Feeling itchy between toes is a common condition that often indicates the presence of an underlying medical condition. The itching itself is common and will in most cases clear without treatment. This condition is in most cases accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Itching, tingling, and burning sensation
- Painful blisters or rashes
- Dry skin and peeling
- Some cases involve an itch but no rash
Here is an insight on some of the causes, symptoms, treatment and at home remedies you can use to get rid of the itching.
Causes of itchy toes
Feeling itchy between toes as said is a common condition. There is an array of causes that might lead to this kind of itching. Here are some of the causes.
1. Fungus infection
Athlete’s foot is a rash caused by a fungus that usually appears between the toes. This condition is also called tinea pedis, and it is a contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet and can spread to the toenails and sometimes hand. The affected skin may be itchy, red, scaly, dry, cracked or blistered. It is not usually serious but needs immediate medical attention to avoid it spreading to other parts of the body or other people. Scratching the infected skin and then touching other parts of your body can also spread the infection.
- This condition may also affect the bottom of your feet. Some other symptoms of this condition include;
- Dry skin on the soles or sides of the feet
- Blisters on the feet that itch
- Itching, tingling, and burning between toes and on the soles of the feet
- Raw skin on the feet
- Cracking and peeling skin on the feet- mostly between toes and on the soles
- Toenails that pull away from the nail bed
2. Dry skin between toes
Dry skin between toes usually occurs between the two smallest toes. This form of athlete’s foot can cause itching, burning, and scaling and the infection can spread to the sole of the foot. This is probably the moccasin-type infection of athlete’s foot, and it can begin with a minor irritation, dryness, itching, or scaly skin. As it develops, the skin may thicken and crack. This infection can involve the entire sole of the foot and extend onto the sides of the foot.
You may develop a rash between toes as a result of a fungal infection. This is because feet and toes provide an ideal environment for fungi. The area between the toes is warm and often damp and dead skin cells contain keratin as a source of fungi. Tinea pedis, also called ringworm, is the most common fungal infection between the toes.
Scabies, or dermatophytes, may also cause a dry, itchy rash between toes. Scabies is caused by mites burrowing under the skin. This condition is common where people are in close contacts, such as dorms, day care facilities or classrooms. The mites may also transfer to another person on clothing, sheets or towels.
4. Peeling between toes
The skin peeling between toes can be acute or chronic. The longer the condition lasts, the more discomfort and embarrassment it causes it is accompanied by symptoms such as itching or the formation of blisters. Some other times, it’s simply cases of the skin turning white and peeling away to reveal new skin underneath. The conditions leading to peeling of skin between toes include;
- Toe box dermatitis– this is a type of dermatitis that occurs when you constantly wear shoes with a rubber toe box. Rubber toe box insulates the foot and does not allow sweat from your toe to escape this leads to excessive moisture as well as increased temperature within issues that cause sensitive skin between toes as well as redness, peeling, and inflammation.
- Athlete’s foot– this condition involves the Trichophyton, a fungus that attacks the skin between toes where it multiplies and causes discomfort.
- Cellulitis– this is a bacterial infection associated with a wide range of conditions such as skin peeling, warmth, redness and irritation.
Swollen itchy toes
A swollen itchy toe indicates that there is something present that your body doesn’t like, hence the allergic reaction. This condition could be as a result of several reasons, including;
- Chilblains– a condition caused by abnormal reaction to the cold, hence common if you are in a place where winter lasts longer
- Athlete’s foot– if an itchy rash as result of this condition is left untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as blisters, swelling and stinging or burning sensations in the skin
Itchy toes at night
Itchy between toes especially at night could be as a result of Eczema, a condition that inflames the skin. There are various types of this condition and can show up anywhere on the body. The type that commonly affects hands and feet is called dyshidrotic dermatitis. Besides the urge to scratch, it may lead to;
- Clear blisters
- Red, cracked skin
- Scaly skin
Itchy hands and feet is a common condition in infants and young kids with scabies, but not in adults. It also causes;
- Pimply rash
- Grayish-white or skin-colored burrows
Psoriasis– this usually occurs when the skin cells grow rapidly and accumulate on the surface of the skin. This is a long-lasting disorder that is hereditary and could be contracted from a person to another. Common symptoms include;
- Soreness in and around areas affected
- Itchiness in other parts of the body- face, knees, elbows, and lower back
- Stiff or swollen joints
Itchy toes with no rash
Itching toes is not an uncommon sensation and you may experience it from time to time. This condition is normally accompanied by burning sensations, swelling or rashes. There are however some cases you may experience itching but have no rash, these include;
- Psoriasis- an itch in this condition appears before any rash
- Diabetes- causing peripheral neuropathy, it usually occurs at night
- Sulfates in cleansing products
- Pruritus- this simply means itching and it is associated with a number of disorders, including; dry skin, skin disease. This could lead to itching without a rash
Itchy bumps on toes
Itchy bumps on toes could be a symptom of chilblains. Chilblains are small, itchy swellings on the skin that occur as a reaction to cold temperatures. This condition often affects the body’s extremities such as toes, fingers, heels, and nose. This condition can be uncomfortable but rarely cause any permanent damage. It normally heals within a few weeks if you avoid overexposure to cold.
The main cause of this condition is an abnormal reaction to the cold. It is common in the UK because damp, cold weather is usual in winter. When the skin is cold, blood vessels near the surface get narrower. If the skin is exposed to heat, the blood vessels become wider. If it happens abruptly, the blood vessels near the surface can’t always handle the increased blood flow. This can cause blood to leak into the surrounding tissue, which may cause swelling and itchiness associated with chilblains. Those at risk of getting this condition include people with;
- Poor diet or low body weight
- Regular exposure to cold, damp or draughty condition
- A family history of chilblains
- Poor blood circulation
- Lupus- a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body’s tissues
Common signs and symptoms of this condition include;
- Chilblains typically cause a burning and itching sensation in the affected areas, which can become more intense if you go into a warm room
- The affected skin may also swell and turn red or dark blue
- In severe cases, the surface of the skin may break and sores or blisters can develop
Treatment for itchy in between toes
Treatment for itchy between toe involves getting rid of the urge to scratch and the underlying cause of the symptoms. Treatment for the itch, irritation, burning sensation and inflammation will involve the following.
- Athlete’s foot is treated with topical antifungal medication- a drug placed directly on the skin. Severe cases may require oral drugs.
- Ensure your feet get plenty of air- if you can’t walk barefoot or wear sandals, wear cotton socks and shoes, made of natural porous material.
- Use talcum or antifungal powder on your feet
- Keep your feet clean and dry
Home remedies for itchy skin between toes
Do you have an itchy sensation between your toes? This condition is common and affects many people. It can be very annoying, intensely aggravating and may cause lack of sleep. Scratching may offer you a momentary relief though could cause injuries leading to further infections. The following are some common home remedies you can use to relieve the itching as well as get rid of the condition;
1. Olive leaf
Olive leaf contains antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help kill the fungus that causes athletes foot. The following is how to apply this remedy;
- Grind a few olive leaves into a paste
- Using a cotton ball, apply the paste directly on the affected area
- Cover the area with tape and leave it for half an hour
- Rinse the area with lukewarm water and then pat dry
- Repeat this procedure twice a day for two weeks to eliminate the symptoms completely
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a remedy rich with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also contains vitamin E that helps keep the skin moisturized and reduces itching. The following is how to apply aloe Vera to accelerate the healing of itchy sensation;
- Extract the aloe Vera gel from the aloe leaf- you could use aloe Vera juice too
- Apply the gel on the affected area of the skin and rub gently
- Leave it on for about an hour and then rinse it off with water
- Repeat this procedure once a day until the rash heals
Garlic is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent; this is because it has a compound called ajoene that contributes to such qualities. You can add a clove or two to your food to speed up the healing process of any antifungal infection including athlete’s foot. For topical treatment of the itching between toes, follow this procedure;
- Crush one garlic clove and add two to three drops of olive oil to make a paste
- Apply the paste on the affected areas
- Leave it on for 30 minutes
- Rinse the area with warm water and an antifungal soap, and then pat dry
- Repeat this remedy once every day for several weeks to treat an infection and prevent it from returning
Vinegar has strong antifungal properties. This is because of its acidic property that helps kill the fungus and lower the level of alkaline found on the skin, which will inhibit the infection from spreading rapidly. It also helps draw out the excess moisture from your feet, which speeds up the healing process
How to use vinegar in eradicating itching sensation from your feet;
- Mix one cup each of water and vinegar
- Wash the affected area with antiseptic soap and then dip a cotton ball in the vinegar mixture
- Apply it on the affected area and then leave it for 20 minutes
- Repeat the process for about a week until the condition improves or heals
Yogurt contains antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is because it contains the live acidophilus bacteria that helps keep fungal and bacterial infections in check. Buy plain yogurt with live, active cultures, and then;
- Apply the yogurt on the affected area and allow it to dry on its own
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat dry
- Repeat this procedure twice every day for several weeks until the infection is gone
- You can also take one cup of plain yogurt in the morning and in the evening. Then you can add two more cups of yogurt if your athlete’s foot is severe. Take it daily until the infection clears.
6. Baking soda
Baking soda contains soothing effect because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It also acts as a natural acid neutralizer that helps relieve itching. Applying this remedy will make the rash drier and better. The following is how you apply baking soda on your itchy toes;
- Mix baking powder with a small amount of water
- Place the solution on the affected area
- Leave the solution to dry and then rinse off with cold water
- Repeat this more regularly until the infection clears
Cinnamon contains antifungal and antiperspirant properties that make it both reliable and effective remedy for itching as a result of athlete’s foot.
Procedure on how to apply it;
- Break 8 to 10 cinnamon sticks into small pieces and add them to four cups of boiling water
- Simmer the solution on low heat for 5 minutes, and then let it steep for 45 minutes
- Soak your feet in the solution for at least 30 minutes, and then pat dry
- Repeat this procedure before going to bed for 1 or 2 months
Salt is an effective remedy for athlete’s foot, which is apparently one of the causes of itching between toes. It helps kill the fungus that causes an itchy sensation on your skin.
How to apply it;
- Pour a quart of lukewarm water in a tub, and then add six teaspoons of salt
- Soak your feet in the solution for 5 to 10 minutes
- Use a towel to dry your feet thoroughly
- You can then dab some baking soda between your toes to keep it moisture free.
- Repeat this procedure 4 to 5 times until you notice some improvement
9. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic and also has antifungal properties that help destroy the fungus and prevent it from spreading.
How to apply it;
- Mix three parts of tea tree oil and one part of aloe Vera gel
- Rub the mixture on the infected area twice a day for 6 to 8 weeks
Thyme contains significant amounts of thymol, which contains anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Thymol helps numb the nerve fibers as well as reduce inflammation caused by the excessive scratching. The following is how you use this remedy on itching between toes;
- Add one tablespoon of dried thyme leaves to two cups of boiling water
- Cover it and allow it to cool
- Strain the solution, and using a clean cloth apply the solution on the affected area
- Repeat this procedure as many times as necessary
11. Chamomile tea bags
Chamomile tea bags contain anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve the pain and discomfort that is accompanied by rashes. The following is how you use chamomile bags to get rid of rash from itchy toes;
- Place the chamomile tea bags on the skin
- Wait for it to dry
- Rinse your skin after a while
- Repeat this severally until the rash clears.
12. Oregano oil
Oregano oil contains essential oils that act against harmful organisms
- Make tea of 4 ounces of oregano leaves
- Add enough water to cover only your feet
- Soak your feet 2 to 3 times daily in the solution
- Some people recommend that you re-use this tea for a week but its best if you make a fresh one daily
13. Witch hazel
Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory properties that help in relieving the itching from the rash. It’s great astringent properties also make it an effective remedy for this condition. This is how you apply this product;
- Choose one of the types of witch hazel- it is available as leaf extract, liquid, and bark.
- Place it directly on the skin- if you choose the liquid, wait for it to dry
- Rinse it off with cold water
- Repeat the procedure on daily basis until the condition improves
Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an effective remedy for relieving pain from the rash caused by fungal infection to feet. It also contains antiseptic and antioxidant properties that help in clearing the rash. The following is how turmeric on itchy toes;
- Clean the rash with sterile water or saline solution
- Sprinkle enough turmeric powder to cover the rash
- Cover the affected area with a clean bandage
- Repeat this procedure 3 times a day for faster healing
15. Colloidal oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal is a product of oats ground into an extremely fine powder. It helps to comfort itchy skin. Colloidal oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that provide instant relief from itching. This is how colloidal oatmeal is applied:
- Add one to two cups of colloidal oatmeal to a bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Soak it for at least 15 to 20 minutes [Avoid use of hot water since it may irritate your skin]. You can take an oatmeal bath up to three times a day depending on the severity of your condition.
- Add a little water to one cup of colloidal oatmeal and leave it until it thickens and then apply this paste
Basil contains camphor and thymol compounds that are effective in combating itching. It also contains a high amount of eugenol, a potent essential oil, and topical anesthetic.
How to use to get rid of itching between toes;
- Add one tablespoon of dried basil leaves to two cups of boiling water and cover the pan for a while
- Allow the mixture to cool and then apply it on the itching area using a cotton cloth- you can save the remaining solution for later use
- Repeat this more frequently until the itching clears
- What causes feet itching: http://www.healthline.com/symptom/feet-itching
- Skin peeling between toes: http://www.just-health.net/Skin-Peeling-Between-Toes.html
- Fungal infections of the skin, athlete’s foot: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/fungal-infections-skin#1
- Why do my hands and feet itch: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/hands-feet-itch#1