Written by: Sandra Eriksson Mirkovic, licensed MD
Do you struggle with sweaty feet? You’re not alone. Excessive foot sweat or disturbing foot odor is one of the most common problem areas for those struggling with a medical condiition hyperhidrosis, the condition of excessive sweating. There are different forms of hyperhidrosis.
Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by other underlying conditions or reasons for sweating. Primary hyperhidrosis is a condition on its own, without any underlying conditions.Primary hyperhidrosis can be focal and affect one or a few areas of the body such as hands, feet, armpits or it can be multifocal/general, affecting large parts of the body.
The cause of primary focal hyperhidrosis is not fully known. But there are some theories on genetic components, even though not all who suffer from this condition have relatives with similar symptoms and problems. The most likely explanation is that several genes are involved in this condition.
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There are different diagnostic criteria’s for primary focal hyperhidrosis:
Focal increase sweating with > 6 months duration without any underlying causes with at least two of the following symptoms:
- Sweating that limits daily activities
- Severely increased sweating at least once a week
- Bilateral and symmetrical
- Debut before the age of 25
- Heredity (present for about 30-35%)
- Sweating ceases during sleep
Problem with sweaty feet
You can have severe or smelly foot sweat without suffering from hyperhidrosis or bromhidrosis. So what can you do to prevent or ease sweaty feet? Wearing airy shoes and washing your feet often is important to avoid sweat coming into contact with bacteria on the skin. If you suffer from hyperhidrosis though it doesn't matter how much you wash or air, since the sweating is extreme.
Sweat in itself usually doesn't smell. It’s when it comes into contact with bacteria on the skin that different types of smells, usually not so pleasant ones, occur. How it smells depends on what kind of bacterial flora one has on the skin, and what type of decomposition products are released. There is also a diagnosis in itself with severe foul-smelling sweat, often from the armpits. This is called bromhidrosis.
Many who suffer from extreme foot sweat also suffer from recurrent fungal infections, since fungus thrives in the constantly humid environment. This can lead to damages on the skin barrier and it can quickly become a vicious cycle of eczema and wounds. This is why it’s very important to take action against excessive sweating immediately.
How does one get rid of excessive foot sweat?
Many with hyperhidrosis on their feet ruin shoes within a few weeks or months, leave wet stains on the floor when walking, and may feel a general discomfort and social limitations due to the condition. So how can one treat foot sweat or plantar hyperhidrosis, as it is also called? Many have tried several types of foot deodorants, sprays, or creams.
Sadly, products with aluminum chloride might work, but more often they don't. However, there are other types of medical treatments that can actually alleviate the symptoms really well. Further down we will list a few options. Always consult with a doctor to know what is best suited for you. dig.
Treatment for sweaty feet
You can use an iontophoresis machine, injection treatments, or different types of creams against excessive sweating. But as always, please consult your doctor for medical advice. You are not alone in suffering from excessive foot sweat and it should not be a limitation in your everyday life and in your social life.
Read more onhyperhidrosis and read other people’s stories. We recommend that you check out support groups on Facebook, and that you follow our MD Dr Sandra Eriksson Mirkovic on Instagram: dr_sandra_hyperhidrosis
Our Hidroxa SE 20 iontophoresis machine is easy to use and clinically tested for treating excessive sweating of palms, feet, face, and armpits.
Iontophoresis is a scientifically proven method that works for approximately 95% of our customers. You can reach its full effect with 12 treatments.