Last night, I finally slept uninterrupted. When I awoke in the morning shortly before it was time to go to work, my heel itched, but the intensity of the itch was relatively insignificant. I scratched it with the big toe on my other foot, and went back to sleep. Yep, I ended up being late for work.

In sum, I am now nearly convinced that 'itchy heel syndrome' can be cured with a few simple steps.

1. Remove the thick layer of infected skin from your heel.

2. Kill the fungus deep in your heel.

3. Kill the fungus in your tub that you keep rubbing into your feet, with all your weight, every time you take a shower.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Valerie on 12/26/07 at 04:47 (241225)

I have been kept up the last 4 nighs with itchy heels - is is driving me nuts. I have tried taking multiple benadryll just to drug myself to sleep - right now it is 2 am - I got 2 hours of sleep before I woke up with the itchy heels again. It is seeming to definitely occur mostly in the middle of the night. I can think of no changes in my diet, medications, or regime that could be causing it. I will try getting some of the otc suggestions of creams with lidocaine tomorrow and hopefully that will help. I will also talk to my doctors, but from this thread it sounds like most people didn't get many answers from their doctors. I am also a post bone marrow transplant patient so don't know if that has anything to do with anything...

This is terrible I am so upset and it only day 4 that I have been experiencing it!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

ChristineN on 12/26/07 at 16:29 (241240)

In my last entry, I mentioned an upcoming EMG - a test of nerve function. I had the EMG today and it was normal. The neves that lead to the heel were working fine. I have numbness in my heel in addition to the itching (which, I don't see mentioned a lot), thus the idea that nerve function was impaired. I'm getting a cervical MRI next to rule out another nerve disease. Seems like endless pursuit. I think the EMG is a good way to test nerve function, but it consists of shocks and small needles into the skin and muscle, so not a pleasant alternative. Like anything, it can help get answers. It showed there is no relationship between my lower back disc herniation surgery and the itching, which is more than I knew before. Sounds like some folks have fungus problems, but I think there are others like me who have confirmed that there is no dermatological condition and are therefore pursuing nervous system related disorders. I think it is necessary not to give general advice to cut skin off unless you are sure to mention it is for dermatological issues. For me, skin removal would do nothing. Cheers!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/26/07 at 21:44 (241254)

well I went to the neurolgist, he thinks its too minor to do anything about. I kind of flipped out and explained how bad it is, I even mentioned all off you. I asked him for some meds, he gave me something for cronic nerve pain and depression, it helps me sleep an entire night, but it doesnt stop the itch. Its still bad when I go to bed and when I wake up. I feel like doctors dont take it seriously because it is an itch and not pain. I feel like if I was in terrible pain I would have been taken seriously. I am at my ends... Seen 3 doctors and no one seems to care or know what it is! Please anyone!

Oh and to the person who mentioned the numbness l, have that as well, but it is only on the back of the heel where the itch is, the bottom part, that touches the ground is fine and itch free

Re: Itchy heel problem

Holly F. on 12/26/07 at 22:50 (241258)

I'm so glad I found this discussion! For the past three years, from about October through May I have the itchy heel problem. It is only in my right heel. I have woken up to itch my heel on the side of my bed frame, on the grate on the floor, on the rug... I have tried athletes foot spray and anti-fungal cream to no avail. Tonight, I took a callous-remover (basically a cheese-grater looking thing for feet) and have taken all the dead skin off of my heel. I now have my heel slathered in Aquaphor with a sock over it. We'll see how this goes tonight...
Only similarities to others seem to be poor diet (though I am not overweight, I eat sooo terribly!) and I am on an anti-depressant, though Zoloft, not Wellbutrin. I am not athletic, but am on my feet all day long chasing around my four kids. The fact that my heel only itches in the winter makes me think it is dry skin, but WHY oh WHY is it only the one spot year after year? I've had plantars warts and this doesn't feel like a wart...
I would love to hear how everyone else's problem is going. I'm going to the doctor finally next week. Not getting any sleep through the holiday season was just too much!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/27/07 at 05:53 (241262)

I think there are a few things going on here. I don't think we all have the same problem. Here are a few things that make us different

- having an itch on 1 heel is very different then both heels

- location of the itch, mine is on the back of the heel, the past that DOES NOT touch the ground

A few things that make us the same

- its worse at night, or when there is little to no pressure on the foot for a long period of time

- its not topical or a skin issue

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mary Kay on 12/27/07 at 10:22 (241268)

I just started about 1 month ago with my right foot itching on the instep of my right heel. As I was reading your response I was wondering what the sports medicine physician prescribed for you. I am very atheletic, and I also have small feet.
Did you have a surgical procedure?
Mary Kay

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 12/27/07 at 14:49 (241277)

Since my last post describing how I removed the thick skin from my itchy heel, I am more convinced that my itchy heel is caused by a fungal infection. I had a few days and nights with virtually no itchiness, until Christams. I was with the family when my heel started to itch again. It was the middle of the day! I knew that night would be a bad one if I didn't do something about it.

That evening, I just clipped and sanded the dead skin from my heel. It had regenerated very quickly. Then, I read an article which claimed that over-the-counter fungal spray does not kill foot-fungus. It only weakens it. Your immune system is supposed to do the rest.


I took some advice from this article, and made a solution of hot water with a bit of salt, and some bleach. I soaked my heel, and slept well. As I write, my heel is itch free once again.

I'm not a doctor, and I'm not certain that my fungus theory is the only truth, but I would say theories about nerve disorders, and what-not, are bit more spurious.

I would also like to mention that my feet both appear to be quite healthy. My itchy heel appeared to be very healthy in spite of the fact that the skin was thicker than the other heel. In any case, I have no illusions about how stubborn foot-fungus is. That's why I spray my feet EVERY DAY. I've had enough experience to know that my athlete's foot will return every time I slack off, and I wholeheartedly believe it is stubborn enough to find it's way deep into my heel, and cause a maddening itch.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 12/27/07 at 19:39 (241289)

I don;t think it is a fungus for the following reasons...

Over the past year I have moved, so I have used a different shower. Other people use my shower/ bath tube with no problems. We clean it very well. My problem is only on 1 heel, and it is not even the part that touches the ground when I walk.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 12/28/07 at 01:03 (241303)

Well, all I can say is that I have moved TWICE since my athlete's foot problem first arose. It's never been a big deal because I keep it under control with constant intervention. However, I take my fungus with me, and it is always there. Moreover, as far as I know, other people who have used my shower have not acquired the same problem.

A while back, my fungus started to attack my toe-nails, so I got some cream, and started to clip my nails as short as I could. It took a couple months, but I got my nails under control, too.

It just seems to me that my particular problem can best be explained as a manifestation of the same fungal infection. I really wish there was something out there that would just get rid of it, but I realize things are not so simple. First of all, medicine is, in many cases, seemingly more interested in treating symptoms than creating cures. Therefore, it is no wonder to me that athlete's foot spray doesn't actually kill athlete's foot fungus. Otherwise, why would anyone need to buy any more of it?

For similar reasons, do not expect to get definitive answers from your doctors. They are schooled in a culture within which the practice of medicine is colored by the practice of economics.

You've got an itch. So does your doctor! If you get rid of your itch, you get rid if your doctor. I might be way off, but I'd look again at the itchy spot on my heel. Is it calloused? If so, I'd remove the callous. You don't need to pay a doctor to remove a stupid callous, even if it itches.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 12/29/07 at 14:51 (241356)

I'd now like to add a few comments because I may have stirred up a mild controvery. I am not saying that my itchy heel is the same as everyone else's, but my approach to getting rid of it is seeming to work. I've taken some more precautions, in addition to the steps I have already taken, and today, I'm still virtually itch free.

1. I've noticed that others who have had recurring itchy heel problems, have commented that it recurs primarily during the winter months. Well, that's when we give up our bare feet and sandals for socks, shoes, and slippers. Fungus is much happier! Therefore, I've decided to go barefoot when I'm at home, including when I'm sleeping. My feet are cold, but I'm getting used to it.

2. I'm soaking my feet daily in a solution of warm water, salt, and bleach. I'm not enthusiastic about soaking my feet in bleach, but I use it sparingly. Bleach is the same thing as the chlorine in a swimming pool or jacuzzi, so I know it's not going to kill me. However, I'm pretty sure it's killing some fungus. When I'm finished soaking, I slowly pour the solution into my tub and spread it around. I'm thinking about getting some apple cider vinegar to soak my feet because it's supposed to make the skin's PH more acidic, and kill fungus. Hmmm! Maybe the whole problem is a result of my PH being out of whack? That's something to think about.

3. I've thought about the probability that fungus does not live only on my feet and in my shower. It's in my shoes! It's in my socks! It's probably everywhere I go with bare feet. Therefore, I started spraying my shoes with the generic equivalent of Lysol disinfectant. It has a fungicidal chemical in it, and it's supposed to be okay to spray it in your shoes. (Don't tell anybody, but sometimes I spray it on my feet too.) I washed every sock I own, even the clean ones, in hot water, and lot's of bleach. All my socks are white, and now, they're whiter! I even washed the little rug I put in front of my bathroom sink. Maybe I should do something with the carpet in my house? It could probably use a good cleaning.

Anyway, you get the idea. I hope someone benefits from what I have written.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Chris L on 12/30/07 at 09:31 (241376)

Just to follow-up of my previous post, my itchy heel problem didn't return and I have been sleeping vey well, finally. In retrospect, I think that having too much calcium in my diet(Tums + milk products, I calculated close to 2g/day for over 2 months) might have triggered the itch. I must also mention that when I cut-down my calcium intake I experienced some anxiety issues but it all seems to be getting back to normal now.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Anne L on 12/31/07 at 07:27 (241405)

Try 'Benadryl' available on the shelf at a drug store before bedtime. It has helped me although I dont think it is a cure.

Re: Itchy heel problem

JoelD on 1/02/08 at 17:39 (241467)

Hi Chris L.

Were you, by any chance, taking sugar free Tums (which contains Aspartame)?

Aspartame (made by Searle and marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, 951, Canderel) and Ibuprofen are my main suspects now. One of the known side-effects of each is itching with no actual rash.

In how many of us could this be the cause?


Re: Heel Itch Gone !!!

JoelD on 1/02/08 at 17:42 (241468)

The itch in my heel is gone !!!

Aspartame (made by Searle and marketed as NutraSweet, Equal, 951, Canderel) and Ibuprofen are my main suspects now. One of the known side-effects of each is random itching with no actual rash.

I try to stay away from artificial chemical sweeteners but realized that Orbit gum has Aspartame too :-(

So, no more Ibuprofen and no more Orbit and the problem has gone.

Somehow, I think for the folks with smooth feet who have definitely ruled out athlete's foot, etc. it may well be dietary.

Although the FDA approved Aspartame when Searle's CEO, Donald Rumsfeld, became US Secretary of State and promised to get it approved, the FDA doctors and investigators were staunchly against it for a host of reasons.

For all those interested, see here for more info on Aspartame:

In how many of us could this be the cause?


Re: Heel Itch Gone !!!

Dr. Ed on 1/02/08 at 21:24 (241473)


Good post! Type 'aspartame' into the search feature on this site and you will see quite a few posts about this subject.

Dr. Ed

Re: Heel Itch Gone !!!

Tom R on 1/02/08 at 22:37 (241480)


That's pretty heavy stuff about aspartame. My itchy heel is gone, my feet have always been pretty smooth, but I'm quitting diet soda for sure. Thanks for the tip.

By the way, I won't be drinking regular soda-pop either. All that sugar will kill you too.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Chris L on 1/05/08 at 08:37 (241568)


No, I was not using sugar free Tums, just the regular ones with sugar. I am positive that excess calcium (both from Tums and diet) caused my problem (search for milk alkali syndrome).

As for aspartame, several years ago, I started having severe migraine problems every time I would drink a sugar free soda. I never touched that stuff again...

Re: Itchy heel problem

Dr. Wedemeyer on 1/05/08 at 12:47 (241573)

Interesting observations on aspartame Chris. It is widely known that aspartame breaks down into several toxic and neuroexcitatory products that are not compatible with life.

As for the calcium causing you problems I seriously doubt excess calcium is contributing to your problem though, unless you have an endocrine issue. Calcium is actually a natural muscle relaxant and the poor types of calcium are merely excreted and not well absorbed.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Bonnie on 1/09/08 at 08:52 (241737)

I posted a while back and just want to mention that the itchiness within my right heel has completely disappeared.

Yes ... I am right-handed.

It is now winter and cold - so in my case at least the problem does not get worse in the winter.
I continue to exercise 2-3 times weekly (both weight training and step). No change there.

FYI, I never drink soda - including diet - ever! I use Splenda in my coffee - and that does not contain Aspartame.

I can't think of anything I have done to tame this maddening problem. Only change in diet was that I started taking DHEA in addition to the usual multivitamin, calcium and 1 enteric-coated aspirin daily.

I read with some disgust (and horror) the post about the person who was 'chunking' off pieces of their foot with a sharp clipper. Egad. That sounds awfully dangerous to me.
Apparently also this thickened skin seems to grown back very quickly. This problem sounds very unique.
I believe most people who have posted here have relatively smooth skin with no visible outrageous thicking.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Dr. Wedemeyer on 1/09/08 at 11:16 (241741)

I feel they will eventually learn that Splenda is far more damaging to the body than Aspartame. The first two times that I drank something that contained Splenda I reacted to it, which lead me to read the label. I shrugged it off thinking 'isn't Splenda sugar'?

After delving into how it is made, by whom and Donald Rumsfeld's involvement in getting the FDA to approve it, I decided that I'd be better off never consuming it again.

Persistent itching can be a horribly disruptive problem, good luck to everyone trying to find answers to relieve this. You could try to clean up your diet and remove any food additives and go from there.

Re: Itchy heel problem

DM on 1/11/08 at 06:07 (241823)

I have the same problem listed - right heel itching - usually when my feet are warm and more in the winter. I have used things to remove dry skin, put lotion on, etc. I'm starting to wonder if I've over-done the relief part, as a woman giving me a pedicure said that you can over-file your dry skin, which causes more skin production. I think that wearing cotton socks (wicking moisture away) in the winter and putting so much weight on that side is some of the reason for the symptom. I also am wondering if there are several issues being presented on this blog. Intense burning itching can be dermagraphia (it's how mine started - in the feet first, then the palms of my hands, etc) - it's worse if you itch it and a antihistamine has worked for me.
Just some random thoughts -

Re: Itchy heel problem

ChristineN on 1/13/08 at 08:56 (241907)

Hello everyone,
Does everyone cross their legs? If so, do you cross over the affected foot's leg? My neurologist found nothing wrong with my nerves leading to my left heel, but she told me this could be from crossing my legs. I always cross right over left and it is my left heel that itches, likely because I am pushing on the nerves that run from the back to the foot via the outer side of my leg. I am trying to catch myself when I cross and uncross them. Seems to help so far. Also stopped chewing gum (all the ones I like have aspartame), so I don't know what the cause is yet, but I do have less itching. Good luck!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 1/13/08 at 19:28 (241923)


I didn't mean to horrify you. However, I am happy to report that today, my itchy heel is long gone, and both of my feet are smooth and healthy. I stand by my diagnosis, and my treatment. It worked.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 1/13/08 at 20:14 (241927)

Is it a simple case of athletes foot, or is a mysterious, possibly genetic, heat activated, severly intraped nerve disorder, probably a type of parasthesia or neuralgia, and/or chronic compartment syndrome which cannot be detected by an MRI or an EMG, or any variety of neurological tests, caused by crossing your legs too much, and/or eating too many Tums, and/or the consumption of aspartame, which should have been outlawed in spite of Donald Rumsfeld's conspiracy to make millions for his killer cronies after taking over the FDA? How can we ever know for sure?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Bonnie on 1/15/08 at 06:56 (241983)

I continue to take Splenda and my itchy foot problem is still gone. I cannot tell you how pleased I am - but I would not be surprised if it magically returned.

For the poster above ... yes - I usually cross legs and have been trying to stop that bad habit. Probably more right over left (and I used to have itchy right foot).

Again ... taking one 20 mg. tablet of DHEA in the AM is the only thing that has changed in my life - although taking it may NOT be the solution and just a coincidence.

If this maddening condition returns I will let you all know.


Re: Itchy heel problem

Naznik on 1/20/08 at 16:07 (242213)

Hi Y'all

I'm a sufferer of itchy heels, too. What's interesting is though, I used to have the very exact feeling in my fingers and toes every time I'd come back home from playing in the snow, or skiing. Somehow as if the sudden change from the cold to hot would cause it all. It must have something to do with temperature! I hope someone comes up with a permamant solution. I don't think it's a good idea to take medicine or come up with new washing habits and all for the rest of our lives!

I also get this feeling of having needles and pins all over my back when my body is cold and I do exercise! again, sudden change in temperature?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Anne on 1/21/08 at 10:02 (242242)

I think it is important to acknowledge that there are probably different causes for the same symptoms on this post. It appears clear that Tom had a fungus. Others probably have a fungus, too. For Tom that is great, but for those of us who don't have the same symptoms as him, and aren't getting relief as he did, shucks! I am 42, have had intense intermittent itching heels for over a year now. Other things going on are:

- Itching mostly at night, have lost entire nights of sleep. Sometimes the most intense itching is accompanied by my feet sweating at night which is a newer symptom for me. (They have never done that before.)

- Itching intense day and night when I'm off my feet (ie, sitting at a conference 8 hours is a nightless sleep, at a computer several hours, etc.)

- Scrathing provides temporary relief enough to fall asleep, but to only wake up with intense itching later.

- Can have tingling and/or numbness with itching.

- Itching worse when feet are warm.

- My feet are usually very cold no matter what time of year or where I'm at (even in the summer.)

- I spend more time out of shoes than in shoes.

- My feet are smaller than normal for my height (I'm 5' 10' and my feet are size 8.)

- I was very athlethic my first 30 years of my life. Not as much currently.

- I have tried everyone's methods (even Toms!) with no helpful results. (BTW, Tom, you can purchase a Callous Remover at WalMart or any drugstore that is designed for removing heel calouses in a much safer way than the method you are using. They usually come with a set of 5 razor blades in the package.)

What I've tried and hasn't helped too much:
- OTC antifungal creams (tried them all)
- Epsom salt soaks - (makes itch more intense)
- Keeping my feet baby soft and smooth. I use a fresh callous remover frequently (I remove the callouses on my feet often and they are baby smooth and pink.) Then apply antifungal creams, lotions, etc... at their own times to see what would work - itch isn't gone after doing this over a year!

What I find interesting:
- Both heels equally affected.
- Both my heels have the same amount of skin.
- I know what athlete's foot about 15 years ago, and this isn't that. (That included the entire foot, and the itch was much more surface related.) This is a VERY different itch.
- ONLY heels affected. My toes never itch even when my heel itch is maddening.
- Possible spinal problems? I have Lumbar spinal issues (6 buldging discs) and multiple Tarlov Cysts in my lower spine.
- I had plantar facitis (actual injury related) when I was 20 years old.
- When my feet itch, they also sometimes tingle, and my lowers legs have quite an itch, too, at those times if I touch them.
- I don't take regular medication.
- I am in good health.
- I eat very well, everything in moderation.
- I don't smoke, drink very little.
- I was in a car accident last year which greatly aggravated my spinal issues and added several cyst-like structures in my hip that cause me problems on right side (seatbelt and armrest impact related).

I think it is very important to appreciate everyone's symptoms and to acknowledge that we all most likely have groups of different reasons for our symptoms, and that what works for one may not work for another because their diagnosis (if every found) is actually different. I say this because it is frustrating enough to have a doctor not truly acknowledge a sleepless night and call it something it is not.

Not that we apprecaite your posts, Tom, but please don't categorize us all into your firm belief that we all have a fungus, but thank you for sharing what has worked for you!

Lastly, I chuckle at everyone's attempts for relief as I have done them all!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 1/22/08 at 18:54 (242281)

I think there are enough similarities in our experiences to merit a response, even if I have to keep being too consistent:

1. My itchy heel always struck after being off my feet for awhile. Usually at night, for obvious reasons.
2. My itchy occurred when my feet were warmer. Again, very intense at night when they were toasty in my socks and under the covers, and sweating a bit.
3. My toes don't itch.
4. I don't take any medication, and I eat far healthier than most people. (No more aspartame!)
5. I'm the same age as you are, and I'm in good health. I'm athletic, though not so much of late. (Hence my skepticism when it comes to elaborate, polymorphic theories involving nerve disorders.)

Here is the thing: I found out that athlete's foot creams, and sprays. (i.e. tolnaftate) will not get rid of this maddening itch. They only help temporarily after you remove the dead layers of skin that shelter the source of the itch. (How ever you do it, do it thoroughly, or I suspect your efforts may be in vain.)

What finally cured my itch was thoroughly removing the dead layers of skin on my heel, and soaking my feet in warm water with a bit of bleach for a few nights in a row. Simple and effective, at least for me, and now my heel is smooth, with a normal layer of regenerated, protective skin. Unless you do this, or something similar, I would say the fungus theory does not deserve a chuckle nearly as much as all the others.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Pat on 1/25/08 at 13:45 (242382)

Found a cure, I think. I have started to take a B-Complex vitamin. I take B-50 which is just a mix of different B vitamins. B-100 is also available. They help tremendously with the nervous system among other things. I have started to take a pill a day, missing some days here and there, and I have not had an itch in months. I think this could be a fix. Try it. It worked for me. You can find it almost in any store.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Rick m on 1/31/08 at 21:56 (242643)

Hello everyone, I to have, done, been there, and doing all the above except for the bleach. I do scrubb the skin on my heels with one of those scrubby things from body and bath stores in the shower to remove dead skin. I think I will try the bleach for a short time and respond back to this site with my results.

Re: Itchy heel problem

bradb on 2/02/08 at 21:32 (242719)

The bleach thing does help. I note that I have sanded my feet just like Tom and then spent a lot of time in a swimming pool in Florida on Vacation. The pool had a major Chlorine/bleach smell. Amazingly after a few long dips my heels stopped itching. Unfortunately, do to the high chlorine, I itched everywhere else for a day or so. After returning home the itchy heels returned in six weeks. I now plan on sanding and soaking in bleach right in the comfort of my own bathroom. Maybe I should just move to Florida?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Heelhumor on 2/02/08 at 21:41 (242720)

Its all got to do with the time of year. Most everyone in this chat is posting during winter months. Dry homes, offices, sweaty socks, low indoor and outdoor humidity. I have had my itchy heels for a long time and I never complain about them in the summer. Well maybe just once or twice, but never as much. Think about it, in 90 days we'll all be mowing our grass. From then on I bet I won't hear a word from any of you until next Thanksgiving. Just keep scratching! Relief is just around the corner!

Re: Heel Itch Gone !!!

JB on 2/04/08 at 07:05 (242749)

Thank you Joel!

Aspartame was my culprit too!!!!
I now sleep all night.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re: Heel Itch!

Eldemila on 2/10/08 at 09:34 (243021)

I too am losing sleep over this and it seems to get worse each day. I also have a small spot on one thumb that tends to start itching out of nowhere, usually at night though. As for my heels, it seems to get worse in the evening and esp. at bedtime. I find myself waking up and digging at my heels with my big toe.

I mentioned this to a friend and she said she had heard something about some type of yeast infection being the cause and that putting a vaginal yeast type of cream on your heels helped some people. I'm willing to give anything a shot, have some Monistat in the house, going to try and see what happens.

Good luck to all in finding relief!

Re: Heel Itch!

harrietb on 2/10/08 at 13:24 (243032)

I have had left heel itch off and on for about 6 months I take tums, and sweeteners in my daily coffee. I used to have rls for which i took requip, but after i came to mexico 2 months ago,the rls stopped, and i stopped the requip. Now the heel is itching again. I too, itch, as tho there are bugs or worms in my heel, and it throbs. I also had difficulties with my left side which might have been a sciatic nerve, which has almost gone away. I was thinking of having a blood test to see if i have worms or parasites. I have no idea what is causing this. I am a sometime bicycle rider also, and in mexico i walk on cobblesstone streets. I stand alot because i am an artist.

Re: Heel Itch!

JenL on 2/10/08 at 22:19 (243055)

Oh my god, I'm so glad I found this site. I've had this problem for about the past 2 months and it's driving me NUTS!! It is especially when I am just lying around, usually when I'm trying to go to sleep. After reading everyone's posts I have some ideas to try and get rid of my stupid itchy heels!
It doesn't seem like the problem stems from any similarities in people.. I'm a 26 year old female, 5'0, about 115 lbs, I am on my feet about 6 hours a day for work and do not work out much, on no medications..
HOWEVER, I do drink Coke Zero which contains aspartame!! I was actually drinking it as I read this with my itchy heels and literally spit it out! I am cutting soda out of my life and checking labels on diet crap to make sure fake sugar isnt causing this problem. To think I've been passing up real sugar for fear of gaining weight, and instead driving myself nuts with itching. Ugh, I'll be so pissed!
After reading the beginning posts I got to thinking how this started right after I had shingles.. yes at 26 I had shingles, so I immediately thought it would be a neurological problem. I always feel a tad bit itchy.. my head, my arm, my back, etc.. and I figured that stemmed from the nerve problems having to do with the shingles and put the foot itch in the same category. Does anyone else have other itchies? Or has had shingles?
I'm going to quit drinking soda and report back on that in a week or two if it works that quickly.
We will get to the bottom of this!!

Re: simple suggestion

me on 2/10/08 at 23:58 (243059)

While I don't have itchy heels, for a very long time (years) I have had a deep, persistent itch on the side of my pinky toe. I often go through the same thing, lotion, scratching with the sharp end of a nail file or knife, etc. This almost always occurs at night when I'm about to sleep. This may seem obvious, and many have probably tried it, but what I've found works very well most of the time is taking ibuprofen. For whatever reason (thinning blood?, placebo effect?), it usually works and I can get to sleep at night.

Re: simple suggestion

Jared on 2/13/08 at 18:58 (243174)

I have had itchy heels for years. (TRIED EVERYTHING!! INCLUDING REMOVAL OF SKIN) because it drove me so crazy! I have been playing pro baseball for 10 years feet driving me insane when its especially hot out long nights itchy feet, my sports medicine trainer recommended the Aspertame so far so good! hopefully this year I wont drop any fly balls because of itchy feet syndrome!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Christy on 2/14/08 at 02:42 (243187)

I am having the same problem tonight for the first time which is why I am on here searching for an answer. I've never had this before. I couldn't sleep from the itching in my left heel so I got up, looked at my feet in the restroom. They are red on the soles there are tiny cracks in the heels from dryness and the only thing I can think of is parasites. I've read most of the comments on this board and all that comes to mind is parasites. I am going to see my chinese medicine dr as soon as I can to see if this is the problem or if it's just a case of athletes foot that I may have picked up from doing pilates at the gym this week. I do use a mat of my own so I dont see how but I guess you never know. The itching seems deeper than that of athletes foot and it's in one spot. Also I noticed 3 little bumps on the side of the heel as your press down on the skin and stretch it. Perhaps those are parasite eggs? Ugh does anyone have advice?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Christy on 2/14/08 at 02:56 (243188)

Oh and lastly I am 39. I just started doing yoga, pilates and I am back on the treadmill so perhaps it is related to the calves or running. I just worked out my calves two days prior and they are very sore. But it must be also related with age or wear and tear because the times that Ive ran and jogged on the treadmill in the past I never had this experience. In a desperate attempt to relive the itching so I could try to sleep tonight I rubbed some of that vaginal anti itch cream on the heel and it seems like it may be working. It took about 15 min to kick in. So maybe my case is athletes foot but if so why don't they both itch and why dont they itch all over?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Lori -In-Indiana on 2/14/08 at 08:19 (243191)

Well I have been following the posts here for some time. I have had this problem for years. Thought I would post my stats and what I have tried.

I am 32, stay at home mom (caucasian) of 3 older kids (9,11 and 15). I am not athletic in any sense. I weigh 130lbs, am 5'4'. Definitely not topical for me, seems to be a nerve issue or dietary but I have never figured out what. I live in Indiana. The problem DOES get worse in winter but is always there. As best I can guess, I have had it 5 years or more.

I do take lots of ibuprofen. I get migraines and also take an Rx for that (Frova). I do not drink diet drinks but I do chew sugar-free gum a lot. Not every day, tho, and I get this itch EVERY day, ONLY in my right heel. I am right handed. I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I have low blood pressure and some mild blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia). I have never had an injury to the area or my back. Do not do anything high impact, etc.

B-complex does not work for me. I have taken B vitamins a long time a long with daily vitamins and anti-oxidants. Am curious about the dairy as I have been craving lots of milk lately and lately it HAS been worse. I did take fish-oil for something else for months and there did seem to be a lessening/relief while I was taking it. I am doing an experiment, not being on it, then going back on it and seeing if there is a correlation.

My feet look perfectly normal, they do not have excess skin on the heel. My itch is on the BOTTOM of my heel, in the center, always the same exact sensation, same exact spot. Once in a bluey, I get it on the left foot, too. I use the cheese grater to remove excess skin after showering, but itch it on concrete or with my fingernails which lasts only seconds. It is mainly at night when I lay down, but I do have it when standing as well.

My feet are always cold, as someone else mentioned, even in the summer. I do go barefoot most the summer. No one else in my family has it. I do not wear heels, maybe a couple times a year. It has recently come to my attention that I may have hypothyroidism. I have not had it checked out yet.

Antihistamines do not work. None of them, I have tried them all (I have lots of allergies). Sleeping pills do not work either(they are basically antihistamines anyway). Being hydrated does not work, my feet are not dry at all anyway. I still have tried creams to no avail. Nothing topical works, tho I have not done the bleach thing nor the yeast infection cream. Neither have I cut away the dead skin on my heel. I just slough it off with my cheese grater (it is made for feet).

Only other thing I can think to mention is that I have had a couple abdominal surgeries through the years (1st one in 1992, then in 1998, 2002 and 2006). All were female related.

Lori in Indiana

Re: Itchy heel problem

JenL on 2/14/08 at 21:45 (243226)


Several of us have tried the anti-aspartame lifestyle and we are all ITCH FREE!! I've never been so grateful, THANK YOU FOR THE ADVICE!! And I'd like to give it to everyone else. SAY NO TO ASPARTAME!! I promise, try it. I gave up diet soda and have been completely cured. Check your labels people!

Re: Itchy heel problem

JenL on 2/14/08 at 21:47 (243227)

Aspertame? Sorry, I think I was spelling it wrong.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Lori -In-Indiana on 2/14/08 at 23:11 (243229)

So, does chewing a few pieces of surgar-free gum a week count as using aspartame? I don't drink diet soda...don't think aspartame is my problem.

As I am up with my itchy heels tonight, I will say I did notice that flexing my foot made a difference. When the crawly feeling starts, I always resist it until I cannot stand it because once I start to itch, it is like a mosquito bite and the itch intensifies. So I was laying there trying not to itch and was changing the position of my leg to see if it mattered. When I pointed my foot, it definitely got worse, and when I flexed, it got better. Not gone, but better. Alas, I cannot keep my foot fixed while I sleep or when relaxed.

So anyone else willing to try it and see what happens? Can't hurt. I am curious.

Lori in Indiana

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jmasterson on 2/18/08 at 00:14 (243296)

Does anyone have the itch in their toes too? I haven't seen anyone else comment about having that, but I do.
In fact, it started in my toes and seems to have spread to both heels. When my toes are affected, they feel swollen and tender, they look very red and feel hot to the touch. Ditto with my heels.
With the toes (and it's always the two smallest toes on each foot) they feel like cooked sausages, loose and very hot, pressure building in their skins and ready to burst. There's no blister, that's just how it feels.
With my heels its more or less the same, deep itching on the back of the heels (doesn't touch the sole of the foot and very tender, almost sore. Very hot to the touch and red.
Scratching brings only momentary relief, like scratching an insect bite, the itch comes back worse seconds later.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/18/08 at 14:54 (243311)

Okay, I have read this entire thread today. I want to thank the Doctors who have taken time to contribute and post.

Last night I was awakened with a very itchy right ankle, on the inside. I had to get up and put cortisone cream and then I put another topical analgesic on it which contained menthol. I don't know which one helped.

When I woke up, my palms were itchy, also my feet/ankles/heels. I have some skin disturbance that is coming and going on my shins right now. I DID have a rash on my arm Saturday but that went away, and I had rashes on my shins but after soaking in Epsom salts for an hour on Saturday night I was better.

I am a Licensed Massage Therapist, and try to live a very healthy lifestyle. I try to eat mostly organic foods and juices. However, last night I ate some potatoes from the deli at the grocery store that were prepared already. I am wondering what was in them.

The potential diagnoses that resonated as possibilities with me are:
1. Plantar fascitis--I am a masseuse, I spend hours a day, standing and pushing and pulling. In addition, I used to work out with weights but now I mostly walk as exercise, preferable for an hour to and hour and a half at a time. When I have received massages from my colleagues, one of them said my calves were the tightest things on my body.

As a masseuse specializing in sports and trigger point work, I know for a fact that the nerves can be impacted by muscle spasms. I have also not been working my calves despite the fact that I know my feet have been sore sometimes when I get up in the morning. It goes away, so...I didn't worry too much.

But, I immediately did a lot of deep work on my left calf, to see what happened. However, that would NOT explain the rash.

2. I used Benadryl extra strength itch cream and that seemed to help. I DO have some rashes, so...we shall see.

3. I purchased the gel heel caps and also some memory foam inserts. I am putting something supportive in all my shoes. It suddenly became clear to me that I was neglecting something very easy to fix--supporting my feet more. I preach memory foam beds and pillows to my clients--I need to take my own advice and apply to my feet. I was amazed at how GREAT the inserts feel. I don't know if this is what is wrong, but I know it can't hurt.

4. I never drink diet drinks. I have avoided artificial sweeteners for years. But, it is possible i might have had something that had an ingredient somewhere in it that i reacted to.

Another possibility is that I have been eating Probiotic bars this week. They are supposed to put BACK the good stuff into your digestive system. I wonder if they are responsible in part for this disturbance?

5. The fungus diagnosis MIGHT be a possibility. I get regular pedicures and I also regularly shave any rough skin off of my feet using a razor made for that purpose. But, my showers do get moldy sometimes. I live in Texas, and we have a lot of humidity. It is really hard to battle mold here. Also, another reason I think fungus might be a possibility, including yeast, is that I was just on massive rounds of antibiotics for respirtory illness. I noticed that I felt like i was fighting a slight yeast infection (female) but not severe enough to really notice and not severe enough to call the doctor.

So, if there is yeast ANYWHERE in my body, it might be growing if there is mold in my shower or a more favorable climate in my body for it, due to the imbalance from the antibiotics.

I am very allergic to several antibiotics, so I know what an allergic reaction feels like.

And it DOES feel like of like an allergic reaction to me, since I am itching in several places and also have a rash that comes and goes.

I am hoping that if it is something I ate it will work itself out. Because my normal diet is very, very clean.

6. Just in case the fungal diagnosis pertains, I bought a bunch of bleach based products and have scoured my shower/tub twice (it needed it, anyway) and my single shower pretty thoroughly, also. That can't hurt. I don't know if I am going to soak my feet in salt and water and bleach. Once again, I am itchy but not just in my feet. Hmmm.

Thanks to everyone who is posting about this. I will keep you posted.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/18/08 at 14:58 (243312)

Oh, and one more thing I did--I purchased perfume free and dye free laundry detergent, just in case that's what's bothering my skin.

Re: Itchy heel problem

ChristineN on 2/18/08 at 15:50 (243314)

I have found relief from not crossing my legs and not chewing aspartame-containing gum...I also will note that I often sleep with my left leg over my right leg (which is bent under my knee)-it is my left heel that itches, so I wonder if I'm compressing the nerve in the back of my leg that leads to my heel. I tend to do this more in the winter, because the bed is cold and I tend to curl up a bit, but the point is that I think my symptoms are largely related to the positions I put my body in throughout the day.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/18/08 at 16:51 (243317)

Christine, while i was experiencing itching in more than one place some of the time, my RIGHT ankle/heel is what woke me up itching. And I DO sleep on my left side with my Right leg over my left. Kind of the opposite of what you do. I wonder if there is a correlation there.

I chew sugar free gum, sometimes...I think i had some this weekend. How long after you stopped chewing did the itching quit?

Or for anyone else who feels the aspartame made them itch, how long after you stopped consuming it before the itching went away?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/18/08 at 20:35 (243334)

I just soaked my feet in salt, water, and bleach for about 20 minutes. Tom R, how long did you soak, when you soaked? You said 4 days did the trick for you, yes?

Re: Itchy heel problem

JenL on 2/18/08 at 20:45 (243336)

Mine stopped right away, thank god. And has completely stopped since.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/19/08 at 00:10 (243341)

Jen L, I am hoping mine stops soon. I am still a bit itchy but it's not just my heel or ankle. I just vacuumed the whole house in case there was something in here that got tracked in that's bothering me.

Re: Itchy heel problem

BonnieB on 2/19/08 at 06:41 (243344)

oh geeze.. thank goodness for this forum!

i'm a 25 yr. old female, 130lbs... very active and this darn heel itch came about a year ago - right around the time i started training for triathlons (and running for the first time!). like all of you, i've done the sprays for athlete's foot and to no avail! i would hate to think of this as a neuro disorder or precursor symptom of diabetes (as it does run in my family).

either this is an issue of nerve entrapment due to running (which, i typically run 3 - 5.5 miles 3 days a week) or fungal.

i believe this is a fungal issue as when i get pedicures i always ask for callus' removed... and the itch subsides for a few days. they put a softening cream on the heel and then scrub scrub scrub away the dead skin. also, i wear heels with no pantyhose and when i was going through my old heels a few months ago i found a pair that i hadn't worn for about two months and there was mold spores growing in the heel part of the shoe. i do live a block from the beach in southern california... so i do live in a moisture abundant area, but i couldn't believe there was mold growing so fast! but i do notice that the itch isn't every night.

the aspartame theory - well i didn't think it applied to me. but i just realized today i got a sugar-free mocha at starbucks (assume they use aspartame in it) and just remembered i had a diet dr. pepper last night and the itch has been pretty awful this evening (woke right up at 3am!). so tomorrow i will make sure not to have any diet sodas, or gum and see how it feels.

who knows! what a perplexing issue. i'm definitely bookmarking this page to see if any cures have been established and to document my own successes (i hope!! - i'm positive!). :)

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/19/08 at 09:52 (243355)

I did not have itchy heel last night.
I do have some pinpricks in my hands a bit, and I could feel like my feet had some pricks.
But I was able to sleep without an Ambien. I kept it by my bed just in case but I didn't need it.
One of my friends said when she had the symptoms I did, that her doctor said she had a staph infection. I am asking her some more about that. I would think a staph infection would include fever, and I don't believe i have a fever. Also, she said the Benadryl didn't work for her and it seemed to for me.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/19/08 at 11:27 (243359)

Bonnie, isn't this thread great?
I'll bet you will see a difference leaving off the aspartame. I didn't think it applied to me at first either and then i realized, i had chewed some gum with it in there and i had been drinking diet ginger ale, which also had it in there, while i was ill, and also eating sugar free jello though not for a few days. Still. I am better today.
But i also cleaned the house, scrubbed both my showers with bleach and soaked my feet in salt and bleach and warm water.
Not sure which thing helped, maybe they all did.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike C on 2/20/08 at 20:06 (243408)

how long were you off aspartame until you noticed a difference

Re: Itchy heel problem

BonnieB on 2/21/08 at 20:51 (243491)

Jewel! Yes it is! :) Well, being off aspartame for the past two days, I definitely notice a big difference. I couldn't believe it! I just finished running 4 miles though, so we'll see how it is tonight... but my heel definitely feels better. It still is a tad bit itchy, but nothing like two nights ago during my ranting post! I discussed it with a friend as well... and as we are both in outside sales, she says she has the itchy heel off and on like me, as we were heels and on our feet all the time, our feet sweat. I'm not giving up on the idea regarding a fungal issue - but I couldn't believe the aspartame has made a difference! WOOHOO!! Love this forum! :)

Re: Itchy heel problem

JenL on 2/21/08 at 21:12 (243498)

I know it seems unlikely but it works! I'm glad others are trying it and feeling the results as well. :) Happy sleeping all.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 2/22/08 at 13:36 (243531)

My doctor yesterday said he believes I am allergic to Lavendar, also, which makes a lot of sense. I am a masseuse, and I used lavendar a LOT. I used a Lavendar bodywash at night, and I sprayed my pillows with it, too, and i would wake up with my forehead bumpy. I couldn't understand why because I have had clear skin usually. Also, Sunday night, the night I woke up itchy that Monday morning, I had used a body cream for moisturizing with LOTS of lavendar in it.

I think the other tips here are important and helpful, too. I am doing much better since i left off the lavendar, but I also soaked my feet in bleach water--someone told me 1 part bleach to 3 parts water--and that helped, too. And it never hurts to bleach the shower. And I have left off the artificial sweeteners, which i usually avoid, anyway.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Kari K on 2/22/08 at 16:52 (243537)

I have had the itchy heel problem for a couple of months and have really benefited from reading and trying many of your posted ideas. In the last week I have discovered a solution for my own feet---Selsun Blue Dandruff Shampoo. No kidding! I was thinking my problem was fungal, so I bought the shampoo, rubbed it full-strength on my itchy heels about 4 times a day, and covered my feet with cotton socks. In less than a week my heels are healed. The active ingredient in the shampoo is selenium sulfide and I believe it worked because my problem was fungal.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ed on 2/25/08 at 02:16 (243686)

Soak your feet in vinegar 75/30 with water for about half an hour. The itch will stop for a couple of months. For longer relief, add alcohol to the vinegar.. Works for me.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Aaron A on 3/05/08 at 17:31 (244150)

I just started Zoloft a few weeks ago, started the full dose 2/22/08 and am already tapering off of it because it wasn't working for my depression. Anyway, starting a few days ago I started having very itchy palms, which has never happened to me before and I am not allergic to anything that I know of (or maybe I am?). This particular side effect is very annoying, I notice it is worse at night. Have you thought about it possibly being the Zoloft?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Gerb on 3/07/08 at 19:59 (244249)

Hi Ed. Am I glad to find a website with so much itchy heel information. I'm 75 years old and in pretty good condition, 6'3' and 180 lbs. I have had itching heels, which has driven me plain crazy for many many years. Have tried all sorts of creams, temporary releave sometimes, but never real releave. Wake up several times a night, cream the heels, go back to bed and the story repeats itself. And yes, I drink diet coke and will stop that as of now. I'll drink water instead and I'll take a vinegar footbath right now. 75 water/30 vinegar?? My life style is rather healthy besides my itching heels. I'll thank God even more for fixing this problem and you too ofcourse.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Gerb on 3/08/08 at 19:26 (244292)

This is Gerb again,trying to make sense out of all this. I've had this problem for many many years.
1. Exercise: For years and years I've done a lot of exercise and I have this problem.
2. However for the last full year I've done no exercise, although I'm quite active, on the move all the time, snowblowing or work around the house. Bowling three times a week (sweaty feet in my bowling shoes)I still have the problem.
3. Then I might stay home like right now for two full days and work around the house, always on my Reebok sandals (with socks) and I still have the problem.
4. Yes, at the time I was playing a lot of tennis more than 10 years ago and as I now remember in 2003 when I went a full year to a gym,I did get atlete's foot problem. I treated that whenever it arrived and it healed quite easily. Once in a while I get just a little of it but my wife who uses the same shower, carpets, bed, etc. never had it. My problem continues. As I said , my wife never got it.
5. As Ed suggested, last night I took a 40 minute (Ed suggested 30)footbath vinegar and water. Did me good and I fell asleep ok. But in the middle of the night, there we go again.
6. As I said in my first poster, I drank about four to five times a week a diet pepsi or diet coke. None to-day (and by the way no more anyway - just in case) and I have had itchy heels all day and that's why I'm writing again.
7. Could it be the sort of plastic Reebok sandals or
8. could it be the structure of the foot bones, needing a special orthopedic support
9. In one of Edgar Cayce's readings I read the following:
. (Q) What is the cause and cure for the itching of the feet?
(A) This has been given as specific, that the extensions from the 4th lumbar or the axis are to be given specific treatment in a manner in which the corrections are made to the nerve forces of the feet themselves, or to the lower extremities, and the supplying through the massage to the bursa of the feet, in the heels, under the bottoms of the feet; and we will find all of these conditions disappearing. Because it feels so much better after about three or four, don't quit! Keep it up until the system feels real, REAL well-balanced; or have it for periods of three weeks, a rest period of a week, and then take another period of three weeks; and we will find it will make a great deal of change with this body.
Well that, at least every other day, there be a massage of the brachial centers, lumbar centers, with equal parts of Olive Oil and Tincture of Myrrh. These act as foods for centers, allaying the distresses in nerve ends.
For, the therapeutic value of the properties given to the skin itself is as follows: As given, as known and held by the ancients more than the present modes of medication, olive oil - properly prepared (hence pure olive oil should always be used) - is one of the most effective agents for stimulating muscular activity, or mucus-membrane activity, that may be applied to a body. Olive Oil, then, combined with the Tincture of Myrrh will be very effective; for the Tincture of Myrrh acts with the pores of the skin in such a manner as to strike in, causing the circulation to be carried to affected parts where tissue has been in the nature of folds - or scar tissue, produced from superficial activity from the active forces in the body itself, in making for coagulation in any portion of the system, whether external or internal. And, as indicated in the specific conditions referred to in relation to this body, will be MOST effectual. The Camphorated Oil is merely the same basic force [as Olive Oil?] to which has been added properties of Camphor in more or less its raw or original state, than the spirits of same. Such activity in the epidermis is not only to produce soothing to affected areas but to stimulate the circulation in such effectual ways and manners as to combine with the other properties in bringing what will be determined, in the course of two to two and a half years, a new skin!

As I just discovered this, I've not as yet tried this. This is an approach I have not seen yet in these posters.

As always, more questions than answers.

But it's a ........ problem which I and everybody I guess could do without. Are we asking for miracles. Good luck you scratchers!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom R on 3/09/08 at 00:39 (244296)

That's profound, but I had the problem recur once since my last post. I took my same approach. I tried a razor blade callous remover, and I will never do it again. I cut my heel and bled for hours. Here is the only cure I know: remove the dead layers of skin, and kill the fungus. I used my clippers (see above), sanded with 40 grit, and soaked in bleach water with a bit of salt. The itch was a more stubborn this time, but it worked. I think we all have to come to grips with how stubborn foot fungus is.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Autumn on 3/10/08 at 21:38 (244367)

Wow! In trying to gain some weight I went from a vegetarian of 15 years to slowly adding some meat back into my diet about 4 or 5 months before the itching started!

I haven't noticed the itch in several months, so I'm hoping whatever it was healed itself, but it has gone away before and then come back.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Autumn on 3/10/08 at 22:06 (244368)

I have been reading and posting on this log for about 1 year. The aspertane (sp) and the diet thing struck a chord. I used to suffer severely from yeast. I once read a great book called 'The Yeast Connection' that really helped me change my diet...and my yeast problem. I don't drink soda and never consume diety stuff, but I will check into this further. I bet there is something I was eating..I would not doubt a connection to an over growth of yeast! Yeast is a horrible monster that gets over looked by doctors ALL THE TIME as it is a silent trouble maker. What a fantastic observation. I will look for the updated book again and see if I can find a connection! Thanks!!!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Autumn on 3/10/08 at 22:17 (244370)

Also-if the yeast (Candida) theory is true, then Tom's cutting away of his skin is not so off. The soaking in bleach would kill the present yeast too--Although you may want to look at your diet Tom and it might stop the fungus (which is a yeast)and you can avoid the cutting. The winter months theory makes a connection to yeast too....warm, moist climates in shoes and socks promotes a great place for yeast to grow.

I'm curious if itchy heel sufferers also suffer from runny noses, recurrent vaginal yeast infections, thrush, headaches, food allergies, asthma, and a general feeling of being run down from time to time with no apparent reason for it.

Re: Itchy heel problem

M Chris on 3/12/08 at 00:52 (244423)

This is the first time I have ever received anything close to a validation for my years of agonizing heel itch and restless leg syndrome. Sooo many you are out there, oh, boy! I can only add to the discussion that I have heard that a heel itch could have something to do with an over-worked liver. I have not had a professional give me an opinion on this claim. I had an unrelated surgery done a couple of years ago and since then, I have also had some absolutely crazy itching and internal 'creepy crawly' sensation others have spoken about, in my big toes. My doctor said that could maybe be due to some nerves getting damaged during the surgery, but he could not offer me any relief. I would like to know more about the MRI option, and other new approaches.

Re: Itchy heel problem

M Chris on 3/12/08 at 01:05 (244425)

This is the first time I have ever received anything close to a validation for my years of agonizing heel itch and restless leg syndrome. Sooo many you are out there, oh, boy! I can only add to the discussion that I have heard that a heel itch could have something to do with an over-worked liver. I have not had a professional give me an opinion on this claim. I had an unrelated surgery done a couple of years ago and since then, I have also had some absolutely crazy itching and internal 'creepy crawly' sensation others have spoken about, in my big toes. My doctor said that could maybe be due to some nerves getting damaged during the surgery, but he could not offer me any relief. I would like to know more about the MRI option, and other new approaches.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 3/15/08 at 21:25 (244614)

Tom, you can go to the beauty supply store and buy a special shaver for your feet, and you can get refill blades. This is what i use to shave the tough skin off my feet. Much better than the brutal method you were using. Please be careful. You CAN shave the dead skin off, but there are special tools for doing this.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jewel A on 3/15/08 at 21:27 (244615)

Tom, I apologize--i see you said you used the special razor blade and still cut yourself. :-( sorry about that. I do thank you for posting about your bleach soaking--that helps me too, I think.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Stephanie on 3/17/08 at 09:26 (244665)

I have had various yeast problems over the years, but I have never had athletes' foot. I found these posts at 5 am this morning after waking up to horrible itching deep within my heel. This has happened on and off for many years now, but this is the first recurrence in a few years. After reading through a few of the posts and surveying our medicine cabinet, I ended up dousing my feet in Bactine. My feet stopped itching -- maybe it was psychological, but at 5 am, I didn't care about the reason for the relief!

Now I am reading more carefully through the postings. I am attracted to the idea of addressing a possible yeast connection both through diet (any suggestions?) and through topical approaches (like soaking in vinegar).

Re: Itchy heel problem

Aluci on 3/23/08 at 16:40 (244944)

Thank you so much, I thought I was losing my mind...my problem started on my right foot, fourth toe. It was so itchy and sore that I thought that I had broken it, and it was now healing. Then it started on my left foot on the bottom of my heel. It feels like it is itchy from the inside out, hurts to stand on it, and the worst feeling is when it is pulsing. It also feels like my achilles tendon is too tight/short and the muscle on the outside of my left knee is really swollen. I have problems with my back from a mva 4 years ago, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. My doctor is so sick of hearing me complain that I haven't even gone to him for the 'itchy heel', I could just hear him now...

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ashleigh T on 4/05/08 at 10:41 (245514)

I am 8 months pregnant and have the same deep itch on the outside of both my heels. It is almost painful it is so itchy. I tried soaking them and it seems to make it worse. Did you end up finding out what the problem was?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Lori C on 4/05/08 at 11:28 (245515)

I started working on my feet over 12 hours a day in a slight heel and started having pain in the front balls of my feet and itching.
For the itching the only relief I have had is after soaking my feet in water with distilled white VINEGAR added, and it also leaves my feet feeling very soft. I then put on a moisturizing foot cream. Hope this helps your little guy.

I have one of those 'maid supply carriers' its a plastic 'bucket' type thing with a handle that seperates one side from the other where you store cleaners....I put cold water on one side and hot on the other with vinegar added and soak one foot in cold and the other in hot, then switch. (It's shape if perfect to fit a foot.) It really does help.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Lori C on 4/05/08 at 11:41 (245518)

I started working on my feet over 12 hours a day in a slight heel and started having pain in the front balls of my feet and itching.
For the itching the only relief I have had is after soaking my feet in water with distilled white VINEGAR added, and it also leaves my feet feeling very soft. I then put on a moisturizing foot cream.

I have one of those 'maid supply carriers' its a plastic 'bucket' type thing with a handle that seperates one side from the other where you store cleaners....I put cold water on one side and hot on the other with vinegar added and soak one foot in cold and the other in hot, then switch. (It's shape if perfect to fit a foot.) It really does help.

Re: Itchy heel problem

TheresA on 4/05/08 at 12:01 (245519)

I have the itchy heel syndrome too! Been to two different GP. They think its a neuropathy and doesnt fit the criteria of RLS. So im left with the diagnosis of, 'Don't know what to say, I'm baffled.' My symptoms: itchy heels when lying down, at times feels like there on fire or there is something crawling in my heel. Keeping me up at night or awakening me. Mainly my left heel. No visable symptoms. I have no calluses, I am 30, and work 12 hour shifts as a nurse. The symptoms began about a year ago. I have had my labwork done with no abnormalities. Remedies I have tried: every foot fungus cream for a year now, perscribed oral antifungal for a week daily, epsom soaks, antifungal cream with wrapping both feet in saran wrap overnight, amitriptyline. not diabetic. I eat healthy rarely fried food or red meat. Relief: itching the spot with the sharp part of anything, no covers on my feet, keeping the bedroom cold. The newest addition to the craze- Ambien. Thank god for pharmaceuticals! Can not find anything online. Made another MD appointment and will persue a neurologist. Im going NUTS my poor husband says he'll take a saw to it if it would make me more comfortable.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Sheri F on 4/14/08 at 23:47 (245849)

Hi everybody, I have had this problem for 7 years now. I've tried everything that everybody talked about! Recently I've noticed that if I drink any alcaholic beverage, it makes my itching more intense.
So I came to conclusion that ichy heel is due to dehydration. So I have been drinking lots of water during the day and also before sleep. So The nights that I had lots of water, I can sleep fine and no itching. My cure is water. I think drinking water is the cure.I hope this will help you too.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Bev S on 4/16/08 at 19:39 (245953)

I am a female and have been suffering from itchy burning painful callus heels for two years. like many others I used a razor blade, but now I use the ped-egg to remove the thick callus off my heel just to get to the itch! Trimming down the calluses sure help get to the itch, but I don't know if it was worth it because I have to tolerate the burning pain from my right heel every day. I was tested for diabetes and it was negative.

I don't drink soda beverages. I do drink a lot of Lipton Green Tea with citrus in the plastic bottles. I also chew gum everyday from a nerve habit. The heel seems to feel warm and appears red some days but there is no open skin. Some days I can barely walk on it. I hate going to doctors. I am not a runner, stand on my feet working or do sports. I am living a pretty relaxed life being retired at 49 years old. Yea, that's right I did 30 years and out. I started working for the county courts since I was 18. Is there any one else out there with the same kind of itchy, burning, callus, and painful heels after using razors?

This maybe fungal or an infection. I will be going to a doctor soon.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Olga D on 4/20/08 at 17:34 (246124)

After reading many of these entries, I have very similar symptoms but it's not in my heet; these symptoms are on the back of my calves and thighs. The itching has been horrible for the past 10 months. Has anyone else had this same intense internal itching?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Sam R. on 6/04/08 at 11:13 (247313)

This is a solution which worked for me; I employed what I know about biology and physics (esp. the Joule-Thomson effect). Frist, I believe this is a neurological condition similar to RLS. It's curious most who suffer from this do so at night. In any case, I got a can of compressed air and turned it upside down and then sprayed the contents (very cold) on both heals for apx. five seconds (each). I call this 'flashing' ;-)
I'm thinking this 'burns' off the nerves which are over activated by pressure of standing on one's feet all day. I got both instant and sustained relief from the itching. I hope folks find this info helpful. Good Luck.

Re: Itchy heel problem

jean j on 6/13/08 at 16:04 (247627)

I just started getting something similar a few days back. moments of rest are disrupted by this deep itch and the last words i want to hear are fungus or wart! It gets hot sometimes, and is one the same spot. nothing is visible though. right heel only, sometimes its a light tingle, other times a severe deep itch i want to dig it out!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Debby N on 6/18/08 at 09:33 (247705)

I've had itchy heels for more than 10 years. In my quest for relief I came across this website some months ago and read all these messages and it became clear to me that it is futile to go to a doctor for this. I gleaned some insights though and I set out to find a solution and I've found it... at least it works for me. So I'm sharing with you in hopes it will help others. I 've been sleeping beautifully and itch free for almost six months. So here goes. First, I do not walk barefoot anymore, ever, and no rubber/latex against my feet. Second, no filing or sanding of heels, no rubbing of heels even to but on medication especially late afternoon and thereafter. I found something called 'Blue Goo' Cracked Heel Skin Softner with Emu oil at Walmart. It comes in a very small jar, very inexpensive and it's waxy. I put it on every morning at first and then socks over it. I APPLY it very gently, never rub it in, so as to not start the itching. Be diligent! Over the weeks and months I've had such wonderful relief. At first when itching started (I'd lay on my side and draw my knees up so as to focus totally on just flexing the feet) I'd flex my feet up and hold, then down and hold as hard as I could and held it for a few seconds each time. I'd do this for a little while and surprisingly it helped alot! For weeks I was diligent and very slowly the itching became less and less. Now I only apply every few days, if I forget too long I'll get a reminder twinge of itch, but I think as time passes it will disappear altogether. But even if it doesn't I can live with the Blue Goo applications for ever more. Remember, don't do anything to your feet at night! Be diligent! I sure hope this helps! God Bless!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike D on 6/22/08 at 16:05 (247873)

How much bleach per water ratio did you use?

Re: Itchy heel problem

RJohnson on 6/27/08 at 22:28 (248077)

I have had a very similar problem. I never thought of searching on Google and was amazed to see this discussion. It is only my left foot, and the side of my heel. There is absolutely no skin abrasion or cracking. I have used all kinds of athletes foot treatments, so that's not it either. The itch feels like it is beneath the surface, and I can itch like mad (even use severe pressure to scratch or even a knife) and it is not relieved. It doesn't itch all the time, but comes and goes. It is driving me crazy.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Alija on 7/15/08 at 20:37 (248503)

I get itchy heels a lot and a friend had mentioned it was poor circulation. Has anyone ever heard of this? Mine tend to itch more when my feet feel dry and tender. So annoying.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Yo on 8/06/08 at 08:29 (248980)

I tried applying lavendar oil to the itchy areas at night before going to sleep, and it seems to work immediately! I think the problem is cause by fungal infection.

Re: Itchy heel problem

John V. on 8/21/08 at 09:42 (249462)

I've had the same problem in the past, but I've found something that WORKS for me! Try dissolving 1/2 cup (or more) of Epsom salts in a pan of the hottest water you can tolerate and soak the offending foot for about twenty minutes. I, too, had tried numerous creams, etc. with no resulting relief. I stumbled upon this 'solution' (no pun intended) in an old obscure home remedies book and it works great.

Re: Itchy heel problem

KathyM on 9/21/08 at 00:52 (250371)

Yep, that would be a heavenly solution! I use a dinner fork, and keep it right beside my big chair. Also, I used to keep a wire hairbrush by my bed. This thing is enough to drive people crazy! I've tried everything...nothing has worked for 30 years. I am not a runner, and I don't train hard on my feet, so I don't have any idea what brought it on.

Re: Itchy heel problem

KathyM on 9/21/08 at 00:57 (250372)

Never a diagnosis! Every health professional I have ever asked has been clueless, especially as it is INSIDE the otherwise healthy looking foot!

Re: Itchy heel problem

kathy may on 9/30/08 at 21:55 (250648)

PLEEEEEEEAAASE let me know who the podiatrist is who diagnosed this!!!!! I have had this same condition for 30 years, and have NEVER received an answer. I have asked every conventional health practitioner, and naturopathic health professional I have ever met, I'm SURE...and not one of them have been able to tell me anything that would relieve this awful itch. I need to know who your podiatrist is, and how to get in touch with him/her.
Thank you soooo much for sharing this!
Kathy May
kathymay7 at hotmail.com

Re: Itchy heel problem

Ed D on 10/01/08 at 02:00 (250660)

I have been sort of succesful at treating this on myself by soaking my heels in vinegar (white) for about 15 min. Seems to stop the itching for a month or so before another soak is required. I have been told by an Asian chemist that pure alcohol added to the vinegar ios even better. Hard to acquire though.

Re: Itchy heel problem

vmerrill on 10/01/08 at 19:19 (250681)

Hi All! I had this same itchy heel problem - kept me awake all night. Nothing really noticeable on the skin, but it felt like bugs crawling around underneath the skin. Thanks to your postings, I used socks at night, which helped me sleep - it worked! And I tried the B complex once a day, and now the itching is gone! Hope it works for you.

Re: Itchy heel problem

kathy may on 10/03/08 at 21:16 (250788)

Your problem sounds exactly like mine. It is driving me crazy. HELP SOMEBODY!!!!!!!!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Judi L on 10/06/08 at 00:20 (250853)

Okay, I have had this problem for only 6 months (unlike many of you who have had this for years.) THis is what I have tried for the last four days and have found relief!!!!
I use very warm water and put in half a cup of white vinager to a gallon of water. I soak my feet in this for 30 minutes.
Then I take a mixture of lemmon juice and vasoline (they do not mix well) I dry my feet and put that on. Then put on socks that I have cut the toes out of because I do not want to sleep with damp feet.

The very first night I did not itch! I got this from a friend who said her husband had these symptoms after a surgery. She got it from 'a lady down the street.' It was weeks before I decided to try it because of the source. Anyway. I hope this helps.

Night 5 and I still am not itching. (But just before I soak it seems like the itch is coming back. But the warm water and vinager seem to take it away.

I have slept all night since I started. That is the very best part of it all.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Nicki W on 10/07/08 at 15:29 (250910)

I have had the same problem, I suffered it at the beginning of the year and eventually someone suggested trying B12 drops (bought from your local health/nutriution store and some pharmacies)This worked!!

In saying that, it has just come back so I am now taking my daily B12 drops and I will never stop!

Apparently B12 helps with stress and the nervous system - Itchy heels and twitchy eyes can be a sympton of stress on the nervous system...

Of course I am just repeating what I have been told but Im guessing you are all like me and willing to try just about anything. Goodluck!

Re: Itchy heel problem

Frank S on 1/08/09 at 03:22 (253793)

I've had this problem for about 10 years now. It's deep inside my heel and it drives me crazy. No cream works, only severe crazy scratching. I hope I don't have a brain tumor or some crap. I was in a car accident when I was very young... I don't know.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Greg on 1/12/09 at 02:20 (253902)

I have had this problem a long time. It only occurs when I am sleeping or lasts awhile after I awake and it feels like something in my heel. I never damaged it or see anything weird, but it feels like something alive inside. After I wake up it goes away after awhile and only comes back when I sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the night it gets so bad.

Re: Itchy heel problem

shahid hassan on 3/04/09 at 21:15 (255623)

for the last two week i am having ittchy heel problem on both feets

Re: Itchy heel problem

David J on 3/11/09 at 09:28 (255825)

Since this is said to be a likely 'neurological problem', I guessed that was another term for nerve inflammation. Based on this, in my case, the cure was simple -- a couple of ibuprofen, two or three times a day for a few days. This treatment apparently reduced the inflammation enough to do the trick. That helped with sleeping, which probably also helped the nerve thing even more.

In my case, although I have a mild stenosis of a lower vertebral opening due to mild scoliosis, the likely cause was plain old mechanical damage to nerves at the heel from habitually crossing my feet under the chair and wiggling a foot.

I suppose in some cases, this heel itch thing might be a prelude to something serious, for which a visit to a neurologist is warranted, but I'd first try the simple, cheap, easy approach. Read the warnings about ibuprofen dosage and frequency, though, if you are tempted to use higher or more frequent doses.

Re: Itchy heel problem

AmandaA on 3/20/09 at 21:41 (256128)

I have the same thing! It seems when I put lotion on that it makes it worse because I have no traction to scratch. I will get up at 4 in the morning just to drag my feet across the carpet. My nails can't get the itch. It is annoying and seems to gross out anyone whom I tell this to. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Re: Itchy heel problem

KarenT on 3/29/09 at 21:19 (256470)

I have had the exact same thing and Know how frustrating it is! I tried an expensive moisturizing cream prescribed by a dermatologist - it did no good. I tried benadryl cream, Gold's, etc. but without success. Then I got some over-the-counter anti-fungal cream (1% Clotrimazole) and it has worked! Makes sense, too, since athlete's foot has similar symptoms. Maybe it will help you, too - hope so! Karen

Re: Itchy heel problem

es on 4/23/09 at 16:05 (257091)

I have had this problem too...It's so bad that I itch them on the carpet until it burns. Its horrible. I was just browsing the internet and found that someone who also had it heard it was a complex b vitamin deficiency, so they took the supplement and within a few weeks it was gone. Crazy, but I'm going to try it!

Re: Itchy heel problem

JC on 5/19/09 at 03:01 (257606)

Can anyone explain this 'itchy heel problem'? or perhaps found a solution? I've experienced 'the itch' for a few weeks now on both heels and only at night. Any insight at all would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Mike W on 5/22/09 at 13:11 (257674)

My same symptoms exactly! Have you or any others found the cause yet? I am trying to get appt. with Dermatologist to see if maybe a biopsy might be in order. My itch is so severe in an area a bit smaller than a dime on my right heel where the arch begins. The skin color is slightly different in the little circle, and there appears to be a whiteish spot in the center. I broke the calloused skin of my heel with a pocketkife a while back, but the deep itch returned. Any new ideas? Mike

Re: Itchy heel problem

need solution on 5/25/09 at 21:37 (257735)

I dont see any answers to this common problem when so many people are still complaining.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Kon3LF on 5/27/09 at 07:14 (257757)

I just found this tread, Have been having this problem for a long time too. Tried everything and nothing would work. But I think I found some really good for it. Works for me, so I hope it will work for everyone else also. Rub Tea Tree oil on. I do it morning and night then put sock over. GL all

Re: Itchy heel problem

KathOL on 6/19/09 at 16:18 (258254)

I have deep itching right in the center of my right heel. I am embarrased to admit it, but the itching is so back that I've taken the tip of a steak knife to try and stop it. I've also tried getting rid of the callus there. It's so bad that sometimes I literally carve off the callus which helps for awhile. One night I was so frustrated I darn near took a lit cigarette to the itch - that's how intense it is. I'm going to try salycilic acid on it and see what happens. It's really maddening!

Re: Itchy heel problem

itch witch on 7/07/09 at 10:37 (258685)

For anyone suffering with the annoying problem of itchy heel as i have... it is with great pleasure that i announce to you that i have discovered the simplest and quickest cure that anyone could have ever imagined.
In fact... it is so simple and effective you will get a chuckle and say to yourself... why did'nt i think of that.
'Simple' methods... as i have always (as long as i can remember)believed... are almost always the best.

wanna know my secret... simply email iszabella at xplornet.com

Re: Itchy heel problem

debraw on 7/15/09 at 22:44 (258888)

I am so thankful to Tom for starting this post. I have had itchy heel for years. It always gets much worse in the summer after wearing tennis shoes and socks. I would always keep the dry skin buffed off and put the anti-fungal stuff on, but it still drove me nuts at night. So I followed Tom's advise to the letter, but added one thing. I bought a heel cup that was like a sock, but only for your heel. Then I put white vinegar on a cotton round and inserted on my heel area. I did this for 3 days and then left off for a full day. Even though I had thought my heel was buffed down, I was wrong. My entire heel came off in several large pieces of skin. Then I started a prescription anti-fungal twice a day. I even scrub my feet every night with scrubbing bubbles and spray the shower as suggested. I feel like a normal woman again and can now wear sandles without wondering who is looking at my bad foot.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Veena S on 7/22/09 at 18:19 (259030)

what can cause this?? i experience the same problems my right heel itches a lot at night i wonder if it can be an infestation of parasites.
sometimes against my better judgment i walk outdoors without shoes on.
i am wondering if the larva of some parasitic worm entered and is causing the itching, actually one night, i experienced what felt like a sharp bite on the heel it felt as if an insect bit into the flesh of my heel on the inside.
i think i woll see my general practitioner if it continues.
what if a parasite got stuck there?? scary huh!!!
my symptoms started approx two weeks ago

Re: Itchy heel problem

Lotty on 7/30/09 at 18:59 (259258)

I've had the same problem in my right inner heal, it's only ever at night though and only when I have it under the covers, it is such an annoying itch and won't go away whenever I itch it, does anyone have any answers as to what it could be?

Re: Itchy heel problem

Jeanne Sandholzer on 8/08/09 at 19:43 (259511)

I have had an itch on the bottom of my right heel for a YEAR! I've tried all the antifungal but there is no visible evidence of that. It's the size of a dime and scratching does no good. Any ideas? I can't find it on the Net web.

Re: Itchy heel problem

rob on 9/01/09 at 13:45 (260260)

i have had an itchy left heel for about 7 years.it feels deep inside,some times it is on the ball of my foot aswell.one minute it's fine,the next its itching like mad and i have to take off my shoe and scratch like mad.it is especially itchy in bed and comes on sudenly.sometimes i shave the skin off my heel with a razor in the bath.i have seen several doctors and they say there is nothing there.one gave me some trench foot cream which i rubbed in twice a day for a year and a half.but no help.i feel for you all

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tamara on 9/08/09 at 17:50 (260435)

I have this same problem and the only thing I found that I can use to itch with is a (clean) key. House key/car key it matters not. Or use the side of an old (clean)credit card. I've tried using a bristle brush or my finger nails. Nothing touches the itch like a good old key scratchin' use the teeth of the key and go at it. No cream or lotion will do, and no one can tell me why, oh why is this happening. Usually at night, but not always. But mostly.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tony on 9/09/09 at 08:06 (260449)

I've had the same problem for years now. My feet are as soft as a babies butt, no cracks or dry areas, almost never walk around barefoot. Each morning I sprinkle Gold Bond powder on my heel just as a precaution. I asked my dermatologist about it and he said that most likely it's a bundle of nerves in the area that are causing the itchy sensation. Occasionally when I go to bed and it starts to itch, I will scratch and if that doesn't relieve it, I will rub Pretty Hands and Feet lotion on my heel. This removes the old dead skin and gives some relief.

Re: Itchy heel problem

Justin L. on 9/12/09 at 16:32 (260538)

I have had this issue for 10 years. After seeing that it was likely neurological in nature, I did a small experiment. When the itching becomes noticeable, I press my thumb into the spot where the nerve moves down the side of the heel for a few seconds. This triggers the nerve where your thumb is pressing, and for me, this relieves the itch. It may come back the next day, but it usually lasts for at least that long. I have stopped itching my heel entirely, and the skin on the bottom of my foot is thanking me. Good luck, I hope this works!

Justin L. from UCF in Orlando

Re: Itchy heel problem

Tom T on 10/06/09 at 04:45 (261096)

I'm not sure if my situation is the same. My feet itch in random spots on both feet. It feels like something is tickling my bones in my feet. If I start to rub them then it will get more intense. It could be in the balls of my feet, my big toe, or my heel. And it happens on both feet but only one spot at a time. It happens mostly at night but I've noticed it during the day but I'm walking so that massages my feet enough that it doesn't bother me.

At first I thought it was nerves. I have back problems and it felt like a nerve problem. After stretching my back and twisting for a while when I have the itchy feet, I don't think it's caused by the lower back. I've read somewhere it's caused by the upper neck. I'm starting to be aware of a dull throb in my brain when this happens. I haven't done enough research to see if this has anything to do with it. I forgot to take tylanol tonight to see if it helps by reducing the swelling.

I also has a thought tonight that it may be a fungus or worm. That is how i run across this forum. But nothing I put on my feet helps. I don't consider the calisus on my feet to be very think. I have had a life long battle with athletes foot. The itch is kind the same but different.

I know this message isnt any help but its nice to see other awake at night and trying to solve this.