Do your feet sweat uncontrollably, or you feel like they sweat more than people in your family, your friends or colleagues? There is a medical term for this and it is known as hyperhidrosis. This condition affects roughly 3% of the population, and it happens mostly in the feet and hands, however can occur anywhere in the body.
The reason that our feet become vulnerable to this is due to the 250,000 sweat glands that are on the feet, and this number increases as feet get bigger in size. When we overheat, our body releases sweat through our feet as part of keeping our temperature at a normal 37°C. While this is completely normal, in people with hyperhidrosis, this process is amplified, resulting in them constantly sweating through their feet.
Causes of hyperhidrosis
The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is currently unknown, however research seems to indicate there is a strong genetic predisposition for this condition. Other factors including stress, intense physical activity and toxin build up within the body also can contribute to sweaty feet. Having enclosed shoes like work boots on and having high pressure areas on the soles of your feet can also contribute to hyperhidrosis. Men tend to be affected more than women, and hyperhidrosis is also more common in younger people.
Symptoms of hyperhidrosis
Due to the constant sweating of your feet, the skin may turn white and break down; this is known as maceration. You may also develop other problems with the skin on your feet, like redness, rashes and itchiness. You’ll need to choose your shoes carefully, as your feet will have a tendency to slip inside the shoes.
Can you treat hyperhidrosis?
In severe cases, a referral for botox therapy may be recommended to interfere with the nerve signals that go to your sweat glands to minimise the sweating response. However in most cases we recommend the first step is maintaining good foot hygiene. Below are some ways that this can be achieved:
If you are concerned you may be suffering from hyperhidrosis, feel free to come and speak to us in the clinic and we can assist you in managing this. Your podiatrist will also address any other concurrent problems that are the result of excessive sweating such as the breakdown of skin or any bacterial or fungal infections.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
The team at Sole-Lution Podiatry