How often have you left the house feeling fresh and presentable in the morning, only to arrive at work feeling smelly after your commute? We’ve all had moments like this – especially during the hotter months. But for a number of people who have hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), this is an unfortunate everyday occurrence.
What are sweaty feet and what is hyperhidrosis?
Many people suffer with sweaty feet and unpleasant foot odour every now and again. But people who suffer with hyperhidrosis excessively sweat and can find it embarrassing. Excessive sweating can happen for no obvious reason – for example when you are not exercising – or may be a side effect of another condition or medication.
What are the symptoms of hyperhidrosis?
Normal sweating tends to happen during exercise or when the body needs to cool down. Those with hyperhidrosis can sweat a lot at any point, even when the body does not need to cool down. If you have hyperhidrosis, you may find you need to change your socks (and other clothing) frequently, wash often and use antiperspirant more than normal. Hyperhidrosis can have a significant impact on sufferers’ everyday lives as it can be very unpredictable and embarrassing – impacting confidence.
What are the symptom triggers?
Sweaty feet and foot odour can be triggered by hot weather, exercise, stress, standing for prolonged periods, and hormone changes (commonly experienced by teenagers and pregnant women for example).
What causes sweaty feet and hyperhidrosis?
Unpleasant odours from sweaty feet develop when sweat produced by feet is broken down by skin bacteria. The exact cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown but it could be caused as a side effect of some medication
or an underlying health issue that has gone undetected. If you find you sweat a lot, it has lasted over 6 months and it’s affecting your everyday life, consult a local healthcare professional.
Top tips for avoiding and managing sweaty feet
There is no magic cure for excessive sweating, however there are some things you can do to try and reduce foot sweating and odour:
- Change your socks at least twice a day.
- Apply an absorbent foot powder twice daily.
- Alternate your shoes each day to allow them to dry fully.
- Avoid wearing trainers or boots as these are often less breathable than normal shoes.
- Try not to consume alcohol or spicy foods that could make your sweating worse.