Can’t Stop Your Sweaty Feet? You Might Have Hyperhidrosis

April 18, 2024 9:45 am Published by

Do your feet sweat a lot? We don’t just mean when they’re trapped in sneakers on a hot Florida day, but all the time?

It’s natural for your feet to expel a little moisture if you’re active or in the heat, but if your feet sweat regularly and randomly, you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis. Let’s look at the causes and how to stop sweaty feet in their tracks.

What Are the Causes of Sweaty Feet?

Just like the rest of your body, your feet naturally sweat during physical activity, hot weather, or when you’re experiencing emotional stress. The sweat glands in your feet may also be put to work if your body has high levels of toxicity, such as when drinking alcohol in large amounts or smoking. However, if your feet seem to sweat suddenly or frequently, you may have a medical condition. 

Why Are My Feet Sweating All of a Sudden? It Could Be Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition characterized by excessive, abnormal sweating. It affects underarms or hands, but feet are equally common targets. Those diagnosed usually have at least one episode a week during waking hours, where their feet become drenched with sweat. 

Whereas those without the condition may sweat with activity or anxiety, those with this disorder can experience excessive sweating regardless of the temperature or their level of stress.

Causes of Hyperhidrosis (or Lack Thereof)

According to WedMD, roughly 2-3% of Americans suffer from hyperhidrosis, and when left untreated, the condition can last a lifetime. Sufferers typically have overly active sweat glands

Neurologic, endocrine, infectious, and other systemic diseases can sometimes cause hyperhidrosis as well. In some cases, you can develop secondary hyperhidrosis from other conditions such as thyroid problems, certain cancers, diabetes, and more. 

There’s no real “cause” for why certain individual’s sympathetic nervous systems overreact in this way, although the condition does appear to be hereditary. Because there isn’t a set cause, there’s nothing you can do to prevent the condition from forming. Luckily, there are absolutely ways to manage it.

Hyperhidrosis Symptoms

You may have hyperhidrosis if you experience:

  • Feet that sweat abnormally.
  • Excess sweat inside of your shoes.
  • Intense foot odor in association with abundant perspiration. 
  • Equally sweaty palms and underarms.
  • Frequent foot infections from the moisture in your shoes.

Hyperhidrosis Feet Treatment Options

The most common ways to treat overly sweaty feet include:

Over-the-counter or prescription medication. Certain medications like anticholinergics block the neurotransmitters that arouse the nervous system and cause excessive sweating. OTC or prescription meds are often quite effective for those with mild cases of hyperhidrosis.

Clinical strength antiperspirants. Antiperspirants that contain a low dose of aluminum or aluminum chloride can help stop unwanted perspiration. Paired with drying agents like foot powders, a combination of oral medications and strong antiperspirants is often highly effective.

Iontophoresis. Iontophoresis is another option for those who’ve tried special medications and antiperspirants but still experience abundant sweating. It’s a device that sends a small electrical current through water— and those who take a 15-40 minute foot soak three times a week can see incredible results. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, one study found that this treatment helped 91% of patients with excessive foot sweating,

Surgery. This may be a last resort for those suffering from extreme over-sweating. Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy involves the process of severing the nerves that are overacting from the spinal column, but because the effects are irreversible, this option is chosen with great care. 

Your Sweaty Feet Stop Here

Do you suspect you have hyperhidrosis? A trained podiatrist can provide answers and solutions to help turn sweaty feet into happy feet. Schedule an appointment with Foot & Ankle Group today.


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