Itchy swollen feet can be caused by many different ailments and conditions, including joint disorders, allergies, skin conditions, topical irritation or infection. The simplest causes of itchy, swollen feet are often those related to standing or walking for a long time, or wearing ill-fitting or wet shoes.
Feet may become itchy and swollen as a result of excessive exercise, poor circulation, overly tight footwear, or a number of other reasons. Fluid can build up in the feet, and itching may result from contact between the feet and shoes or socks. This type of itching and swelling is common, but will normally disappear once the physical irritation has stopped.
An allergic reaction can also cause itchy and swollen feet. Localized allergies may be caused by any number of substances, ranging from poison ivy to different sorts of synthetic products and chemicals. A local allergic reaction can typically be treated with antihistamines and should subside fairly quickly once the allergen has been removed. This type of allergic reaction can be difficult to identify, as symptoms often appear many hours after the feet are exposed to an allergen. Itching and swelling may also result from a systemic allergic reaction, which affects the entire body.
Several skin conditions may affect the feet and produce both itching and swelling. Eczema develops relatively frequently in the feet and is often caused by an allergic reaction, although some forms, such as gravitational eczema, are caused by circulatory problems. Itching is typically the first symptom of eczema to appear and may be accompanied by swelling, sometimes in the form of blisters.
Joint conditions can also cause itchy, swollen feet. Gout is particularly likely to cause swelling, first of a toe, and then later of larger portions of the feet. Itching typically comes later in the process, often toward the end of a bout of gout.
Itchy and swollen feet may be caused by skin infections as well. A bacterial infection, either at the surface of the skin or at the site of a wound may cause itching and swelling. Fungal infections of the skin are common and can also cause these symptoms. These infections are especially common in hot and humid conditions and can be spread fairly easily in public spaces. Skin infections are typically easy to treat in men and women with healthy immune systems.
Many other medical conditions, some serious, can cause swelling of the feet. This swelling, in turn, may lead to itching. Medical attention should be sought for any unfamiliar or alarming symptoms.