Home Care for Sweaty Feet and When to Call a NYC Podiatrist
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, October 5th, 2015
An estimated 3% of the U.S. population is believed to have problems with excessive sweating known as hyperhidrosis.1https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007259.htm While that may not seem like a lot, this figure translates to more than 9.5 million people walking around with soggy socks or saturated armpits day in and day out! Less than 40% of the people suffering with excessive sweating seek medical treatment, says the US National Library of Medicine, but seeing a podiatrist can make all the difference in the world to your quality of life!
How to Tell If You Have Hyperhidrosis
If you can identify with some or all of the following statements, you may have hyperhidrosis:
- I first noticed embarrassingly sweaty feet as an adolescent.
- My feet sweat constantly, all day, no matter what shoes or socks I’m wearing.
- Sometimes my feet look white and a little soggy.
- My feet often slip around inside my shoes.
- I’ve had trouble with foot fungus in the past.
- I usually change my socks several times a day.
- My feet sweat during the night.
- Often my feet are incredibly stinky.
- I experience emotional stress and worry regarding my feet.
A podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine can confirm a diagnosis of hyperhidrosis by conducting several medical tests. A Paper Test uses a special type of absorbent paper to determine how much sweat your feet are releasing at any given time. A Starch-Iodine Test pinpoints the exact location of excess sweat production using an iodine solution and starch. Standard urine and blood tests can rule out other medical conditions like thyroid, blood glucose, or uric acid issues.
Treating Sweaty Feet at Home
At home, first line defenses include good foot hygiene practices. There are a number of over-the-counter products designed to help remedy sweaty feet. You may try foot powders like Odor-Eaters, foot wipes like Sweat Block, roll-on products like Certain-Dri, or foot spray deodorants like Dr. Scholls.
Before applying, be sure to wash your feet with antibacterial soap and dry them thoroughly. Place the feet inside moisture-wicking socks made from synthetic blend fibers (rather than 100% cotton). Also consider wearing shoes made from leather or breathable mesh whenever possible, and avoid plastic. In the winter, Gore-Tex boots can help keep the feet dry and comfortable. If you’re on your feet working all day, you may find the S.W.A.T. line of military boots to be an excellent option, as EMTs would attest2http://emtlife.com/threads/best-boots-for-a-guy-with-sweaty-feet.7674/.
Alternate between at least two different pairs of shoes or boots to allow for adequate drying time if you don’t have a boot dryer. Changing socks halfway through the day is generally a good idea, particularly if you’re on your feet all day at work. Custom orthotics or detachable insoles are also nice because they are easily removed from the shoe for cleaning.
What a Doctor Can Do for Excessively Sweaty Feet
If these tricks don’t offer reprieve, NYC podiatrists can help you with more advanced solutions, including3 http://www.apma.org/learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=1951:
- Prescription-strength roll-on antiperspirant for the feet
- Mild electrical current therapy4http://www.uclm.net/profesorado/javendano/Compartidos/Documentos/Art%C3%ADculos/Hiperhidrosis%20con%20Galv%C3%A1nicas.pdf
- Botox injections
- Oral prescriptions like anticholinergics
- Surgical procedures like a sympathectomy, which disrupts nerve signals to initiate sweating5http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/neurological/sympathectomy_135,25/
Since excessive sweat is one of the main contributing factors to both odor and infection, it is recommended that you stop in to see a professional right away. The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine in NYC not only deals with foot trauma and sports injuries, but with all different types of common foot problems as well. Foot odor, excessive sweating, and fungal/bacterial infections are typical complaints our board-certified podiatrists successfully treat. Contact us to book your appointment in Manhattan or Westchester and regain quality of life again!
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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.