What are burning feet?

Burning feet can result from a number of causes, including damage to nerves in the feet from exposure to extreme heat or cold or toxic substances. Burning feet might also result from a circulation problem that impairs blood flow to the feet, such as peripheral artery disease, a foot injury, or extensive walking or running.

Foot Problems Spotlight

Alternatively, burning feet may be caused by peripheral neuropathy, a disorder in which the peripheral nerves that relay signals between the body and the brain and spinal cord lose function. Peripheral neuropathy can be due to a number of specific diseases and disorders, including diabetes, alcoholism, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune nerve disorder. In many cases, peripheral neuropathy has no known cause.

A burning feeling may be the only symptom experienced or it may be accompanied by tingling (paresthesia) and numbness. Depending upon the cause, burning feet may be felt at rest or while walking or moving around. The duration and course of feet burning sensation can vary widely, depending on the underlying condition. Feet burning sensation caused by injury often has a sudden onset, while feet burning sensation resulting from peripheral neuropathy develops slowly and persists or worsens over time.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) ifasudden feet burning sensation is accompanied by numbness or weakness on one side of your body; a change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness; or the worst headache of your life as these can be signs of stroke. Also, if your burning feet are a result of a severe burn, seek immediate medical care (call 911).

If your burning feet sensation is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with burning feet?

Burning feet may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the feet can also affect other body systems.... Read more about burning feetsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes burning feet?

Burning feet can be caused by nerve or skin damage in the feet and surrounding tissues. Burns from extreme heat or chemicals and exposure to poisonous substances may damage the nerves in the skin, resulting in burning feet.... Read more about burning feetcauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Brain and Nerves