Burning feet - burning feet: causes, treatment and home remedies

Burning feet - burning feet: causes, treatment and home remedies

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Burning feet are called “Burning Feet”. Those affected feel pain, burning and tingling on their feet, similar to "falling asleep" in a part of the body that slowly "comes back to life". Color changes, such as redness, livide discoloration and swelling can also occur.


Circulatory disorders are one of the most common causes of burning feet. Too tight shoes and legs that have been crossed over each other for a long time are also possible triggers for the symptoms. A quick change from cold to hot or vice versa can also cause the burning sensation.

Extensive alcohol and / or nicotine consumption has a negative effect on vessels and the peripheral nervous system. Therefore, a burning of the feet is also possible in this context. Another cause is allergic reactions, possibly caused by the material of the shoes and / or the stockings.

The real Burning Feet Syndrome

Burning feet should be differentiated from the real Burning Feet Syndrome in the doctor's office. The latter occurs especially at night and can be positively influenced by the cold.

Additional symptoms usually develop, such as dandruff of the skin, increased local sweat secretion, tension, muscle spasms, nerve irritation and sleep disorders. The cause should be clarified by a doctor, especially because the Burning Feet Syndrome can also be caused by underlying serious illnesses.

Causes Burning Feet Syndrome

The causes of Burning Feet Syndrome are many. For example, a vitamin deficiency (hypovitaminosis), especially the lack of various B vitamins, such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), nicotinic acid (vitamin B3) or thiamine (vitamin B1), can cause the syndrome. All three B vitamins are vital vitamins with special importance for the nervous system. A lack of minerals, especially magnesium, can also cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the feet.

The vitamin and / or mineral deficiency arises, for example, from a metabolic disorder, an intestinal disorder, malnutrition or malnutrition.

Vitamin B deficiency is often observed in connection with alcoholism. It was found that the blood circulation in the affected tissue is disturbed in this complex of complaints, whereupon it is not supplied with sufficient oxygen. Most often nerve fibers are also affected.

Known conditions that can cause foot burn include polyneuropathy associated with diabetes mellitus, Raynaud's disease, RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome) or Lyme disease. With gout, the symptoms concentrate on the big toe.

Examination methods

Burning feet are often harmless and occur in connection with incorrect, too tight shoes, short circulatory disorders due to long crossing of the legs or allergic reactions to the material of shoes and / or stockings.

However, if the symptoms appear repeatedly, especially at night and out of nowhere, a medical examination is urgently required. A possible burning feet syndrome should be excluded and the cause of the burning pain should be found out.

The following test methods are used. The blood count is used to rule out any hypovitaminosis or a mineral deficiency. Other diagnostic options include checking the reflexes, neurography (examining the nerve conduction speed) and electromyography (this examines the electrical activity of the muscles).

Treatment for burning feet

The treatment of footburn depends on the cause or the underlying disease.

If hypovitaminosis is present, for example, the missing vitamins must be added. This is usually done in the form of infusions because the body can absorb the vitamins better, especially if there is an intestinal disorder.

In the case of diabetes mellitus, it has to be clarified whether those affected are properly adjusted and whether their diet is tailored to the disease.

If the patient suffers from Lyme disease, which can be associated with a wide variety of symptoms, treatment is often not easy. However, there are now Lyme centers that specialize in this difficult-to-influence disease.

With gout, the big toe is usually affected by the burning sensation. Here, after a blood test that shows increased uric acid levels in this metabolic disorder, the patient's diet needs to be carefully examined. This should be low in purines, which are mainly found in offal, but also in meat, some types of fish, legumes and yeast. A low-fat and vitamin C-rich diet is important.

Alternative therapies

Burning feet respond quite well to acupuncture, both ear acupuncture and body acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine sees the complaints from a holistic perspective and treats them not only symptom-related but causally. Acupressure, in which certain acupuncture points are not needled, but pressed with the finger and lightly massaged, can also bring relief.

Hydrotherapy in the form of cold water sprinkles, such as knee or lower leg casts, stimulates blood circulation, which also improves the oxygen supply in the affected tissue and alleviates the burning sensation.

In the context of orthomolecular medicine (OM), the possibly missing vitamins are substituted. However, it is important not to do this on your own, but to have the nutritional supplements compiled by an experienced therapist or doctor. It should be borne in mind that the orthomolecular means can only really help if the intestine is healthy. A corresponding further therapeutic approach may be necessary.

Classic homeopathy treats the symptoms primarily with sulfur (sulfur) or secale cornutum (ergot). Anthroposophic medicine and the Schüssler salt therapy also have suitable means at hand that can help with the burning pain.

The foot reflexology massage is a suitable form of therapy for foot burns, which can primarily help causally.

Home remedies for burning feet

If your feet are on fire, cool pads usually help. So towels can be dipped in cold water, which is mixed with some natural vinegar and then placed around the lower leg and feet and renewed several times. Cool packs or ice cubes wrapped in a cloth are also helpful. It is important here that the cold source is never brought directly to the skin, but is wrapped with a cloth, for example.

Quark wrap is a good home remedy to tackle burning feet. The curd is spread on the middle of a cloth, both other sides are wrapped and placed on the lower legs and / or feet. The wrap stays there as long as it is perceived as pleasant.

Preventive action

If there are no illnesses, the following preventive measures can prevent the unpleasant symptoms from occurring. Footwear and stockings should not be too tight and breathable. Avoid crossing your legs as this can lead to circulatory disorders. Regular exercises that train the muscles of the lower legs and improve blood circulation are recommended. Herbal remedies from naturopathy can also support blood circulation. (sw)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


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  • Kendrick Alan Whitney: Overview of diseases of the feet and ankles, MSD Manual, (accessed 03.09.2019), MSD
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Video: Diabetic Neuropathy (December 2022).