What is Hyperhidrosis?

Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature. Sweating on your feet can be normal in very hot weather, after physical activity, or if you wear shoes that are too tight or made of synthetic fibers. When none of these factors are present and your feet are continuously, excessively sweaty, you may have hyperhidrosis of the feet, also known as plantar hyperhidrosis.

People suffering from hyperhidrosis do not have more sweat glands than others. This condition is believed to be caused by a dysfunction in the part of the sympathetic nervous system responsible for controlling sweating.;

There are two kinds of hyperhidrosis: primary and secondary.

Primary hyperhidrosis is typically genetic, beginning in childhood and worsening during puberty.

Secondary hyperhidrosis is believed to be caused by other conditions such as:

  • Neurologic syndromes
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Menopause
  • Gout
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Certain prescription medications

Symptoms of Hyperhidrosis?

Along with excessive sweating on your feet, you may experience:

  • Wet socks and damp shoes
  • Foot odor
  • Slipping around in your shoes
  • Whitish or wet looking feet
  • Bacterial or fungal infections and friction blisters
  • Disruption in your daily life due to your sweaty feet

How is Plantar Hyperhidrosis Diagnosed and Treated?

Your podiatrist will usually be able to diagnose your condition after consulting with you about how often and excessively your feet sweat. If needed, they may do a starch-iodine test. First, iodine is applied to the soles of the feet and then cornstarch is sprinkled on them after they dry. If excessive sweat is present, the soles will turn dark blue.

Your podiatrist’s job will be to help manage the moisture build-up on your feet. This will make you feel more comfortable and less self-conscious while helping to avoid infections setting in from moisture breaking down the skin on your feet.

Treatments may include prescription roll-on antiperspirants for your feet, oral medications, and botox injections. In some cases, anticholinergic agents will be used to help interrupt signals your nervous system sends to sweat glands to activate them—which can also be accomplished with surgery in severe cases.

You don’t need to live with excessively sweaty feet. Contact your podiatrist for professional treatment and tips on lifestyle changes to help control hyperhidrosis.

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