According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, hyperhidrosis affects almost 5 percent of people worldwide. Those with excessive sweating of the feet, called plantar hyperhidrosis, can struggle to keep them dry throughout the day. The sweat glands continue to produce extreme quantities of sweat, which many people find both uncomfortable and embarrassing.
There are many ways to handle plantar hyperhidrosis. In this article, we describe 12 techniques for preventing and managing sweaty feet.
Preventing sweaty feet
People can try using the following methods to prevent sweaty feet:
1. Keeping a journal of sweating episodes
Log episodes of sweaty feet in a notebook and look for patterns. This can help to identify foods, situations, or emotions that trigger foot sweating. It is then possible to take steps to limit or avoid these triggers.
2. Wearing the right socks
Wear cotton socks during warmer months for proper ventilation. Wool is a good option for winter months. Avoid nylon as this synthetic fabric can trap moisture.
Some manufacturers also make socks that draw moisture away from the skin. It is usually possible to buy moisture-wicking socks in sporting goods stores.
Other types of sports sock have ventilation panels or contain chemicals that reduce the number of bacteria on the feet, which minimizes foot moisture and odor.
3. Using antifungal powders
An antifungal foot powder will help to keep feet dry and odor-free.
An alternative option is to apply a light dusting of cornstarch to the feet. Cornstarch, however, does not fight fungus in the way that antifungal powders do.
4. Applying antiperspirant
The feet contain more sweat glands per inch than any other part of the body. There are approximately 125,000 sweat glands on each foot.
An antiperspirant deodorant is an easy-to-use remedy for sweaty feet. These products work by temporarily blocking the sweat glands.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommend applying antiperspirant to dry feet before bed and washing it off in the morning. People should repeat this for another 3 or 4 consecutive nights and then switch to using it once or twice a week.
5. Choosing the right shoes
Look for shoes made from a breathable fabric such as canvas or leather. Avoid patent or plastic shoes as they do not allow a good airflow and may trap sweat inside the shoe.
Check that shoes are the correct size. Shoes that are too tight will crowd the toes and contribute to sweaty feet.
Insoles may also provide some relief from sweaty feet. Look for absorbent or deodorizing insoles to wick away moisture and prevent foot odors.
6. Staying hydrated
Drinking lots of water, especially on hot days or when exercising, helps to regulate body temperature and reduce the likelihood of sweating.