Taking Care of Sweaty Feet
At this time of the year, sweaty feet may be a fact of daily life but for some people, excessively sweaty feet are a podiatric condition that may require treatment. At NY Foot Health we aim to provide you with information on podiatric conditions and care so that you can be an informed patient. (We even offer a free e-newsletter that you can subscribe to.) Patients often are unsure if certain symptoms are within the normal range or signaling a condition that requires medical attention.
It’s Not About Beating the Heat
The biggest tip-off that sweaty feet are a medical problem is that they are sweaty not just in hot weather. Patients whose feet constantly sweat excessively, year-round may have a condition known as hyperhidrosis. Another sign of this disorder are palms that sweat as well. The skin on the feet may have a whitish, wet appearance. People with hyperhidrosis may also be more prone to fungal infections of the feet as these thrive in consistently moist environments. Due to a common sweat/bacteria interaction, foot odor may also be present. Doctors don’t really know what causes this condition, but evidence points to it being an inherited problem.
Tips for Staying Dry
There are several ways you can help keep your feet dryer (and this goes for patients who don’t have hyperhidrosis as well):
- Practice good foot hygiene. Wash your feet every day with an antibacterial soap. Don’t forget the area between your toes—both for washing and drying. Once your feet are completely dry, apply cornstarch, foot powder or an antifungal powder to your feet before getting dressed.
- Apply a roll-on antiperspirant to the bottom of your feet.
- Change your socks more often. Keep an extra pair in your backpack or at work and change them as soon as you notice they are damp.
- Choose socks that wick moisture away from your skin and shoes made of breathable materials.
If you are diagnosed with hyperhidrosis, your podiatrist will have treatment options as well. Don’t have a podiatrist? We can help you find a highly trained one in your area with our online directory. There are oral medications and injections which may help and also a noninvasive treatment called iontophoresis, which uses water to conduct a mild electrical current through the skin. In severe cases, a surgical procedure can be done which interrupts the nerve signals that tell the body to sweat excessively.
To learn more about this and other foot conditions, contact us.