Many people experience the feeling of heat that comes suddenly and usually affects only one foot. This heat sensation leaves those affected puzzled because they can't identify the clear cause of it. Many came to this discussion with a same question.
I just started to have this sudden heat feeling in my right leg but didn't find any answer do you know what may be the cause?
The sensation has been described as a rapid blood flow that warms the foot by many participants in the discussion.
the sensation feels as if a vein has suddenly allowed blood to flow through at a rapid rate, something akin to poor circulation?
I thought maybe it was just my blood flowing, but why only my right foot all of sudden?
For most people who experienced this sensation, the feeling of warmth came and went in "waves." The foot would just heat up noticeably and then the sensation would vanish. The majority of participants reported that the feeling usually occurs in left foot. Also, the sensation is painless; it is described as a sudden warmth that quickly goes away. Some wondered if there's underlying health condition causing this that they should be worried about.
The discussion mostly focused on identifying culprits.
I run 10km 5x a week so I'm thinking it could be overuse?
I wonder if it might be related to pedicures and the scrapping of the foot sole?
Several participants noted that the sensation might have occurred after wearing the shoes that were tied too tight or wearing tight socks. The participants who don't wear tight shoes or socks but still have the warm feeling in their foot, dismissed the connection.
Others blamed poor blood circulation in the feet, vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as sciatica and back pain.
People diagnosed with diabetes reported the warm sensation in their foot as the result of their condition.
Participants who went to the doctor got an explanation that number of things could cause the sensation, ranging from neuropathy (diabetic or other), diabetes, poor circulation, inflammation, surgery, restless leg syndrome, kidney disease, vitamin deficiency, vitamin B6 overdose, chemotherapy drugs, metal poisoning, edema, to hypertension and more.
What do experts say?
Warm sensation in the feet is very common and can be present in mild or severe form. In addition, this warm sensation in feet may be accompanied by tingling or numbness in the feet. A warm sensation in the feet may indicate problems in blood circulation, nerve damage, or some chronic condition. While fatigue or a skin infection can cause temporarily burning or inflamed feet, warm or burning feet are most often a sign of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). Whatever the cause is, it needs to be properly identified and treated accordingly.
Possible causes for painless warm sensation in feet
The warm sensation in feet usually doesn't indicate anything serious and may be caused by one of the following:
- Footwear that is too tight or does not fit properly, such as tight shoes, socks or stockings that can irritate sensitive feet or put pressure on certain parts of the foot, causing warm sensation
- Contact dermatitis, usually resulting from skin irritation due to dyes or chemical agents used to tan leather
- Allergies to materials used to make shoes or socks.
- Stress due to exercise or physical injury.
Warm sensation in feet could be also a result of certain health conditions that require medical attention, including:
- Peripheral neuropathy - Peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common causes of warm or burning feet. This type of neuropathy is the nerve damage located in the legs and feet. Peripheral neuropathy often occurs in people with diabetes who report it as a burning feeling in their feet.
- Diabetes - In people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, the years of uncontrolled high blood sugar can gradually damage the blood vessels and nerves, particularly those in legs and feet.
- Poor blood circulation - The blood clot that may occur in varicose veins on legs may also cause a disturbance in the blood circulation and lead to warm sensation in the feet. Poor blood circulation may also occur in peripheral artery disease in which arteries are narrowed resulting in reduced blood flow to the limbs.
- Restless leg syndrome - This condition which makes the legs move involuntarily especially at night is often connected with warm sensation in feet.
- Athlete's foot - This is a type of fungal infection of the foot which leads to inflammation and may cause a warm sensation in the affected foot.
- Hypertension - The high blood pressure can cause warm sensation in the feet caused by decreased circulation and reduced temperature in the extremities.
- Hypothyroidism - The decrease in the secretion of thyroid hormones seen in hypothyroidism may cause a swelling all over the body which exerts pressure on the nerves leading to warm or burning sensation.
- Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - This condition is caused by a compression of the tibial nerve passing through the tarsal tunnel on the inner side of the feet and ankle, which may occur due to tumor, swelling, and cyst and result in warm sensation of the foot.
- Burning Feet Syndrome (Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome)
- Spinal problems, such as spinal stenosis
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)
- Chronic kidney disease (uremia)
- Alcohol abuse
- Vitamin deficiency (vitamin B12, folate, and occasionally vitamin B6)
- Drug side effects, including chemotherapy drugs
- Vitamin B6 overdose
- Infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, Lyme disease, syphilis, and shingles
Diagnosis of warm sensation in feet
The doctor would first conduct a physical exam to indicate possible problems in your feet or legs such as fungal infection, redness of skin, reflexes, and lack of feeling or sensation. Your doctor would then ask you about your medical history, including any medications you’re taking.
The doctor may also order several tests, including:
- Imaging test, such as X-rays, CT scan, or MRI scan to rule out injuries, nerve entrapment, or soft tissue masses
- Blood and urine tests to check for diabetes and vitamin levels
- Skin samples which are taken to check the skin condition such as athlete's foot
- Nerve tests, such as electromyography (EMG) may be ordered to check the transmission capacity of the nerves
Treatment of warm sensation in feet
A warm sensation in feet usually doesn't require any treatment. However, treatment for underlying condition may be required if the warm sensation is a result of it. The things you can do to help relieve the symptoms may include:
- wearing comfortable footwear
- wearing socks made of cotton to prevent sweating
- changing socks frequently
- taking care of feet hygiene
- wearing insoles
- using creams and ointments to soothe the pain
- taking warm relaxing baths for feet
The symptoms users have reported
- I am 66 years old and began having random hot flashes recently to the side of my right foot near the arch.
- A warm feeling along the side of the arch and heel, only on my left foot.
- It doesn't hurt, it's like warm water!
- I'm getting this a few times a day, sitting, standing, walking, doesn't matter, it just happens.
- My symptoms are in my right foot and I get this burning/hot feeling in my foot.
What could be possibly related with the sensation?
- The bottoms are very tough and calloused and about two weeks ago, I had the heel area get a split on the edge that hurt for several days.
- I broke a toe about 3 months ago but I have just recently developed this sensation.
- I am 26 and I've been having this warming sensation on and off all day for 4days now in arch of right foot.i was in a car accident about a week and a half ago and hurt my back.
- I'm pretty flat-footed.
- I was in a car accident a week ago and hut my right foot.
- I have venous disease in both legs and after having 2 DVT's in the past 20 years, I have the same feeling in my legs and foot.
- my dr believes its a pinched or inflamed nerve in my back.starting phys therapy so hopefully that helps.as you all kno that have this issue it's really annoying and stress inducing.
- I'm 23 and have had diabetes for 12 yrs.
- So I'm pretty young 14 but I had this burning sensation in my right foot at the center of my arch i saw the doctor and he said it was this thing called like plantigosnis and it is where your tendons in your feet are being pressed on by the bones in your feet (prabably cause I have very flat feet) btw I am very healthy and athletic
- Dr did exploratory surgery and found a bundle of nerves trapped.
- It began after I had a course of steroids for an unrelated inflamation.
- I also received a cortisone injection in my right knee but that was weeks ago.
- Well that's interesting because I have recently been feeling the sensation of heat in my left toes and I too received a cortisone injection in my right knee weeks ago.
- Its been about 3 months of blood thinners which i am supposed to come off of now, but am suddenly getting the hot flashes in the foot and maybe my calf.
- I have the same problem as well, i searched a lot on the web and realize maybe i overdose vitamin B6, since i use vitamin B6 everyday this problem appears.
What was reported to help relieve symptoms?
- The best way to treat this is to treat the diabetes.
- After I loosened up my shoes, the sensation went away.
- I think we all just need to get up and walk around occaionally.
- I'm thinking I will try to do more foot stretching exercises during my sedentary time in uni classes.
- Be sure they have arch support.
- Yes i feel too but i use hena paste
- I went to accupunturalist instead it disappeared they're-appeared, not as bad.
- Yesterday had body work to ease back problem suddenly noticed that hot flashes in left foot seems to be gone.
- Get someone who does DEEP massage.
- it is called , CAFTAN, Poligonum Foot Cream It works.