Why Are My Feet Hot At Night? Causes And Treatment

Feet Hot

Numerous factors can result in hot feet. So why are my feet hot at night?

The most typical cause of hot feet is peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage). Numerous factors, such as diabetes, drinking too much alcohol, and infections, can contribute to neuropathies. It may be possible to relieve hot or burning feet by treating the underlying cause.

Depending on the underlying cause, the appropriate treatment may vary. Continue reading to find out what causes burning in the feet and when you should seek medical attention.

Causes Of Hot Feet

You can get your feet to feel hot for a variety of reasons, all of which are plausible.

Neuropathy, infections, and vitamin deficiencies are a few of them.

Nerve Damage

Neuropathy, another name for nerve damage, is a widespread issue with numerous causes.

Neuropathy is a disruption of the nerve’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body due to:

  • Physical injury
  • Diabetes
  • Blood flow problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Certain cancers or chemotherapy drugs
  • Certain infections

Vitamin Deficiencies

The proper function of healthy nerves depends on a number of vitamins and minerals.

For instance, neuropathy, which can make your feet feel warm, can be brought on by low levels of folate and vitamin B12.

According to research, why you may be deficient in these vitamins include:

  • Poor diet
  • Stomach conditions preventing absorption
  • Intestinal conditions preventing absorption
  • Certain medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Sickle-cell anemia

Fungal Infection

A typical fungal infection is an athlete’s foot. Warm, moist areas of the skin are where it prefers to grow.

Skin that is red, itchy, and in excruciating pain are symptoms.

Diabetic Neuropathy

In the United States, neuropathy is primarily brought on by diabetes.

Damage to the nerves results from high blood sugar levels. This nerve damage in your feet can lead to pain, feelings of them being hot or “on fire”, and, in some cases, it makes your feet feel numb.

Additionally, because it’s challenging to recognize problems, such as injuries, which may result in chronic foot wounds and infections, neuropathy can cause additional problems with your feet.


Insufficient thyroid hormone production by your thyroid gland results in hypothyroidism.

Weight gain, thinning hair, dry skin, and a burning or tingling sensation in your feet are all symptoms of low thyroid hormone levels.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal imbalances can interfere with the body’s normal processes and cause some tissue swelling that can put pressure on the nerves.

Long-term nerve damage from this pressure on the nerves results in hot feet, numbness, and tingling.

Pregnancy: The body experiences major hormonal changes during pregnancy, which affect body temperature and cause swollen hot feet. These alterations are typically transient and disappear as hormone levels gradually return to normal following childbirth.

Menopause: People going through menopause frequently report having hot flashes. Their bodies’ hormonal changes are the cause of these hot flashes, which last for a few years before going away.

Kidney Disease

Your kidneys purify your blood of toxins and regulate your electrolyte levels.

Because their kidneys aren’t functioning as well, individuals with chronic kidney disease frequently have electrolyte imbalances in their blood, which can cause nerve damage.

Guillain-barré Syndrome (GBS)

Occasionally, the immune system will attack the nerves, causing Guillain-Barr syndrome.

It results in weakness, tingling, and burning sensations that start in the feet and legs and move up the body over the course of a few hours to days.

Due to the potential paralysis of the diaphragm, the muscle that aids in breathing, Guillain-Barr syndrome is a medical emergency that requires immediate evaluation by a physician.


A very uncommon condition called erythromelalgia causes people to feel burning pain, warmth, redness, and swelling, especially in their hands and feet.

Numerous times, the underlying cause of the illness is never discovered; occasionally, genetics play a role.

Certain Medications

Neuropathy can be brought on by certain chemotherapy drugs. The same outcome is also possible with radiation.

Peripheral neuropathy has also been linked to other medications, including those used to treat seizures or high blood pressure.

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking: Vascular constriction is brought on by smoking. This restriction may result in the nerves not receiving enough blood flow, which may harm them permanently.

Alcoholism: Reduced levels of vitamins, especially folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 (also known as thiamine), are caused by excessive alcohol consumption. When your body doesn’t get these needed vitamins, it can lead to chronic nerve pain

Improper Footwear: Burning pain in the feet can be brought on by wearing the wrong shoes, especially if you plan to stand or walk for extended periods of time.

Stress: The flow of blood to the nerves can be impacted by ongoing stress. Damage occurs to nerves when blood flow is reduced.

How Long Does A Burning Foot Last?

Depending on the cause and the medical care they receive, a person’s feet may burn for a while.

For instance, an athlete’s foot may go away in a few weeks if you get treatment for it. However, some causes, such as peripheral neuropathy, might be more difficult to handle. The damage might be irreparable in some circumstances.

Diagnosing Hot Feet

If you have achy, burning feet, consult a doctor.

Your doctor will first perform a physical examination. A physical exam can indicate:

  • structural problems in your feet or legs
  • fungal infection
  • skin changes
  • reflexes
  • lack of feeling or sensation

The next step is for your doctor to inquire about your medical history, including any current medications you may be taking. They will enquire as to the timing and duration of your symptoms.

Diabetes is a common cause of burning feet, so your doctor will probably perform a test for it. Additionally, they might inquire about your alcohol intake.

Then, they may order blood tests for:

  • thyroid hormone
  • kidney function
  • vitamin deficiency
  • HIV and other infections

If tarsal tunnel syndrome is thought to exist, they might request imaging tests. Your doctor may examine your shoes and observe how you walk to determine whether you have tight or improperly fitting shoes.

To ascertain whether an infection or injury is present, your doctor will inquire about additional symptoms.

With the help of the Healthline FindCare tool, you can get in touch with a primary care physician nearby.

How To Treat Hot Feet At Night?

To keep your feet cool at night, try these methods and remedies.

1. Identify The Cause Of Hot Feet

Your hot feet’s underlying cause should be addressed in order to reduce symptoms. If you have diabetes, for instance, you may need to adjust your diet or take medication.

There are many treatments available, such as rehab, therapy, and medication, if excessive alcohol consumption or alcohol addiction is a factor.

Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and receive a hot feet diagnosis.

2. Medical Care

Immunosuppressive drugs may be helpful if autoimmune or inflammatory conditions are what’s giving you the chills.

Topical antifungal creams, keeping your feet dry and clean, and, if necessary, taking oral medications can all be used to treat fungus infections.

When a mechanical issue is a cause, aids like foot braces and orthopedic shoes can be useful.

Gabapentin and pregabalin are frequently prescribed drugs for neuropathy to provide relief. Other significant ways to find relief include preventing recurring causes of neuropathy, such as by managing your blood sugar.

Additionally, creams with lidocaine or capsaicin can help with some discomfort.

3. Vitamins And Supplements


Depending on the root of your hot feet, supplements may be able to help alleviate the issue.

Some supplements known to help with nerve damage in the feet include:

  • Alpha-lipoic acid. This antioxidant might aid in enhancing nerve performance. It can have negative side effects and isn’t always appropriate for diabetics.
  • Amino acids. When a person has diabetes or is undergoing chemotherapy, certain amino acid supplements, such as L-carnitine, may help ease their nerve damage symptoms. But these supplements might have unwanted effects.
  • Roots and herbs. An anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric is a root that may ease nerve pain. Numbness, tingling, and weakness are some of the symptoms of nerve damage that may be helped by the herb evening primrose oil.
  • Vitamins. Taking a vitamin B or iron supplement may help if your hot feet are the result of a nutritional deficiency.

Before taking a new supplement, always consult your doctor. Your current medications may be affected by supplements or cause side effects.

4. Topical Creams And Ointments

Many topical creams are effective at reducing burning feet. Again, it is dependent upon what is causing your symptoms.

Topical ointments that fight fungal growth, such as antifungal foot creams, may help you get rid of the symptoms of an athlete’s foot.

Another choice is capsaicin cream. It contains a substance that is also present in hot peppers. According to a 2014 study, capsaicin cream may help with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

Although current research is lacking, a 2002 case reportTrusted Source suggests that patches and creams containing lidocaine could be helpful in the case of erythromelalgia.

5. Acupuncture, Acupressure, And Massage

The nervous system is stimulated by acupuncture, and blood flow is improved. The symptoms of neuropathy, such as hot or burning feet, may benefit from this alternative therapy.

Other manual techniques, such as acupressure and massage, may increase blood flow and lessen symptoms in the feet, including heat, tingling, and numbness.

There is a low risk of adverse effects with all three techniques.

6. Nerve Stimulation Therapies

The symptoms of damaged nerves, such as tingling, burning, and pain, can be treated with nerve stimulation therapies.

Using electrodes to deliver a gentle electric current to the affected area is a common technique known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Other nerve stimulation therapies include:

  • magnetic field therapy
  • laser therapy
  • light therapy

7. Improve Foot Circulation

Poor circulation is sometimes linked to hot feet. To improve blood circulation in your feet, try the following:

  • All day, put on a pair of relaxed shoes.
  • Put some circulation-friendly gel inserts in your shoes.
  • Before going to bed, soak your feet in an Epsom salts bath.
  • Elevate your legs to the level of your heart by using a bed wedge.
  • Put on gel or compression socks all day or all night.
  • Massage your feet before going to bed.

8. Feet-cooling Techniques

There is no known cure for some diseases, like erythromelalgia. When the underlying cause of hot feet is unknown or untreatable, the following feet-cooling techniques can help cool down your feet at night:

  • Your feet should not be covered while you sleep.
  • Put a small fan at the foot of your bed.
  • Your feet should be close to a hot water bottle that has been filled with ice water.
  • Before going to bed, put on a pair of socks that you keep in the freezer or refrigerator.

9. Lifestyle Changes

Daily routines may be connected to a variety of conditions that result in hot feet. Small routine adjustments could help the symptoms of hot feet gradually get better.

Some lifestyle changes that may help include:

  • taking regular walks
  • trying to quit smoking if you currently smoke
  • eating a balanced diet
  • avoiding excess alcohol consumption

To learn more about lifestyle choices that may benefit you, speak with a healthcare professional.

When To See A Doctor?

People who regularly experience hot feet, or whose hot feet are severe or accompanied by other symptoms, should see a doctor determine the root of the problem.

If nerve damage is the underlying factor, immediate treatment is required to halt the neuropathy’s progression.

Seek emergency medical treatment if:

  • The feet suddenly begin to feel hot or burning.
  • Hot feet or any other signs or symptoms brought on by toxic exposure.
  • The legs start to burn as well.
  • In the feet or toes, there is a loss of sensation.

The Bottom Line

When they cause you to wake up at night, hot feet can cause more than just a minor inconvenience.

If nerve damage is the root cause, there are treatments available to stop further damage from occurring, though in some cases it may be permanent.

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