Hyperhidrosis is the medical term that refers to excess sweating. It’s a common condition that can happen to anyone. The International Hyperhidrosis Society estimates that 3 percent of Americans live with the condition, frequently producing significantly more sweat than what we would typically associate with triggers such as exercise or nervousness. Hyperhidrosis can manifest anywhere on the body but is most commonly observed in the armpits, the face and head, or the palms of the hands. When it manifests on the feet, it’s known as plantar hyperhidrosis and can be more than simply an embarrassment. Regularly damp and sweaty feet are a contributing factor in other podiatric health issues, including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, foot odor, and continually cold feet.
What Causes Sweaty Feet?
Are you at risk of hyperhidrosis? How many of these risk factors apply to you?
- Family history. If your parent or sibling has been diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, your odds are increased.
For those with the condition, many triggers can lead to a hyperhidrosis episode, including nervousness, warm temperatures, illness or fever, and wearing clothing or footwear made of materials that don’t allow the feet to “breathe.”
How Can You Prevent Sweaty Feet?
If you notice that your feet get sweaty often, start with a journal. Making note of how and when sweating episodes occur will help you identify triggers and get some control of the situation. What else can you do to keep your sweaty feet dry and odor-free? Here are some tips from Jason Grossman, DPM to get you started:
- Practice good hygiene.
- Use foot powder or cornstarch to absorb sweat.
- Apply deodorant or antiperspirant to your feet.
- Always wear clean, dry socks.
- When possible, choose open shoes such as sandals.
- Reduce your stress levels.
How Can the Podiatrist Treat Sweaty Feet?
If your hyperhidrosis can’t be managed at home, your podiatrist will have several treatments to try:
- Iontopheresis is a procedure in which a medical device is used to pass a mild electrical current through water and through the skin's surface. It’s effective in 80-90% of patients. Iontopheresis is painless and there are no significant or serious side effects.
- Another dramatic treatment option for heavy sweating is injections of botulinum toxin A. Botox works by preventing the release of a chemical that signals the sweat glands to activate.
- Prescription oral medications are available that stop the activation of the sweat glands, but they are a last resort as they can have unpleasant side-effect.
Are excessively sweaty feet negatively impacting your day-to-day life? You’re not alone. Dr. Jason Grossman has been helping many patients with hyperhidrosis, and he can help you, too. Call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 or click here today to schedule a convenient appointment in our Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.