Dealing with excessively sweaty feet is aggravating. The chronic moisture means feet spend too much time in damp socks, and the chronic moisture can ruin shoes. Sweaty feet are prone to smelling unpleasant and to developing fungal infections. Fortunately, a foot doctor, known as a podiatrist, can help you get control of this problem.
Excessive sweating for no functional reason is known as hyperhidrosis. Some people experience this condition all over the body, while in others, the heavy perspiration is confined to areas such as the feet or underarms. When the disorder affects the feet, this is called plantar hyperhidrosis. The condition is thought to be caused by overactive sweat glands.
Although you may feel like you're the only person coping with excessive perspiration, you're definitely not alone. Nearly 3 percent of U.S. residents have hyperhidrosis. That's almost 8 million individuals.
Strategies for Managing Plantar Hyperhidrosis
A podiatrist may prescribe a clinical-strength antiperspirant that you can apply to your feet. The sweat glands draw in this substance, which temporarily seals them. There's a longer-term benefit as well. The body appears to learn that these glands are closed, and tones down perspiration production there.
This procedure requires using specialized equipment at home to temporarily stop sweat gland function in the feet. You place your feet in a container of water for about half an hour while a machine sends a mild electric current into the water. The water conducts this current through the skin. You'll need to do this a few times a week until you notice results, and then you can taper off the frequency of treatments.
It takes patience to stick with this treatment, but you might use the equipment while watching certain TV shows so it becomes a matter of routine.
The podiatrist may inject Botox into your feet. People are generally familiar with Botox for its facial rejuvenation effects; it accomplishes that by relaxing muscles. Botox also has the ability to block a chemical that stimulates sweat glands. The especially welcome aspect of this treatment is it lasts for several months, making it very convenient.
What You Can Do Now
Set an appointment with a local podiatrist, such as Jeffrey M Marks DPM, to learn more about treatment options. You may want to start with the more conservative therapies, although Botox injections may be the best option if you don't want the hassle of using antiperspirant or a medical device on a regular basis.