Excessive sweating of the feet is called hyperhidrosis. It’s more common in men than in women, and more common in young adults than older adults.
People whose feet sweat excessively often also have problems with excessive sweating of the palms. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, 3 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis.
There are about 250,000 sweat glands on the skin of your feet – more than any other part of your body. Sweat is perfectly natural, keeping the skin soft and flexible and controlling the temperature of your feet. People often think that sweat is the cause of bad odours, but it isn’t. Odour is produced by bacteria which grow in shoes due to the heat and humidity. They attack the sweat molecules, decomposing them and generating the bad smell.
The most obvious symptom of hyperhidrosis is feet that sweat excessively. Some people sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes.
The feet may also have a whitish, wet appearance; sometimes, foot infections are present as well. Constant wetness breaks down the skin, especially between the toes, allowing infection to set in. Foot odor is common.
Those suffering from hyperhidrosis may also experience emotional stress and worry regarding foot odor. Sweat-related anxiety and isolation can be particularly severe among teens with plantar hyperhidrosis.
To take care of excessive perspiration, wear socks made of natural materials like cotton, and shoes that allow your feet to breathe to help reduce the growth of bacteria that cause bad odour. If you have stubborn perspiration, an antiperspirant spray can help, but shoe hygiene is essential too. Try using a spray deodorant for shoes or insoles made from non-synthetic and natural materials to help eliminate bad odours. Often if you sweat excessively you may benefit from changing your socks halfway through the day and alternating your footwear daily allowing a pair to aerate, in the sun preferably, while you wear another pair of shoes. This will help prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
Podiatrists at TFAAC have vast experience in assisting people who suffer from sweaty feet and typically this treatment is very successful but involves a multifactorial approach.