Since May of 2011, I have, along with many frustrated others, been plagued with sporadic bouts of itching that hops from heel to heel, sometimes moving across the bottom of the foot to just below the toes and sometimes even spreads along the sides that to date has no medical explanation even though there are several people who have paid handsomely for medical tests including blood and MRI. Tests which, in the end,reveal absolutely nothing.
And since the original posting of this quirky complaint, the comment section has attracted new posters every year – and always with the same opening comment:
Oh thank goodness I thought I was all alone…
This is a small blog. For me to accumulate 147 comments on one post is mind-blowing. So clearly, this itchy heel thing affects more people than doctors want to take seriously and apparently even if they did – no one seems to have a definitive cause or successful cure. Like a lot of you though, I don’t give up. I continue to show my original blogpost with its growing number of contributers to every doctor and nurse who crosses my path. This represents medical personnel specializing in fields from neurology to physio-therapy to diabetes to dermatology and while most have heard of the problem, no one has a solution. All we know for sure is it can happen to anyone, at any time (but mostly at night) in any country, to any age group, in any profession, on any diet, in any weather conditions, fat, skinny, exercise buffs or couch potatoes and there is so far no universal form of relief – the most common relief to date is rubbing your itchy heel against a rough surface until you hit a burning sensation.
[That should bring anyone not familiar with the first post up to speed]
All that said, a possible solution is why I’m here today – but I need your help.
Since my husband died eight months ago I have been seeing a podiatrist – a lovely lady who keeps my toenails clipped and the skin on my feet toned. She and I have chatted about the itchy heel and she has rattled off a barrage of possible treatments – all of which have been addressed in the 2011 post comments here, proven to work for some but not for all and none work long-term.
This week she was back and said she’d chatted up a local doctor (Queensland Australia) who had actually heard about itchy heel from a couple of his patients, how frustrated people were but again, he had no solution to offer. In the course of my conversation with Jenna, she asked me again to describe the sensation, confirming I’d said it was pretty much like something tiny crawling just beneath the skin and the itch was unbearable – until I could rub it hard enough against a roughly textured surface (I am one of those who keeps an outdoor doormat under the bed) until there is a burning sensation and it magically goes away and I can get some sleep. But it’s always back the next day and stays with me for 2-6 weeks.
And while she was mirroring back to me with her fingers in a gesture that closely resembled a mosquito landing on a hand I added “the itch is worse than any mozzie bite I’ve ever had!” and that’s when the penny dropped…
PLEASE NOTE: I am not promoting any product – I have no vested interest in the sales of this little gem – I don’t care which brand you choose or if you choose one at all- I simply want to know if it works!
The Mozzie Clicker and I became fast friends several years back as I live in Australia, land of the million-and-one-deadly insect population. When this little green plunger showed up at my chemist, my husband brought one home and tried it on a fresh bite. It absolutely worked a treat! We went back and bought a few more. That summer I kept one on a chain around my neck. With each new bite I just clicked a circle around it and wham! No more itching! But then one day it disappeared from the market and I never saw another – until just recently when I discovered a different brand online. I ordered four and am patiently awaiting their arrival.
This is going to be great for mozzie bites I know for certain – but now I’m curious. When I explained to Jenna how the zapper works she said – might that not work on your itchy heel? Hence the penny dropping comment above…
Wow. Ok. Here’s how it works – in non-medical terms:
The Mozzie Click (Zap-it, Mosquito Click, etc.) is placed near the bite. Pressing a small plunger emits a small electrical current directled under the skin to where your nerve endings are located. This charge interrupts the signal your body usually sends to alert your brain when there’s discomfort but since your brain now doesn’t get the message it doesn’t respond by telling you, you have an itch! At the same time and under the same principle, all the swelling around the mozzie bite disappears. In less than a minute, an initial circle of 5-6 clicks around the bite center stops all the itching.
Whether this is a solution for itchy heel or not I have no idea but I’m excited to try it – because I think the principle is the same and since there’s no prescription needed, no drugs to ingest and it has been proven completely harmless (albeit with a warning for anyone with a pacemaker to check with their doctor first) I’m pretty sure it’s something anyone could try. Also too, the most expensive clicker I’ve seen is just under $20USD and each holds around 25k charges. (The clicker my husband bought me lasted more than two years.)
Thing is, I haven’t had a bout of itchy heel in a few months so I don’t know when I’ll have an opportunity to test it myself – but I didn’t want to wait to post in case one of you wanted to give it a try – I’m still getting those ‘omg I’m not alone after all!’ comments. Plus, I’m impatient LOL
When you listen to an explanation of how the clickers work (there are product tutorials on youtube) and then how the nerves and brain communicate, it makes perfect sense. Or I could just be shaking my fist at windmills, I don’t know yet. But if you do try this – please let the rest of us know in comments, whether it was a success or a flop 🙂
PS – Here’s what they look like (the green one was my first but I can’t find it anywhere now and I’ve just ordered the white one from Mozziegear):