What Causes Sweaty Feet & Foot Odour

What Causes Sweaty Feet & Foot Odour

Excessive sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be an uncomfortable and challenging thing to treat. However, unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body, excessive sweating in the feet can be difficult to treat. As it affects both sexes equally, here is informative guide on the causes, treatments and prevention of sweaty feet. 

What are the symptoms & causes of sweaty feet?

Our bodies produce sweat glands which help keep the skin moist and supple. As there are more sweat glands in the feet than elsewhere in the body, the glands in the feet secrete all the time, not just in response to either exercise or heat. Symptoms of sweaty feet are excessive smell, whitened appearance and a difficulty in gripping your shoes. The odour is caused by bacteria which emerge in humid and warm conditions in the shoe. 
Whilst we know that this is triggered by an involuntary part of the nervous system, the exact cause of excess sweating can be contributed too:
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Hormonal changes can cause feet to sweat more (especially for pregnant women and teenagers)
  • Stress
  • Hyperhidrosis
What Causes Sweaty Feet & Foot Odour

Three Tricks to Avoid Foot Odour

There are more sweat glands in the feet than anywhere else, which is why you are more likely to notice foot perspiration if you’re on your feet all day, as the sweat collecting in your shoes become a perfect habitat for bacteria.
There are a few tips you can work towards preventing foot odour:

Care for Your feet

Try not to put socks or shoes straight on wet feet after showering, and don’t forget that an antiperspirant can block sweat anywhere; regularly spray some of Scholl’s Fresh Step Foot Spray on your feet before putting on socks. It’s always important to establish a foot-care routine, but if you suffer from foot odour, a daily foot-care routine becomes essential. Get in the habit of washing your feet daily, and using an anti-bacterial soap. Home remedies can also have a slight benefit; lavender oil smells wonderful, rubbing a few drops onto your feet before bed can work wonders overnight and your feet will thank you in the morning. If a home remedy doesn’t work, speak to your GP about hyperhidrosis treatment.

Right Footwear

Footwear that is breathable and made of flexible material is a better choice for your feet than plastic shoes, as they don’t allow for much ventilation and will trap sweat inside the shoe.  As well as choosing the right footwear, wearing the right socks can help prevent sweaty feet and foot odour. In severe cases, changing your socks 2 or 3 times a day and replacing them with a clean pair each time can potentially help. Consider wearing socks that help discourage sweat and encourages ventilating panels to help keep feet dry. 

To reduce feet sweat, alternate between 2 pairs of shoes and store them in a dry and well ventilated area to ensure that the inside of your shoe stays dry. Bacteria can thrive in warm dark wardrobes and cupboards, so allow your shoes to air out to reduce unwanted odours and try shoe spray to further aid the process. As foot odour can sometimes be an indicator of other problems such as fungal infection, it’s a good idea to visit your local GP to raise any concerns before taking treatment into your own hands.

Simple Remedies

Changing your lifestyle and daily activities can help reduce sweating and improve your symptoms. From disinfectant sprays, to wearing breathable shoes and socks, many of the prevention methods are all good ways to treat and prevent foot sweat and odours.

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