The burning sensation level of discomfort can range from mild numbness to severe pain, which may impact sleep and wellness. At times, feelings of “pins and needles”–medically called paresthesia–will also be felt with burning feet, increasing feelings of discomfort.
What Causes the Burning Sensation in Feet?
There are a number of different reasons for this condition, but in most cases a common condition called neuropathy is the underlying cause. Neuropathy is damage to or disease affecting nerves, which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function, or other aspects of health, depending on the type of nerve affected. Neuropathy can be caused by a number of different factors, from poor diet, to diabetes, to overuse of alcohol.
Other conditions that can contribute to burning sensation in feet include:
- Vitamin deficiency (particularly B12 and B6)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Lyme disease
- Hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels)
- Vasculitis (inflamed blood vessels)
- Metal poisoning (specifically lead, mercury, and arsenic)
- Guillain-Barre syndrome
- Amyloid polyneuropathy
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Drug side effects (particularly chemotherapy, HIV medications, and a number of others)
Home Remedies for Burning Sensations in Feet
- Cold Water
A quick and easy solution at home is to submerge feet in cold water. Cold water will immediately help relieve burning sensations in feet and reduce swelling.
How to use: Fill a container with cold water, submerge feet, and keep there for several minutes. Repeat during the day, but only in 3-4 minute intervals to avoid further damage.
- Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt soak can instantly relieve pain and swelling. Epsom salt is made of magnesium sulfate, which stimulates and repairs nerve activity. However, Epsom salt is not recommended for certain conditions associated with burning feet such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
How to use: Pour ½ cup into a container, add warm water and mix well. Soak for 10-15 minutes, and repeat as needed for the next few days.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Soaking in or drinking apple cider vinegar is a great way to help alleviate burning sensation in feet. Apple cider vinegar restores your body’s equilibrium by balancing pH levels.
How to use: To soak, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and fill with warm water, and soak for 20 minutes everyday. To drink, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a glass, and fill with warm water.
Popular in parts of Asia, you can either drink turmeric or apply a paste to help relieve pain. Turmeric reduces swelling in the area, lessening pain and promoting healing, and contains cucumin to help blood circulation.
How to use: To drink, mix 1-2 teaspoons with warm water, and repeat twice a day. For a paste, add 2 tablespoons to enough water for desired consistency, and rub on feet (this may temporarily discolor feet).
Ginger can be consumed, used as a soak, or applied with oil. Ginger will promote blood circulation, causing quicker healing and less pain.
How to use: Drink 2-3 cups of ginger and water or tea everyday, or try soaking feet in a warm water bath with ginger tea added. Warm coconut or olive oil and add a teaspoon of ginger for a great massage oil.
- Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd’s healing properties have long been used in Ayurveda. A paste made out of bitter gourd leaves can provide immediate physical relief.
How to use: Grind leaves with water until they reach a paste-like consistency, and apply as often as needed.
This is a herb highly recommended as a solution for burning feet. Thyme works for your body on a number of fronts, increasing blood circulation and easing any blood vessels that may be constricted.
How to use: Do a hot and cold soak with thyme:Soak the thyme, add half of it to a container filled with hot water and half to a container filled with cold water. Starting with the hot water, spend 3-5 minutes soaking in one tub and then switch to the other, repeating this for up to 20 minutes.
- Vitamin B3
Since vitamin deficiency can contribute to burning feet, using vitamin B3 can be a great way to improve overall health and ease pain. B3, or niacin, is helpful for promoting blood circulation and helps strengthen nerves.
How to use: B3 supplements are available, but you can also find it in grains, milk, green vegetables, yogurt, beans, peas, egg yolks and a number of different foods.
Recruit a friend or do it yourself! Massages will both soothe pain and promote blood circulation.
How to use: Use oil, and rub with firm strokes for at least 10 minutes. Try and do this in the morning and evening.
The best option for optimal health. Exercise keeps the weight off and helps promote healthy blood flow and oxygenation.
How to use: Get out there! When experiencing foot pain, it may be best to walk on a soft surface like sand or grass, but regular cardio stimulation will help your long-term health.
Tips for Burning Feet
- As soon as you can, it’s important to remove shoes and socks and make sure they dry fully.
- Use a cool water soak for immediate relief.
- Aspirin and acetaminophen can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Change or replace shoes and socks.
- Try wearing different shoes and socks throughout the day.
- Speak to your doctor about any concerns, and be sure to mention any other symptoms.
When to See a Doctor
Home remedies are usually the first option for burning sensation in feet, but if after a few weeks of rest and proper care symptoms still haven’t subsided, schedule a visit with your doctor. Seek immediate emergency medical assistance in the case of severe burning or pain that may be related to exposure to toxins, or if you have an open wound.