Top 16 Causes Of Burning Sensation At Foot – Symptoms & Treatment

Burning sensation at foot is a common medical condition that can experience in all people, especially old age people.

A burning sensation can occur as a loan or associated with other diseases. Healthcare providers called it lower leg burning feet syndrome (BFS).

Burning feet syndrome causes the feet to become painful and hot. The symptoms of burning feet syndrome range from mild to severe depending on the cause and age.

Burning sensation at food is more common in old adults as compared to young adults. This disease not only affect the sole of the feet but also the top of the feed, lower legs and ankles. The symptoms become more severe at night. So burning sensation in feet at night is more severe and people often complain at night time.

Nerve damage and diabetes are the most common cause of burning sensation in feet but there are other conditions that cause a burning sensation in feet.

This article discusses 10 causes of burning sensation in feet.

Causes of burning sensation in feet

Burning sensation in feet is often caused by nerve damage which is called peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage due to diabetes). Nerve damage from other medical conditions can cause a burning sensation in feet.

Diabetes (peripheral neuropathy)

There is a high level of sugar in your blood in diabetes. Persistent high blood sugar level damages nerves and the wall of blood vessels. Moreover high blood sugar level reduces the transmission of nerves impulses which decreases sensation in various parts of the body.

Nearly half of diabetic patients have or will have diabetic neuropathy. So diabetic neuropathy is the main cause of burning sensation in feet.

Chronic use of alcohol

The excessive and persistent use of alcohol damages the nerves and causes alcoholic neuropathy. Burning sensation in feet is very common in alcoholic addicted people.

Alcoholic neuropathy causes weakness, tingling and pain in the feet.

The treatment for alcoholic neuropathy is to stop alcohol drinking along with the use of a properly balanced diet. B vitamins are very crucial for alcoholic neuropathy because they repair damaged nerves and reduce the symptoms of BFS.

Small fiber sensory neuropathy (SFSN)

Neurons are covered by a protective layer called a myelin sheath. When this sheath is damaged, then it causes small fiber sensory neuropathy.

SFSN damages the sensory cutaneous nerves. These nerves link the brain with the skin.

The common symptoms of SFSN include tingling, pain, needles and pins.

Other general symptoms that occur with SFSN include:

  • Headache
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of focusing
  • Thinking problems

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Injury to arms or legs causes pain and inflammation. The inflammation and pain which are caused by injury are called complex regional pain syndrome.

CRPS usually occurs in limbs. The causes of CRPS are injury, fracture, surgery, and sprains.

The symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Burning sensation in feet
  • Stiff joints
  • Swelling in limbs
  • Change in skin texture
  • Tingling


It is not necessary that everyone experiences CRPS after injury. Many factors are involved in the development of CRPS after injury. Genetic factors play an immense role.

Charcot Marie Tooth disease (CMT)

It is a genetic disease it damages the nerves that control the muscles. The symptoms of this disease worsen with time because it is a progressive disease.

The symptoms of CMT include:

  • Burning sensation in feet
  • Difficulty in lifting the feet during walking
  • Weakness of the lower feet muscles
  • Foot deformities
  • Muscle atrophy

The symptoms begin in the feet, lower legs and hands. It is a common inherited neurological disease in the USA.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome

It is a condition in which the nerve that runs from ankle to leg is squeezed or damaged due to injury and causing shooting, or radiating pain in the foot.

Early treatment can reverse the symptoms of tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Tarsal tunnel syndrome happens as a result of compression or damage of the nerve running in the foot and ankle.

The symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Burning sensation in feet
  • Tingling

Kidney disease

Kidney disease play important role in developing burning sensation in feet. When kidneys stop working properly, various kinds of toxins accumulate in the body.

As a result of these toxins, lots of medical complications arise such as a burning sensation in feet, swelling, tenderness in lower legs etc.

Other symptoms of kidneys failure are:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problem
  • Generalized fatigue
  • Joint stiffness and pain
  • Fluid accumulation in joints
  • Confusion

Infectious diseases

Various kinds of diseases can cause nerve damage which leads to a burning sensation in feet.

The common infections that cause a burning sensation in the foot are:

  • HIV
  • Shingles
  • Lyme disease
  • Syphilis

It is better to visit a doctor if you have an infection and experiencing a burning sensation in feet.

Athlete’s foot

An athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that affects hands, feet and toenails.

Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:

  • Itching between the toes or on the soles of the feet
  • Burning sensation in the feet
  • Blisters on the feet
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Cracking and peeling skin on the soles or between the toes
  • Sometimes toenails fall from the nail bed
  • Toenails become discolored and thick


Peripheral neuropathy is the early symptom of hypothyroidism. Hypoactivity of the thyroid brings lots of changes in the body especially hormonal imbalance.

Hormonal imbalance causes nerve damage along with other medical complications.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

It is a condition in which the arteries that run to the feet become narrow and cause a burning sensation in feet.

The symptoms of PAD are similar to peripheral neuropathy.


Chemotherapeutic agents that are used to kill cancer cells have lots of side effects including peripheral neuropathy (burning sensation at feet).

Side effects of chemotherapeutic agents are:

  • Slow down motor skills or reflexes
  • Tired and shaky feeling in the muscles
  • Weakness of muscle
  • Pain
  • Hair falling
  • Vomiting
  • Coordination and balance problems

Nutritional deficiencies

Lack of certain micro and macronutrients in the diet causes various complications including a burning sensation in feet.

Deficiency of the following vitamins cause a burning sensation in feet along with other diseases:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12

learn more about vitamin B12 rich foods

Exercise or long walking

Severe exercise or long-distance walking may cause burning sensation in feet. It usually happens to people who are living sedentary lifestyles or old age people.

What are the symptoms of burning sensation in feet (BSF)

The most common symptoms of BSF include:

  • Burning sensation in feet especially at night
  • Stabbing pain
  • Feet or legs numbness
  • Dull ache in the feet
  • Excessive skin warmness
  • Skin redness
  • Tingling or prickling sensation

How to diagnose burning sensation in feet

If you have burning sensation in feet speak to your doctor. Your doctor will first conduct a physical examination.

Physical exams include:

  • Structural changes in your feet or legs
  • Skin color changes
  • Reflexes
  • Fungal infection
  • Lack of sensation

After the physical exam doctor will collect your past medical history from you and will ask when you experienced these symptoms.

The doctor will ask you further questions about alcohol drinking, diabetes etc.

If he is confused he will ask you to conduct these tests:

  • Kidney function
  • Thyroid hormone
  • Vitamin deficiency especially vitamin B
  • Other infection

A doctor always prescribes tests according to the condition of the patient.

How to treat burning sensation in feet

The treatment of burning sensation in feet is straightforward. A doctor prescribes medicines according to the cause of the burning sensation.

  • For athlete’s foot doctor prescribe antifungal
  • Advice you to wear comfortable shoes
  • Insert your feet in a right way
  • Supplementations of thyroid
  • Vitamin B supplementations

If the pain and burning sensation are severe, then nerve stimulation may help you. Methods for nerve stimulation include:

  • Laser therapy
  • Electrical nerve stimulation
  • Light therapy
  • Magnetic therapy

Burning sensation in feet home remedies

Lots of home remedies for burning sensation in feet are available. The most reliable home remedies are:

  • Insert your feet in cold water or an ice bath for 7-15 minutes. Remove your feet if you feel comfortable
  • Soak feet in apple cider solution or Epsom salts for a few minutes. You will feel comfortable after some time.
  • Use topical capsaicin or lidocaine creams.
  • Do gentle massage of your feet. Massage will increase blood circulation.
  • Take a turmeric supplement. It is a superfood and people are using it for medical conditions since ancient times.


Burning sensation in feet is very common in old age people, especially in diabetic patients.

Various factors are involved in causing burning sensations such as chronic use of alcohol, diabetes, CRPS, malnutrition, kidney disease and hypothyroidism.

The common symptoms are burning sensation pain, itching, redness, warmness, tingling, and skin color changes

To treat burning sensations, lots of home remedies are available you can try them at home. For instance, soaking feet in cold water or an ice bath for a few minutes, taking turmeric supplements, and gentle massage.


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