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Deep heel itch – nerve damage??

(63 discussions)

For at least 2 yrs. or more, I’ve had a deep itch in my left heel (above where I step).
It is driving me crazy!
I can’t scratch it or relieve it and I feel driven to dig into the itchy area and see if there is something in there.
I’m feeling desperate, though have not attempted to self-operate yet!.
I wake at night with this intense itch.
I have several herniated discs and have had a numb sensation in my lower left leg for 2 yrs. after a particularly bad episode of back pain which affected my left leg.
Can the two be connected somehow?
I’ve been rubbing on heel crack relief cream but it doesn’t do a thing really as the itch is seemingly so deep in the heel.
Could this be from my back problem?


63 comments

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    9 10

    At least now I know I’m not the only person on the planet with this problem. No sleep again last night due to the iintense itching. Been to dermatologists and podiatrist, and neither has provided treatment that works. Driving me nuts.

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      9 10

      I had this for over 30 years!!!
      Ask a Doctor to give you RFA. It blocks the itch for about 5 years.

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      9 10

      I get this too! Only at night. A deep itch. Left foot!!!

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    9 10

    Well, you are not alone. I was searching the internet about heel itch at 4 AM (because it wakes me up as well). I’ve had mine for about 2-3 years, but it comes and goes. I may have it for a few weeks, then not for months. It sounds like the same thing as what you are experiencing…a deep itch within the heel. I have not experienced any other symptoms (such as back pain), but I do have eczema on my arms and hands. When I mentioned it to my dermitologist, he looked at my heel and said there is nothing there (not a lot of help).

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    9 10

    i have the same thing…but mine is on the inside of my heel… Please let me know if anyone knows what the deal is????

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    9 10

    I was sitting here, scratching my heel, and I decided to search the internet for a possible cause. The site I visited prior to this had me narrow my itch down to my right heel. Then, I read that there is a possibility of this “itch” being associated with nerves and back problems. I have a herniated disc that causes pain in my right lower back and down into my legs. It all makes sense to me now. Like many of you I have tried creams and other typical anti-itch strategies. I “cured” my back pain with hypnosis… I guess I’ll try that for the itch as well! Thanks everyone!

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      9 10

      I had persistent itch in my two toes next to my big toe. I treated it as a fungal infection even taking the oral Lamisil. Nothing was working. Turned out to be related to my back. I had previously had two spinal fusions. I had massage to break up scar tissue around the surgery and that removed the issue.

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    9 10

    unbelieveable. I have the same thing, on both heels and it drives me NUTS.

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      9 10

      Same. Tried everything. Going crazy

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        9 10

        The itch n the heels of my feet is so intense I literally get rug burns from sliding them back and 4rth on the rug 4 relief…. and to think the burn feels better thn the itch. I don’t kno what to do this is driving me crazy as well

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      9 10

      At the edge edge, back of both heels. I see lots of raves about apple cider vinegar. I’m trying it tonite. If it doesn’t work. I will need to take a xanax

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    9 10

    Okay- we can’t be the only ones this is happening to. If anyone finds anything out – please let me know!

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    9 10

    I have had the most crazy itch on the heel of my foot for about a year and a half now. It wakes me throught the night and I end up taking a hairbrush or the hardest, jaggiest thing I can find. I scratch that much that my foot ends up bleeding. I was given cream but it made no difference. It feels like there is something under my skin almost like little balls. I’m at my wits end please help!!RegardsCarol

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    9 10

    I went to a foot doctor and he took x-rays but saw nothing. I asked about a potential nerve problem and he shrugged, gave me some anti-itch cream, and told me good luck. I wish I could figure out who can fix this problem – it seems like creams (which don’t work) only cover up the cause!

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    9 10

    Oh my gosh – I have the same thing and I thought I was crazy. It must be some kind of nerve thing.

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    9 10

    Did you ever find out what this is? I seem to have the exact same thing, but no associated back issues! My doctor suggested cream which has no effect.

    Vivian Abrams DPM

    9 10

    Yes it is possibly coming from your back. A neurologist might be able to tell more.

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    9 10

    I just experienced a bout of this that nearly drove insane and it was just a few minutes. I used a foam roller and rolled out my leg and thigh and back and it seemed to make it go away. And yes I was dancing and twirling around on my itchy foot like a crazy person beforehand.

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      9 10

      Google Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome.

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    9 10

    I have had this for 10 years and doctors look at me like I’m crazy. I have gone to a general doctor as well as a foot clinic and neither of them have a clue. I have done steroid cream, anti itch cream, anti fungal cream, anti inflammatory cream, solarcaine…you name it. It keeps me up at night and I’m at my wit’s end. I do have a pinched nerve in my c4-c5 which causes my arm to be numb but no one has ever mentioned that perhaps this could be a nerve issue (even though it has crossed my mind). I’m so frustrated

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    9 10

    I’ve had this problem for year. Deep itch in my right heel. Best solution I’ve found is to buy a little callous scraper, which is kind of like a cheese grater on one side and like a nail file on the other. You could also use sand paper I suppose. Sand down the outer calloused layers of skin, but be careful not to go too far so you don’t irritate the healthy skin underneath. Next apply lotion several times a day for a few days as the natural callous re-grows. Continue to apply lotion to the heel before bed and first thing in the morning, and it should prevent the itch from returning. Depending on your particular condition you may want to try some athlete’s foot cream too if lotion alone isn’t working.

    A word of caution though… My issue seems to be caused by a dry callous, but itchy feet can be signs of diabetes or gout, so you may need to talk to a doctor depending on your own situation.

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    9 10

    i am experiencing the same itching on my left heel which makes me crazy. when itching is not bearable, I used to pour steaming water on the itching place. it gives me some sort of relief from itching.

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    9 10

    I have been dealing with this for years ever since I was diagnosed with phybromyalgia and the itch is deep in the arch under my toes wakes me up out of a dead sleep itching so bad I want to cry

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    9 10

    Same as Kevin’s comment from Feb. 2016. If anyone funds out what causes it and/or how to make it stop please share! I’ll just be here digging my heel into abrasive floor surfaces :/

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    9 10

    I have the same thing. Deep heel itch, only at night. It lasts for weeks, or months, then goes away for months, then comes back

    I stand on a bristly doormat, put all my weight on my heels, and swivel around. Feels soooo good!

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    9 10

    I have same problem. Don’t know what to do !!!

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    9 10

    I have also suffered from this awful condition, earlier this year for about five weeks, tried ice packs and cream from the docs, it eventually went away. Then about four weeks ago it started again and I felt in despair! The cream wasn’t working, only coldness helped and I used to hang my foot out of the bed, but slept badly as a result – in desperation I tried some medium size Compeed blister plasters and found relief straight away!! They have helped me for the last two weeks and I use a new plaster every night, it won’t do two nights – the itch comes back. I am sleeping properly again with both feet in the bed and the heel feels better, not so tender and red. I hope this helps my fellow sufferers, please give it a try.

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    9 10

    I also have been experiencing the itching on the heel. Wakes me up at night. I found that by putting gold bond ultimate healing foot cream with aloe on my feet at night with soft loose white socks helps. I also found that by keeping my feet out of the covers when it first begins it will go away. I use the cream every nite and I use a generous amount to cover the entire foot. I have also gone to doctors they feel its because of the pinched nerves in the back. There is no way I will have surgury so I have to live with this foot itch. Ill be reading to see if anyone finds a solution. Good luck to us all!!

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      9 10

      Ask a doc to use RFA, mine is a neuropathic itch

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    9 10

    Same problem here. It itches so strong that it literally makes me wanna put a knife in my heel:-)))
    The only thing that works and stops it right away, is putting my heel unter verrrry hot water-till I feel like burning. When is painful I take it out and it doesn’t itch anymore.
    It has been the only thing that worked. It appeared suddenly and now it won’t go away 😞

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      9 10

      I once used a tree saw. It felt good until it started breaking the skin too much. I have found a hacksaw just about right.

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    9 10

    I have the same deep itch in my left heel, only at night and particularly when I get hot. I have found some relief from wrapping a frozen gel pack in a tea-towel around my foot. This mostly allows me to go back to sleep. I would like to know the cause.

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    9 10

    I push my heel hard onto a carpeted floor and vigorously ‘scrape’ it back and forth so as to cause a friction burn. I continue until I can no longer tolerate the pain from the heat felt deep inside my heel (usually 15-30 seconds). This is the only thing that has regularly worked for me (since dealing with this off and on for the last 10 years or so ). O my God, it feels sooo good until the heat builds up. Then it’s about 5 seconds of tolerable pain and then the itch is gone! I’m usually good for hours after doing this and eventually (usually a couple of weeks or so) the itch goes dormant again for a few months…sometimes it’s even a year or more before it returns. I hope this helps!

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    9 10

    I was dealing with this for awhile, I went to a foot doctor and he actually recommended foot creams, go get a pedicure, and occasionally use a butter knife to continue scratching because fingernails arent strong enough to scratch the surface of the heel. In order to relief the deep itching and not able to getnun there cause its so deeo, you have to cause friction with the butter knife. The heat will dissapate the nerves and the itching should go away for awhile. Hope this helps. (Ive had a fused herniated disk) I’ve had itching up and down both legs but mainly in my feet and my heel just itches like a bitch

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    9 10

    Hi all. Yes it’s incredibly frustrating. I have had this issue every winter for a number of years. Wearing boots with socks and having an electric blanket at night seems to set it off so for me it is foot heat related. However I recently left he winter of Tasmania behind and had a holiday in Vietnam. The problem stopped as soon as I got into the humid, moist heat. So I feel as though it’s an issue with dryness rather than anything else. Back in Tasmania now and the weather is warm and no sign of the problem. Not looking forward to next winter! So, maybe look at whether you can see a pattern … might help to understand it more.

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    9 10

    Both my heels itch at night and it drives me crazy but mind over matter I guess (on the outside part toward the back of my foot) and I have no clue what it is. For months/years now. I am healthy – no herniated anything. No back or nerve issues that I know of. My dermatologist gave me an anti-itch ointment that provides some relief, but otherwise I just tolerate it most nights. Not ready to pay for all the testing it might take to figure this out. But if anyone gets any leads, email me.

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    9 10

    I am almost certain this has to do with the sciatic nerve. The nerve goes from the lower back all the way down your legs to your feet. Sometimes the piriformis muscle in the butt can get inflammed and irritate the sciatic nerve or issues with the lower back can irritate the nerve. I have piriformis syndrome which means that muscle gets inflammed at times and then I have sciatic nerve pain from my butt all the way down my leg to my foot. Other times I have no pain but just an extremely irritating itch in my heel/bottom of my foot. I’ve been having that itch for a couple weeks now (and have had it in the past) so I started doing research online. I think it has nothing to do with the skin on the outside of your foot. It’s nerve pain inside and I believe is most likely due to the sciatic nerve. Here’s a video: https://www.spine-health.com/video/sciatic-nerve-anatomy-video

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    9 10

    Unfortunately I have not come across a successful long-term remedy yet… I suspect yoga may help.

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    9 10

    I also have itching in my left heel it drives me nuts… comes and goes but I can’t pin point why it comes back.. let’s hope we find out a reason this happens ..

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    9 10

    From what I’ve read on what everyone else posted it seems many people are affected by Seasons and Temperature Changes. I know my symptoms started when the temperature dropped drastically and I believe that my heals, where they are, are among the highest point in my bed when I sleep, and more affected by temperature changes. I have a feeling using a Humidifier or something that helps regulate humidity and or temperature may give some people on this website some relief. – Also from reading other articles, it seems people could be suffering from Neuropathy or dying nerves in heals or feet. Lastly, similar to fibromyalgia, fiberglass may have a similar affect of itch in it’s most microscopic forms which becomes highly exacerbated with changes in temperature.

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    9 10

    What I’ve had sounds similar to some. Itch on the outside of my heels up a bit from the bottom of my foot. Through quitting wheat, I’ve found it goes away, when it’s back in my diet, the itch returns. Callouses too, come and go. Hope this may help others, good luck.

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    9 10

    I have a similar deep itch on the heel of my right Foot. I’ve had it on and off for years. I’ve had this since prob high school and I’m 26 now. It’ll happen everyday for a few weeks then disappear for a few months but it drives me insane sometimes. Feels like there’s something under my skin. And it’s always in the same spot. I’ve tired almost everything… creams, lotion, even a foot file to get the dead skin off to the point my heel was tender. I’ve searched the internet for answers and nothing. Help please

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    9 10

    I’ve had this on and off for years and nothing seems to work. I don’t have back problems so don’t believe it’s nerve related. Although I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, I’m glad to see I’m not crazy. I’ve tried the foot scrapper (“cheese grater”) method with Vaseline applies after. It seems to lessen the itch a bit but not completely.

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    9 10

    Clove oil and Vick’s Vapor Rub gives me relief for the night. I file both heels in the shower and apply the oil then the Vick’s. I think mine might be related to Morgellons. I’m going to be going through a treatment program I found online from “Lookoutfa Charlie”. It seems the most promising of all the gimmicks and such out there… and for the record.. it’s totally free info. He’s not trying to sell anything. He just wants to help it seems. Hope it works.

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    9 10

    Dang can’t believe their seems to be no cure. I have no back problems at all . both my inner heels on the sides below my ankles itch like wild fire for a few minutes . like others have said nothing works except carpet burning them or runnin my inner heel on a center block. It drives me crazy . I’ve never had athletes foot or any other health problems. Theres no callous on my heels where the itchy occurs . no rash no nothing its like inside my heel. I was thinking it was a sign of a clogged artery or something .. But now after finding this thread guess I will be in torment the rest of my days. Smh.

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    9 10

    Sounds like tarsal tunnel syndrome.

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    9 10

    I’m officially–but not proudly–joining your club, folks. It’s late at night, my left heel is itching for the seemingly hundredth time, and I’m seeking relief so I found this chat. Praise the Lohd!

    I’m F, age 60, had a ruptured L4-5 & had it microdiscectomied at age 33. Since then another disc shows rupture in MRI. I also have neuropathy, and a few other ailments, including having had Bell’s Palsy 3x. Sugar level deemed me as “pre-diabetic” in the past. I’m learning from you all that almost nothing helps. I’ll ask my neurologist what he suggests. Meanwhile per another commenter I wiki’d Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome. Very interesting, and oh-so-relatable, unfortunately!

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    9 10

    So good to hear I am not alone in this miserable deep foot itch. I can’t get any relief. Its in my right foot mainly the heel but get it at big toe and the ball of foot under the big toe. It comes and goes but its always at night usually when I am sleeping and wakes me up it gets so bad sometimes I want to cry for relief. The other night I got it after sitting on the side of a hospital bed while my daughter was there. Now I know it can be nerve or back problems related it makes more sense now. I am going to try the butter knife trick like Thrift mentioned. Glad I came across this blog.

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    9 10

    I guess I’m happy to know I’m not alone or crazy, but I want it to stop! Mine is usually the right heel,occasionally the left. The rug is my preferred relief or should I say the burn takes my mind off the itch!

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    9 10

    Ugh! Same thing, right heal! Hanging off the bed helps a little and sometimes a heating pad. Has anyone checked their blood sugar levels? No back pain here! Goes away for months at a time and then it’s back again. Absolute torture.

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      9 10

      Mine just started today in the left heal…I’m not diabetic but was recently put on metformin (diabetes type 2 med) for PCOS. Yesterday was my first day on the full dosage. It would be a strange coincidence if it wasn’t related.

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    9 10

    Oh it is so nice to know I am not alone with this agony!! Thought I was losing my mind and almost my life when it happened while driving. It’s my right foot so that’s an issue. I had a knee replacement on my right knee 3 yrs ago and thought maybe that caused it. But I also have back issues and RA so who knows. Just need relief!!

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    9 10

    I’ve had this problem for over ten years. Ibuprofen helps. I’ve found No solution, been to several doctors.

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    9 10

    This problem only hits me in the evening when I lay down. inside and bottoms of my heals very deep under the skin. I’m convinced it’s nerve related. I don’t believe you have to have severe back problems to experience this but most everyone has had some form of back pain or at least minor back problems in their life. I’ve had lower back problems most of my life but have managed them with exercise and core strengthening. However, the itching in my heals is intense and deep. I think this might be able to be managed or cured with acupuncture, I just need to find a good acupuncturist and take the time to go. Meanwhile, the greatest relief is to keep one of those course and bristled front door welcome mats under your bed. Stand on that with your bare feet and dig your heals in.

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    9 10

    I know exactly when my deep heel itch started – with a pedicure nearly 3 years ago! The gal was scraping the bottom of my left heel as they do but very vigorously and I felt like a Snap! in my heel and a slight shock that made me jump up a bit in my chair. It wasn’t so dramatic that I doubt anyone but me noticed but the feeling was real! Ever since then I’ve had itching deep within that heel that never actually stops, it only changes in severity from a mild annoyance to an intense itch that requires deep pressure scratching. I do the carpet rub as well and will try the heat type treatments. I haven’t attributed any outside conditions to the rate of severity of the itch but now after reading everyone’s posts I have some things to try to make sense of this! I do have some lingering back pain and have always figured the itch is a nerve issue given how it started. I’m wondering if anyone else has a definitive “How this started with me story” too? As awful as it is, Misery does Love Company!!!

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    9 10

    I also have this problem for 2-3 years.its too itchy feel in nights and mostly when I rest.don’t knw what it is.its deeply itching inside my heel. I also can’t reliev by scratching and walking.its irritating some times

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    9 10

    Same here, I have this for about 20 years, and doctors never found what’s wrong. What I do is to get those friction burns using the carpet or something with same texture, and when it burns it stops itching. Another thing is to put the heel over the fire or something really hot, it burns but stops itching. You have to be careful not to burn beyond necessary.
    I think it’s absurd we must get to this point, but I see no other way of relief.

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    9 10

    I tried the suggestion of using a blister patch and it does help. I wondered if it was some type of embedded parasite . It’s the same distinct embedded area of my rt heal.

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    9 10

    I too suffer from this incessant chronic itch deep in my right heel. I had to laugh reading the comments as I get so desperate I do use anything sharp to scratch but it still doesn’t relieve the itch. My gp blamed it on dry skin but nothing else is itchy and it’s so deep in my heel. I moved interstate ti cold Victoria and that’s when it started so maybe the change in climate has something to do with it. I’m originally from Qld. I have this itch 24/7 it never goes away. I could sit here and scratch forever and not relieve it. Help!!!!

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    9 10

    Oh my goodness! I’m so happy it’s not all in my head. I have this exact thing, in fact it’s driving me insane right now!! An intense, deep itch on the outer side of my heels. It makes me want to dig into my feet with a sharp object! Love how nearly all the comments on this thread were posted in the middle of the night btw..we are all googling the same thing! Happy scratching and sleep deprivation everyone 🙁 at least we’re not alone!

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    9 10

    I have the same both heels alternating. I use capsaicin cream on my heel after abrading the skin slightly with a pumice stone. The only way I can sleep

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    9 10

    The land of non answers

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    9 10

    I get a deep, painful itch on my feet a couple of times a month. It happens mostly at night on the balls of my feet. What works for me is rubbing it with 36 grit sandpaper for 30 seconds or so. If the itch returns, I keep repeating the treatment until it doesn’t return. You can buy the sandpaper at hardware stores, auto parts stores, and Amazon.com.

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