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Why Do My Feet Itch After A Shower?

Has this ever happened to you before?

You’ve just finished a nice, hot shower, and are drying off, when you notice your feet are feeling itchy.

Like really itchy.

And the itch only gets worse the more you scratch it.

Still worse, the itch starts to get more and more painful, like your foot is being poked with a thousand sharp needles.

Itchy feet after a shower are a common issue we all typically experience at one point or another.  Most people experience mild symptoms that only last a short while. But that short while can feel like an eternity when you’re losing your mind resisting the urge to scratch.

There are numerous causes for this difficulty. Typically, excessively dry skin is the culprit, though certain conditions can also be present that may make you more prone to itchy skin after showering.

If you’re susceptible to to dry skin during certain seasons, or if you experience one of these conditions, it could explain why you experience unbearably itchy skin.

What Causes Excessively Dry Skin?

  • Long Hot Showers
    • Super-hot showers can actually be damaging to your skin. It can wash off and dry out the natural oils on your skin, making it feel raw and unprotected, causing the itch. Try turning the heat down to a warm temperature when you shower.
  • Sensitivity to Certain Soaps
    • Sometimes the answer is as simple as changing to another brand of soap or body wash. Different soaps use a variety of natural and artificial chemicals to make their products. Some soaps may dry out your skin with use, causing the resulting itch.
  • Cold Weather & Dry Air
    • Opposite of hot showers, cold weather and dry air both have a similar effect on the skin, drying out the natural protective oils present, causing similar itching. Showering under these conditions may aggravate your already-dry skin. Try some skin moisturizer to rehydrate and heal your skin.

Other Causes for Itchy Feet In the Shower

  • Athlete’s Foot
    • This condition is usually caused by sweaty feet in tight-fitting shoes. It’s a fungal infection that thrives in damp environments, such as public showers and locker rooms where multiple people walk barefoot and can spread the fungus.
      • Wearing waterproof sandals in a gym shower, as well as wearing well-ventilated shoes regularly can help prevent this.
      • Over-the-counter creams can be purchased to treat the infection.
      • See a doctor if over-the-counter treatments are ineffective.
    • Cholinergic Urticaria
      • Generally occurring between ages 10-30, it’s a more painful itch that can be aggravated by hot showers. It is a condition related to body temperature that, when temperature is raised, will trigger a response that results in itchy, painful hives.
        • A doctor can diagnose and treat the condition.
      • Aquagenic Urticaria
        • This condition causes the skin to break out in hives when it comes in contact with water, regardless of the temperature. Usually it affects women around the onset of puberty, and can result in the itchy sensation you may be feeling, along with small hives or rashes.
          • A doctor can diagnose and treat the condition.
        • Aquagenic Pruritus
          • Similar to aquagenic urticaria, this condition also causes the skin to break into hives when coming in contact with water. Little is known about the causes for this condition, but treatment is similar.
            • A doctor can diagnose and treat the condition.

Usually, itchy feet after a shower can be treated with some simple at-home remedies. Over the counter creams, moisturizing lotions, different brands of soaps, or simply adjusting the temperature of your shower can all help alleviate itchy skin. You’ll notice the difference fairly quickly when you make the necessary changes.

On the occasion when those solutions don’t work, it’s best to consult your doctor to discuss what your best options are.