While fatigue or a skin infection can cause temporarily burning or inflamed feet, burning feet are most often a sign of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). Nerve damage has many different causes, including diabetes, chronic alcohol use, exposure to certain toxins, certain B vitamin deficiencies or HIV infection.
Possible causes of burning feet:
- Alcohol use disorder
- Athlete’s foot
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (a group of hereditary disorders that affects the nerves in your arms and legs)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome (chronic pain due to a dysfunctional nervous system)
- Diabetic neuropathy (diabetes-related nerve damage)
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Vitamin deficiency anemia
Nov. 11, 2016
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Eleftheriadou I, et al. A patient with type 2 diabetes and a burning sensation in his feet. BMJ. 2014;349:1.
- Rutkove SB. Overview of polyneuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 20, 2016.
- Ropper AH, et al. Diseases of the peripheral nerves. In: Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Sept. 20, 2016.
- Athlete's foot. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=978. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
- Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/tarsal-tunnel-syndrome. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.
- Polyneuropathy. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/peripheral-nervous-system-and-motor-unit-disorders/polyneuropathy. Accessed Sept. 21, 2016.