Reference Library

Sweaty feet

Excessive sweating of the feet is called hyperhidrosis. It is more common in men than women and more common in young adults than older adults.

Causes

No one knows exactly why is occurs. Most people sweat when the weather is hot and when they become warm. People with hyperhidrosis sweat excessively almost all of the time. Some people sweat so much that their feet may slip around in their shoes. The feet may also have a moist white appearance and foot odor is common.

Home care

Good hygiene is essential as it will help prevent foot odor and infections, two common side effects of sweaty feet. Wash your feet daily with antibacterial soap, be sure to wash between your toes. Dry your feet thoroughly and then apply talcum powder or antifungal powder to your feet to absorb excess moisture. Wear synthetic blend socks that draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it. Socks that are 100% cotton absorb moisture but do not wick it away from the skin and frequently led to blisters, so they should be avoided. It is also a good idea to keep an extra pair of socks at work or school so that you can change your socks midday to prevent moisture from accumulating.

When to visit a podiatrist

If your feet sweat excessively see your podiatrist. According to the US National Library of Medicine, less than 40% of people with excess sweating seek medical care. Your podiatrist can help you control this embarrassing condition.

Diagnosis and treatment

Most often excessive sweating of the feet is diagnosed based on your reporting of symptoms and the physical examination of the foot. A podiatrist can also do a starch iodine test to confirm the diagnosis. First an iodine solution is applied to the bottom of the feet. After this solution has dried, cornstarch is sprinkled over the area. The treated area turns dark blue if excessive sweat is present.

Treatment options are tailored to your specific symptoms, prescription roll on anti- perspirants may be applied to the feet. Botox injections can temporarily control excessive sweating of the feet (this effect usually lasts 6 to 9 months). A technique called iontophoresis, which uses water to conduct a mild electric current through the skin, has been found helpful for people with sweaty feet as well.

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