Hot hands and feet can refer to a warm sensation or a painful tingling of the affected tissues. This condition could get worse at night, causing insomnia. People beyond the age of 45 are likely to develop hot, red or burning hands. The condition is also common in toddlers. Hot hands can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as Diabetes, Underactive thyroid, Pregnancy, and Chronic kidney problems. Here are some of the causes hot hands and feet, common symptoms, and treatments
Causes of hot hands and feet
Some of the possible causes of hot hands and feet will include the following.
Diabetes is the most common cause of hot hands and feet. A painful hot or burning sensation in your feet and hands, especially in middle-aged and older people, could be caused by small fiber neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease, which are conditions caused by diabetes, could be the potential culprits leading to impaired glucose tolerance.
There are however four types of diabetic neuropathy. You may have just one type or symptoms of several types. Most develop gradually, and may not notice problems until considerable damage has occurred. The symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which nerves are affected. Nerve damage is a result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isn’t entirely clear why high glucose levels change nerves.
Peripheral neuropathy- this is the most common form of diabetic neuropathy. Your feet and legs are often affected first, followed by your hands and arms. Signs and symptoms of this condition normally get worse at night, and may include;
- A tingling or burning sensation
- Increased sensitivity to touch
- Sharp pains and cramps
- Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle
- Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes
- Muscle weakness
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a condition that occurs when the thyroid is not producing enough of the necessary hormones. The thyroid gland is located in the front part of your neck. Hormones released by the gland travel through your blood stream and affect nearly every part of your body, from your heart and brain to your muscles and skin.
The most common cause of this condition is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Thyroiditis is an inflammation of the thyroid gland. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder, whereby your body produces antibodies that attack and destroy the thyroid gland.
Some other causes of this condition include;
- Uses of certain medications like the medicines to treat heart problems, psychiatric conditions, and cancer; these may sometimes affect the production of thyroid hormone. These include lithium, amiodarone, and interferon among others.
- Radioactive iodine treatment- this treatment is commonly prescribed to people who have an overactive thyroid, a condition known as hyperthyroidism. The radiation, however, destroys the cells of the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.
- Too little iodine in the diet- the thyroid needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone. Your body doesn’t make iodine, so you need to get it through your diet. Iodized table salt is rich in iodine. Some other sources of iodine include; saltwater fish, eggs, dairy products, and seaweed.
If left untreated, it can cause the joints to develop a burning sensation, which could manifest itself strongly in the hands and feet.
Hot hands and feet connected to cancer also called hand-foot syndrome. it is a side effect of some cancer treatments. It causes redness, swelling, and pain in palms and soles of feet. Sometimes blisters may appear. Although less common, sometimes it occurs elsewhere on the skin such as the knees or elbows.
- The symptoms of mild or moderate hand-foot syndrome include;
- Tightness of the skin
- Tenderness or sensitivity to touch
- A sensation of tingling or burning
- Redness similar to sunburn
- Thick calluses and blisters on the palms and shoes.
Some drugs that may cause this condition include; floxuridine, Axitinib, Cytarabine, Idarubicin, and Capecitabine.
4. Vitamin deficiency
The burning sensation causing hot hands and feet can be due to mineral and vitamin deficiency in the body. Nutrients like B vitamins, calcium, thiamine, and folic acid are highly essential for our body. Apart from burning on hands and feet, deficiency of nutrients can lead to major deficiency disorders like anemia and beriberi.
5. Chronic kidney failure
Having a chronic kidney means that for some time your kidneys have not been working the way they should. Your kidneys have the important job of filtering your blood, and removing waste products and extra fluid and flush them from your body as urine. When the kidneys fail, the wastes build up in your blood and make you sick.
The common causes of this condition include;
- High blood sugar over many years- this is due to uncontrolled type 1 or type 2 diabetes
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- A narrowed or blocked renal artery
- Kidneys and infections such as polycystic kidney disease, pyelonephritis, and glomerulonephritis
Some common symptoms of this condition include;
- Swelling and weight gain from fluid buildup in your tissues. This is called edema
- Trouble sleeping and thinking
- Feeling nauseated or vomit
- Feeling tired or sleepy
6. Athletes’ foot
This is a fungal infection that grows between the toes and on the heel. As the infection spreads, the fungus can cause the skin to become very dry, itchy and red, leading to a stinging pain on the feet. This condition is worsened by wearing shoes and socks that are damp for long periods of time.
Menopause is the point in life when a woman stops having monthly periods. This causes a flux in hormone levels that can lead to unpleasant side effects throughout the body, including a burning or tingling system in the limbs.
- Itchy, tingling, fever, sweaty hands and feet,
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Burning sensation or freezing pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Difficulties sleeping due to pain in hands and feet
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Exaggerated sensitivity in the skin- an unpleasant sensation to skin stimulation- it seems like an allergic reaction
Hot hands and feet during pregnancy
Hot and burning sensation in feet and sometimes hands is a very common condition during pregnancy. Swelling in feet normally occurs during some part of your pregnancy due to a number of changes that occur within the body. Some medical specialists suggest that this is due to increased blood volume and circulation, especially during the 3rd trimester. During this last trimester, your body works hard to pump blood and sometimes causes increased pressure in veins leading to the externalities that cause hot hands and feet.
The burning sensation can also be as a result of hormonal changes that cause a slight increase in temperature in your body. Many pregnant women report that their feet become hot and irritable as they grow tired, even leading to a loss of sleep in severe cases.
Pregnancy-related swelling can be minimized through;
- Elevate your feet as often as possible- this is when you have to sit for long periods of time. You can place a small stool by your feet to elevate them
- Wear proper fitting footwear- this is because if it’s too narrow or short, it can constrict circulation
- Exercise regularly to promote overall health
- Drink a lot of water in order to stay hydrated
- Eat well and avoid foods high in salt to avoid water retention
Hot hands and feet after eating
Conditions like damaged peripheral nerves could lead to burning sensation after eating. This is because this symptom aggravates, especially after eating foods with high sugar levels or rich in carbohydrates.
Body temperatures stay relatively constant, ranging from 98 degrees to 100 depending on environmental temperature. Our bodies dissipate heat by sweating and tries to generate heat by shivering.
The temperature of the foods themselves affects our feeling of hot and cold. During digestion, blood is directed away from the muscles and tissues towards the digestive system. This may generate heat to your hands and feet or the entire body. To some people, the combination of heat lost due to digestion and the loss of blood to the skin may cause them to feel cold.
Hot itchy hands and feet at night
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy often worsens at night. It causes very much pain in such a way that even a bed sheet feels heavy and painful.
Athlete’s foot is a condition caused by the growth of fungus on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person or touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. This condition may get worse at night because the fungus thrives in warm, dark and moist places.
Treatment for hot hands and feet
There are various treatments for hot hands and feet. These treatments depend on the underlying cause of your hot hands and feet. These include;
1. Hot wax treatment
A paraffin dip or bath is a soothing treatment in which the feet are submerged in a warm mixture of paraffin, a petroleum-based wax, and mineral oil. This warming treatment soothes aching joints and improves circulation, and the combination of oil and wax softens rough skin. The warm paraffin also moisturizes for healthier looking, softer skin.
Wax treatments are fast-acting, drug-free, and versatile, providing heat therapy for many different applications from arthritis joint pain relief to salon hand and foot services. These qualities make this treatment effective for hot hands and feet.
2. Epsom salt
Epsom salt contains an ingredient called magnesium sulfate, which can be easily absorbed through your skin. It also contains pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that can work effectively on your hot sensations on your hands and feet. The following is the procedure of applying this remedy on your affected area;
- Put one and a half cups of Epsom salt in a tub big enough to cover your feet
- Pour warm water into the tub and stir it well
- Soak your feet in this solution for 10 to 15 minutes
- Follow this remedy once daily for several days
Note: Epsom salt soaks may not be suitable for you if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. It is important that you consult your doctor before trying this remedy.
3. Bitter Gourd
In Ayurveda, bitter gourd has traditionally been used as a remedy for the burning sensation causing hot hands and feet. The following is the procedure of applying bitter gourd to remedy the condition;
- Grind a handful of bitter gourd leaves with little water to form a smooth paste
- Apply this paste on the affected area to help reduce the burning feeling
- Repeat this procedure severally until the condition clears.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps maintain the pH level of your body. It also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-itching properties that make it an effective remedy for relieving pain. The following is how you use this product is used in treating hot hands and feet;
- Mix 1or 2 tablespoons of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water
- Drink it once every day for several days for better results
5. Cold water
Cold water is one of the best home remedies since it helps with tingling, numbness, and swelling of your hot hands and feet. It also provides a quick relief for the burning sensation causing this condition.
How to apply it on your burning feet;
- Fill a foot tub with cold water
- Soak your feet in it for a few minutes
- Give your feet some rest and then soak again
- Repeat this procedure more frequently in a day for faster relief
- Dip a clean cotton cloth in ice cold water
- Use the piece of cloth to rub on your hot hands
- Rest for a while and repeat the procedure
- Do it frequently until the condition improves or clears.
Ginger contains several active components that help increase blood circulation in the body, which in turn brings quick relief to sensations. These qualities make it an effective remedy for treating hot hands and feet;
- Mix one teaspoon of ginger juice with some warm coconut oil or olive oil
- Massage your feet and hands with the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes once a day
Thyme contains thymol, a compound that helps numb the nerves as well as reduce inflammation causing hot hands and feet. It also helps promote blood circulation and even ease constricted blood vessels. This remedy has antimicrobial properties, and this makes it an effective remedy for burning sensations;
- Soak a handful of thyme in two bowls
- Fill a tub with hot water and another tub with cold water.
- In each tub, add the soaked thyme along with the water from the bowl.
- Soak your feet in the hot water tub for 3 to 5 minutes and then switch to the cold water tub for a few minutes.
- Go back and forth like this for about 20 minutes.
- Follow this remedy once daily.
8. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B 3, also known as niacin, helps improve blood circulation. It also strengthens the nerves and prevents the nerves from breaking under pressure. Taking much of vitamin B3 can help relieve burning causing hot hands and feet.
- To add levels of B3 vitamins, you should eat more brewer’s yeast, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole grain products, milk, green vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts and egg yolks.
- You can also take vitamin B3 supplements if your doctor recommends it.
You should gently massage your hands and feet with some oil. It serves as a great way to relieve the discomfort associated with the burning sensation. Massage has a soothing effect and helps increase the blood circulation in your hands and feet.
- Warm some olive, coconut or mustard oil
- Apply the oil on the affected area
- Massage using upward strokes with firm fingers for at least 10 minutes
- Repeat this on daily basis before going to bed and in the morning for proper circulation
Exercise helps improve your blood circulation and therefore it prevents nervous system problems.
Exercises like jogging and running should be done on a regular basis. These are excellent for increasing the circulation to the entire body
You can ease the burning sensation in feet by trying to walk on a barefoot through soft grass or sand for few minutes
Turmeric contains a good amount of the compound known as curcumin. This helps improve blood flow and circulation throughout your body. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce burning sensations as well as pain in the feet. Procedure of applying turmeric on hot hands and feet;
- Mix 2 tablespoons of turmeric with water to prepare a paste
- Apply the paste on the affected area once or twice a day for a few days
- Have in mind that this remedy can strain your feet
12. Hawthorn berry
Hawthorn helps dilate blood vessels and increase circulation, thus easing pain. This tiny shrub that grows in the northern hemisphere sees its fruits, leaves, and flowers processed into tinctures and are mainly used for heart condition leading to hot feet or hands.
How to use it;
- Mix one tablespoon of hawthorn with one glass of water to make a cup of tea
- Drink it twice every day for better results
13. Neem flowers
Neem flowers have high medicinal value and anti-inflammatory properties. The neem tree is totally beneficial to people from the leaves to its flowers and this makes it an effective remedy for curing various conditions.
How to use it on hot hands and feet;
- Soak a handful of neem flowers in a bowl of water
- Leave it for 10 hours
- Take the flowers and squeeze them of the remaining water
- Consume the liquid in the bowl- but only a small quantity, avoid overdose
- Take it several times a day until the condition improves
14. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and soothing properties that help relieve the burning sensation causing hot feet and hands The following is the procedure on how to apply this remedy;
- Add several drops of peppermint oil to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water
- Soak in water for about half an hour
- Pat dry and then apply a moisturizing lotion
- Repeat this once a day
15. Henna leaves
Henna, also known as Mehndi, is a highly effective herb for easing burning in feet and hand. The following is how to apply it on your hot hands and feet;
- Grab a handful of the evergreen leaves- if unavailable, you can obtain henna powder from the stores
- Make a paste by mixing it with lemon juice or vinegar
- Apply it on the affected area
- Leave it to rest for a few hours, and then rinse it off thoroughly with clean water
- It will leave some stains for a few days and then clear
- Repeat this when necessary to help curb the burning sensations
- Burning feet: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/burning-feet-causes-treatments#1
- Tingling in hands and feet: http://www.webmd.boots.com/a-to-z-guides/tingling-in-hands-and-feet
- Hot hands and feet during Pregnancy: http://www.podantics.com.au/pregnancy-and-feet.html
- Symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/diabetic-peripheral-neuropathy-symptoms#promoSlide