Everyone has experienced sweaty foot at least once in their lifetime. The sensation may range from uncomfortable to decreasing their overall quality of life. Hence, many people seek out the answers to, ‘Why do my foot sweat?’.
What you need to know is that you are not alone in this fight. And that there are many ways that you can tackle this age-old problem. This article outlines the different causes of excessive feet sweating and how to prevent and treat it at home.
What is Plantar Hyperhidrosis?
If you have excessive sweating of the foot, then you may have plantar hyperhidrosis. Sweaty foot do not only affect your comfort level with excessive sliding, but it also causes a host of problems.
These include blisters and even foot infections. The warmth and moisture provide a great breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, which can develop into an infection.
What Causes Excessive Feet Sweating?
Many cases of excessive foot sweating stems from the fact that it is just in your gene pool. If you know any first or second-degree relative that has the same problem, then this may be the reason for your problems.
Unfortunately, your genetic code can’t be changed. However, that doesn’t mean that your problem can’t be effectively treated.
Tight shoes, and has little to no airflow is like a sauna. It prompts your feet to sweat since the purpose of sweating is to cool down the body.
Therefore unbreathable shoes such as plastic or leather shoes may cause extremely sweaty foot that come with a few added problems like infection. (Remember what was said about bacteria liking hot, moist areas).
Similar to the shoes, the socks can create the same problem. If there is insufficient airflow, especially between the toes, then there will be an increase in the temperature leading to perspiration.
The materials of the socks that you wear are just as important as the material of the shoes. Moreover, socks are a great nest for bacteria if it is not kept dry and clean.
Your diet is a huge factor in the amount of sweat that is produced by your foot daily. Certain foods and drinks help to trigger the sweat response in the body, which causes a greater production of sweat.
Fatty foods, caffeine, and as we all know, peppers cause it. Also, if you don’t have a healthy, nutritional diet, this can lead to excessive sweat.
Stress & Anxiety
Sweating is a response that is part of the sympathetic nervous system or ‘flight or fight’ response. If the body senses that it is in danger, the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated, which causes different body reactions, for which sweating is one.
Stress and anxiety set off the flight or fight response because the body is thinking that whatever is the cause of the stress or anxiety is dangerous. This can lead to sweaty feet.
Tips to Prevent Sweaty Feet
Wash Your Feet Regularly
Your feet naturally get dirty as the day progresses. The dirt, grime, and sweat, and the host of bacteria, can create the smell that is associated with sweaty foot.
You have to wash your feet daily, preferably with an antibacterial soap, which will tackle any of the bacteria on your feet. Also, by washing your feet, you will create a cooling effect on your foot, which discourages sweating.
Use a Foot Deodorant Spray
Deodorant is one of the best tools to combat the smell under the arms. But did you know that there is also deodorant for the feet? These products can tackle any bad odor, leaving you worry-free.
There are many brands that you can choose from, such as Right Foot, and they can be purchased either online or at your local store.
The antiperspirant plays a vital in fighting excessive sweating under the arms. Likewise, the feet have their own product that has a similar function.
Foot sweat glands are numerous, and they can be voracious when they are stimulated, hence the need for antiperspirant. Choose a brand that can suit your specific needs, and you can stop fretting about any uncomfortable foot sweat.
Wipe With Alcohol
Alcohol has a drying and cooling effect on the body, which is why it is a great solution for sweaty feet. Also, it minimizes the pores on the sole of your feet. It is recommended that you wipe your feet with alcohol before donning any socks and shoes.
Use Foot Powder
Foot powders have been the go-to method for cold and clammy feet for years. There must be a reason why this product is so trusted. This is because these foot powders have a powerful absorbing action when it comes to moisture.
Sprinkling some powder on your foot and leaving it overnight can help remove the sweat. Additionally, these powders also trap bad scents, and some may even give off a more pleasant one.
Wear Breathable Shoes
There must be sufficient airflow in your shoes. This will prevent excessive sweating since the temperature in the shoes will be cooler.
Therefore it is advised that you stay away from plastic or leather shoes and opt to wear breathable ones instead. There are even breathable dress shoes for sweaty feet available online or at your local shoe store.
Clean, dry socks should be worn at all times with a closed toe-shoes. They keep the foot dry by absorbing any sweat.
However, you must choose the right material socks. Socks that are made from wool, bamboo, or antibacterial material are alternatives that you should consider.
Keep Shoes Dry
As stated earlier, bacteria love warmth and moisture. And while with wet, damp shoes, there may be no warmth, there is definitely a lot of moisture.
Bacteria are the culprit for the smell that you get from wet shoes. So to prevent an awful stench emanating from your favorite footwear, you have to keep it dry. Stuff it with newspaper, or leave it in a warm place but not in direct sunlight.
Almost all foot powders are antifungal, meaning they are powerful against fungus, which loves the cold and damp areas of the foot. Sprinkle some of the powder in your shoes before putting them on, and you will be protected against any fungal infection.
Home Remedies for Clammy Feet
Diet & Exercise
Healthcare professionals always recommend that persons should eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise each day. Many health benefits are associated with this habit, such as great skin, decreased cardiovascular adverse events, and even anti-tumor properties.
But did you know that these benefits also extend to the feet as well? Cutting down on the consumption of caffeine, fatty and spicy foods while also increasing your intake of water and fresh fruits and vegetables are what’s good for plantar hyperhidrosis.
Likewise, exercise is a great way to manage anxiety and stress, two of the biggest cause of sweaty feet and hands. If you take the time to incorporate exercise into your daily regime, not only will you gain the benefit of managing plantar hyperhidrosis but also long-term health benefits.
As previously mentioned, bacteria are the root cause of the bad odor of the feet. It is also important to note that these bacteria love to feed off dead skin cells. This is where exfoliation comes in. If you take an exfoliating scrub, stone or brush and exfoliate the skin of your foot three times a week, then smelly foot will be a thing of the past.
Like alcohol, lemon juice can also be used to minimize the pores of your feet. These pores are the gateway for sweat to exit. Smaller pores will decrease the sweat.
What’s even better is that lemon juice is a natural deodorant. Therefore, it will combat any bad smell. Using a cotton ball, wipe your feet, particularly your soles, with some freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another natural treatment for plantar hyperhidrosis is apple cider vinegar. This special liquid boasts many beneficial properties. There are antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help to fight against bacterial or fungal infection.
Also, like lemon juice, it minimizes the pores of the feet.
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water, and ½ part baking soda. Then submerge your feet into the basin for 30 minutes. Repeat this weekly.
Black and sage tea have similar pore-minimizing properties similar to the apple cider vinegar. These are natural remedies for plantar hyperhidrosis. To use this method, place four tea bags into a pot of boiling water. Leave it cool, then soak your feet in the brewed tea for 20 minutes.
Baking soda is a common household object that still packs a punch. Its benefits include the management of plantar hyperhidrosis or any bad odor. Sprinkle some of the baking soda into your shoes then leave it overnight to soak up the stench or moisture from the shoes.
Similar to the baking soda, cornstarch is another household object that is great for sweaty feet syndrome. It is water-absorbent, so it will keep your shoes dry. Sprinkle some in your footwear and leave it there overnight to do its job.
Yes, coconut oil is another natural remedy for plantar hyperhidrosis. It has antibacterial properties, so it will help with any stench while also keeping your feet well-moisturized.
Slather on some oil on to your feet. Then, you can slip into some socks to seal in the moisture. However, make sure that you don't mess your clothes with the oil.
When To See A Doctor
Even though plantar hyperhidrosis may be a mild problem that just causes mild discomfort, at times, the condition may become unbearable, or listed methods were futile.
If this happens, then it may be wise to visit your doctor. A doctor can provide more insight into your problem after clinical diagnosis. After this, the doctor will initiate any medical treatments to manage the problem further.
Botox injections use botulinum toxin that prevents the release of certain chemicals whose job is to stimulate the nerves of the sympathetic nervous system.
This will prevent the production and release of sweat, therefore helping with constant sweaty foot. However, these treatments only last for a maximum of 6 months, which means you may need to make a repeat visit to your doctor.
For approximately 50 years, iontophoresis treatments have been used to treat plantar hyperhidrosis. It works by using electrical currents to pass certain medications into the skin. These medications act by decreasing the volume of sweat that is produced.
The great thing about this treatment is that there are options available to use from your home. They can be purchased online.
Prescription Strength Antiperspirant
If the over-the-counter antiperspirant brands were ineffective in managing your sweaty foot, try a prescription-strength type. These antiperspirants act by occluding the sweat glands, which decreases the amount of sweat produced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can it cause stinky and itchy feet?
Unfortunately, yes. Too much sweat on the foot can cause itching. However, if you wash and dry your foot, that will be sufficient in preventing further itching. Also, there are many products available that you can use to alleviate any excessive itching.
How to stop feet from sweating in heels & flats?
You can continue wearing your favorite heels and flats without worrying about sweat. A simple mixture of common household items is enough to stave off the problem.
Mix white vinegar and warm water in a 1:1 ratio, into a large basin. And soak your foot into the basin for around three times a week. After which, to close your skin pores, apply some alcohol to the sole of your foot, then you can slip into your favorite pair of shoes.
Are there surgeries to cure it?
Yes, there is, and it is called sympathectomy. The procedure involves cutting the sympathetic nerve in specific areas, which can affect the sweating in that particular area. However, it should be noted that with all surgical procedures, there are risks, so make sure to speak to a healthcare professional for more information.
Plantar hyperhidrosis is a problem that can easily be managed by changing certain habits, using specific home remedies, or considering medical treatments.
You must get this issue under wraps so that you don’t have to worry about any slipping, blisters, bad odor, or fungal infection. For a better quality of life, try out the natural options in this list, and if all else fails, you can ask your doctor for help.