Burning feet that occurs infrequently or for a short time may simply occur because your feet are tired or you have an irritation such as athlete's foot. Persistent or progressive burning feet, however, can be a symptom of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), perhaps due to diabetes, chronic alcohol use, exposure to certain toxins, certain B vitamin deficiencies or HIV.
Possible causes of burning feet:
- Alcoholism or chronic alcohol use
- 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
April 08, 2014
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Rutkove SB. Overview of polyneuropathy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Shannon MW, et al. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Athlete's foot. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=978. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Characteristics and symptoms of CMT. Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association. http://www.cmtausa.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&catid=10&Itemid=37. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Complex regional pain syndrome fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy/detail_reflex_sympathetic_dystrophy.htm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
- Peripheral neuropathy fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/peripheralneuropathy/detail_peripheralneuropathy.htm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
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- Taal MW, et al. Brenner & Rector's The Kidney. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 3, 2013.
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome. American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/tarsal-tunnel-syndrome.htm. Accessed Nov. 11, 2010.
- Tavee J, et al. Small fiber neuropathy: A burning problem. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2009;76:297.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 3, 2013.