Do you or your child have excessively sweaty feet (and probably hands)? It could be due to a condition called hyperhidrosis, in which one or more parts of the body experiences excessive sweat. This can include feet, palms, armpits, groin, and under the breast. The exact cause is unknown, but genetics and certain triggers seem to make it worse.
Hyperhidrosis can cause (social) pain in the form of embarrassment for most parts of the body, but for the feet, it can even be dangerous. Excessive sweat in the feet can mean that your feet have less grip, with or without shoes. With shoes on, your feet can slide around, mostly forward, leaving you with painfully scrunched hammertoes and battered toenails, which can even become bloody if you play sports. When barefoot, it can make you slip and fall on smooth surfaces.
And that’s only the physical and obvious consequences. The other sweat-related problems exist in the form of tiny organisms – bacteria, fungi, and viruses. All thrive in warm, damp, dark areas, such as your shoes. This can lead to very stinky feet and shoes, as well as infections such as warts, fungal toenails, or Athlete’s foot. That’s why it’s important to take measures to care for feet when you’ve got hyperhidrosis.
Hyperhidrosis Foot Care:
- Wash your feet daily with soap and warm water, and then fully dry them. Check for any signs of infections and treat them promptly.
- Never re-wear socks, and carry a pair with you to change into midday. Wearing soggy socks (and shoes) all day will lead to a stinky situation.
- Rotate the shoes that you wear each day so that they have a chance to fully dry out.
- If you know what triggers your sweating, do your best to make changes to avoid them. For example, some people have excessive sweating if they drink caffeinated drinks or smoke. Reduce or cut out these habits to reduce sweating.
- Wear socks on smooth surfaces to help you with traction. You don’t want to experience injury due to slipping on your own sweat!
If hyperhidrosis is getting in the way of your daily life, come see us for treatment options. Some options are available, such as iontophoresis (daily treatment of electrical currents to reduce sweat signals), topical medications, botox injections (to block signals to the nerves that stimulate sweat glands), or in severe cases, sympathectomy (which surgically interrupts nerve signals to sweat glands).
To determine the appropriate actions, make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our foot doctors, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office.