Hot To Trot: Are Your Feet To Warm?

Do your feet ever suddenly feel like they are really hot or have a burning sensation? This is a common complaint podiatrists often hear from their patients, and the reasons are varied. Here's an overview of what you need to know about this annoying but often benign condition.

What Are The Most Frequent Causes Of Hot Feet?

Oftentimes, it is simply a matter of your core temperature being warmer than usual. This is why people wear sandals in the summertime. When you are warm, your body allows more blood flow to your feet. If you live in a colder climate, your feet are accustomed to less blood flow during the cold months, and the difference can be mildly annoying.

During menopause, women who are experiencing hot flashes will also complain more of hot feet. The hormonal changes that go on in a woman's body at this time make women more susceptible to hot feet than men. Additionally, you have approximately 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, which your body uses to help regulate your temperature, so if you're hot, your feet will be hot as the body works to stabilize it by cooling your skin through sweating.

Other common causes include:

  1. Age. Your feet each have 26 bones and 33 joints. They support the entire weight of your body. At the end of the day, they are simply worn out, tired, sore, and frequently, hot. This is due to the mild inflammation your feet experience every day.
  2. Weight. If you are over your recommended weight, that means your feet have an extra burden to carry.
  3. Pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, her core body temperature increases, she has extra weight to carry, her blood volume increase, and she has hormonal changes to contend with, some of which have a relaxing effect on her joints and ligaments that prepare her body for childbirth. This all adds up to a greater likelihood of having hot feet.
  4. Socks. If your feet are too warm on a regular basis, it may be your socks. Synthetic materials don't allow the feet to breath as well as all-natural cotton socks do.

If you feel like any of these may be the cause of your hot feet, you can use mentholated ointments to help cool them, soak your feet in cool water at the end of the day, and make sure you are wearing properly fitting footwear that provides plenty of support to reduce inflammation. You can also see a podiatrist to get orthotics, custom foot supports.

Less common causes of hot or burning feet include:

  • Gout
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Alcoholism
  • Thyroid issues
  • Smoking

If you suspect your hot feet may be more serious, be sure to consult your physician. They may refer you to a podiatrist if no other underlying medical condition is found.