What is Feet Burning Sensation?
Burning sensation in the feet is commonly caused by a condition called neuropathy which leads to nerve damage. Another common cause is diabetes. Treatment for feet burning sensation focuses on reducing pain and minimizing nerve damage.
Causes of Feet Burning Sensation
Nerve damage called neuropathy in the feet can make the damaged nerves transmit pain signals though there may be no injury or wound. Other symptoms of neuropathy are numbness and tingling in the feet. Neuropathy is most commonly caused by diabetes. Other causes of neuropathy that create feet burning sensation are:
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Inflammation affecting the feet
- Skin infections like athlete’s foot
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
- Metal poisoning like arsenic, mercury or lead
- Side effects of drugs used to treat HIV, cancer, etc.
- Amyloid polyneuropathy
- Lyme disease
- Low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism)
- Alcohol abuse
- Deficiency of vitamins B6 and B12
- Chronic kidney disease called uremia
Diagnosis of Burning Feet Sensation
If diabetes is the cause, then this condition can be diagnosed easily. If the reason is something else, then tests like electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction study, urine test, blood test, spinal fluid test and nerve biopsy are required to detect this condition.
Treatments for Burning Feet Sensation
Treatment should focus on stopping further nerve damage. Diabetes patients should aim to control their blood sugar levels through insulin injections, oral medications and dietary changes. For other causes of neuropathy the following treatments are prescribed:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency is treated by injection or orally.
- The patient should limit their alcohol intake to prevent further nerve damage and allow the nerves to heal.
- For chronic kidney disease, dialysis is prescribed to remove the toxins that are causing neuropathy.
- For hypothyroidism, intake of oral synthetic thyroid hormone is prescribed to reverse burning feet sensation.
Medicines for Burning Feet Sensation
- venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
- topiramate (Topamax)
- duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- pregabalin (Lyrica)
- carbamazepine (Tegretol)
- desipramine (Norpramin)
- amitriptyline (Elavil)
- gabapentin (Neurontin)
To reduce pain and discomfort, you can take over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol, Motrin IB, Aleve and Advil. Your doctor may also prescribe low doses of opiates or tramadol (Ultram) to relieve severe pain.
For feet burning sensation due to athlete’s foot, you can take over-the-counter antifungal drugs like miconazole (Micatin) or terbinafine (Lamisil AT). Your doctor may prescribe other antifungals like fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox) or naftifine (Naftin).
For more information on burning feet syndrome, please watch this video: