The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Oh, My Sweaty Feet

Posted by on Monday, February 20th, 2012

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Each foot has about 250,000 sweat glands. That means your feet are likely to sweat at any given opportunity. Now they’re not doing this to embarrass you or make you uncomfortable, no, your feet sweat because that’s how your body cools itself down. That’s what your body does. It’s a fact of life.

Nevertheless, it’s an unpleasant fact, and sweaty feet can be embarrassing and will make you uncomfortable. Even worse, wet, sweaty feet, shoes, and socks can help athlete’s foot and other toe nail fungal infections thrive. So here are some tips to keep your feet dry and healthy.

  • Keep your feet dry. Yes, we’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again. Start by making sure your feet are completely dry off before you put your shoes and socks on; double check that the area between your toes is thoroughly dry, as that’s where fungal infections tend to hide out. Then put powder on your feet to help absorb the inevitable sweat. You can use regular talcum powder, but there are also powders made especially for feet. Go for them if you can.
  • Keep your shoes and socks dry. Whether you spend most of your day in a cool, dry office or outdoors pounding the pavement and crawling through the woods, you’re likely to run into that sneaky puddle or surprise rainstorm. If you get your shoes wet, make sure they’re dry before you put them back on again. Your feet are going to sweat, so no need to compound the problem. Wear good quality socks that will wick moisture away from your feet. Look for synthetic socks made specifically for this purpose and avoid cotton or cheap nylon socks. If your feet sweat enough that it’s hard for you to keep your shoes dry, get inserts that you can rotate in and out. These will at least give you a dry base to start from every day, and that will help you cut down on foot odor.
  • Wear breathable shoes. Your feet sweat when they get hot. They get hot when they can’t breathe. Let your feet breathe! Shoes that are made of natural materials are more likely to be breathable, though high quality synthetic ones are fine too (look for shoes targeted towards vegan consumers). These shoes might be more expensive, but they’re worth it.
  • Take it off. Take your shoes off when you can so your feet can cool off and air dry. Slip them off under your desk or whenever you’re free from the gaze of people who want you to wear shoes (some employers–okay, most employers outside of yoga studio owners–are sticklers about this). Be considerate, though–if you share a cubicle or office with someone, don’t kick off your shoes and put your bare feet up on your desk in your neighbor’s face.
  • Antiperspirant. Hey, it works under your arms, so it will work on your feet, too! You can use regular antiperspirant, but there are actually antiperspirants made specifically for your feet; they’re stronger and are probably a better bet. If that still doesn’t do the trick, your doctor can set you up with a super strong prescription antiperspirant. This will not only cut down on your daily foot sweat immediately, but may cause it to lessen on its own over long term use.
  • Botox for hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis means “sweats a lot, like pouring buckets sweats a lot.” It can affect your feet, hands, and any other sweatable part of your body. Don’t feel terrible if you have hyperhidrosis–I knew a woman whose level of sexiness can best be described as “men forget their name when she talks to them,” and she had had hyperhidrosis. Note the past tense–that’s because it can be cured. Injections of Botox do the trick. Yes, Botox, the same thing that freezes the faces of aging starlets also freezes sweat glands. A series of Botox injections can cure your chronically sweaty feet, and then, voila! You won’t find yourself googling things like “sweaty feet help” anymore. Warning: don’t get your injections for a foot sweat problem from some doctor at a spa or at your friend’s “Botox party.” Go to your doctor to find out if you’re a candidate for this treatment, and then let your doctor refer you to the right person to do the shots.

If you have questions about what to do about excessively sweaty feet or any other foot problem, contact us at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet.

 

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. 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.