Our body cools down itself through perspiration. But when the sweating becomes abnormal and uncontrollable even in the normal temperature conditions then it is a medical condition called hyperhidrosis. Many people unknowingly suffer from this condition which affects their everyday routine life. One of the disturbing forms of hyperhidrosis is sweaty feet or excessive sweating of feet.
Teenagers and pregnant women are highly vulnerable to this condition because of the hormonal changes which cause excessive sweating. It is also referred to as plantar hyperhidrosis which often occurs in conjunction with palmar hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of hands.
You are more likely to sweat more when you are under a lot of stress or if you are a victim of hyperhidrosis. The condition can be accompanied by the foot infections like Athlete’s foot, plantar warts and various other conditions of the skin. These can lead to the bad odour in soles of the feet. When the feet sweat in the shoes, they become damp which provides an ideal place for the bacteria to grow.
More than 250,000 sweat glands are located in your each foot so almost half a pint of moisture is produced by each foot on a daily basis. Remember that your feet sweat all the time but for a majority of people, that sweat quickly evaporates but for some the sweat remains trapped in sweat glands which facilitate the growth of bacteria. This can cause a problem if you suffer from the problem of excessive sweating.
Symptoms of Plantar hyperhidrosis
The most common symptom of the condition is the excessive sweating that occurs on the soles of the feet. Other symptoms that may accompany the condition include;
- Bad odour from feet/ smelly feet
- Increase in the issues of skin
- Itching on feet
- Fungus in toenails
- Shoes drenched with sweat
- Cold and clammy feet
Treatment options for excessive sweating of feet
You need to consult your practitioner about the available hyperhidrosis treatment options and which would prove suitable for your condition. Firstly, you need to change your footwear and socks along with the use of foot powder and changes in your habits of hygiene.
In more severe cases of plantar hyperhidrosis, topical medications are recommended such as Drysol (which is a prescription strength antiperspirant). The topical medication is effective in preventing a mild form of excessive sweating but if the sweating becomes severe then the more aggressive approach is required.
Botox is also used to stop excessive sweating. Botox hyperhidrosis treatment procedure involves injecting botox in the soles of the feet at precise locations which stop the working of sweat glands. It works by inhibiting the signals that the nerves send to the sweat glands which results in dry feet. It proves to be highly effective however it is used off-label.
Another effective treatment for plantar hyperhidrosis is Iontophoresis. In this treatment, your feet are immersed in normal tap water through which a mild electric current is passed for about 15-20 minutes. This shuts down the sweat glands. The symptoms of sweating improve after about 5-10 sessions.
Tips for preventing feet from sweating
Along with the treatments, you can also do several other things to control excessive sweating which include:
- Avoid wearing rubber shoes and wear breathable shoes made of organic material.
- Thoroughly dry your feet after taking a bath. Use a hair dryer if required. On the soles of your feet, apply antiperspirant.
- Wear 100% cotton socks and avoid wearing synthetic socks.
- Apply anti-fungal spray or any foot powders.
- Wash your feet twice or thrice a day.
- Keep your shoes dry and wash them weekly.
- Change your socks whenever you feel wet.
- Do not wear same shoes daily to keep them dry.