Dear Foot Blogger Chick,
All my life I have heard the taunt, “Cold hands, warm heart, stinky feet, no sweetheart”. I now feel that I am living it! My feet stink! It is so bad that I don’t want to take off my shoes anywhere but a well-ventilated private area! WOW they stink! The dog even avoids me. What can I do?
Damp and alone
I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. Let’s take a look at what this could be and the causes and solutions.
Let’s just be clear from the beginning, everyone’s feet sweat. In fact, feet will normally sweat about a 1/2 cup a day! That is a lot of sweating just for normal feet. There are some people whose feet will sweat much more than that and will do it all the time.
Normal people will sweat when exercising or in hot conditions, or when nervous. There are people who will sweat in any condition. Some people report that their feet will sweat when they are swimming. That is a sweating problem, right?
Excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis. There are three ways to look at this problem and part of it depends upon the length of time you have had the problem.
Hyperhidrosis – Started in the teen years –
This kind of hyperhidrosis is called primary hyperhidrosis. This is a disease with a genetic link. Patients with primary hyperhidrosis noticed that their feet started to sweat more around the time puberty started. Hyperhidrosis can affect the feet, the hands and/or the armpits. While the disease does not affect the lifespan of the patient, it can affect them socially.
The most important thing is to tell the doctor about it. There are some several things that can be done to help the patient. These include topical solutions, oral medications, iontophoresis (a gentle electrical charge through water to turn off the sweat gland) and botox injections.
Hyperhidrosis – Starting later in life
There can be two causes of hyperhidrosis that starts later in life.
Secondary hyperhidrosisis generally excessive sweating over a larger area of the body and can be caused by a medical condition or by medication. Some examples that can lead to excess sweating are pregnancy, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, menopause, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, or gout. So when you have secondary hyperhidrosis, more than your feet are sweating. You should still consult your physician regarding the sweating. Depending upon your health, they may be able to ease the sweating.
The second cause of hyperhidrosis in late teens or adulthood is, believe it or not, shoes that don’t breath or socks that hold moisture. As I said at the beginning, your feet will sweat 1/2 cup of moisture every day. If you are exercising on top of that, you can expect even more sweat. If you have on cotton socks and your shoes do not breathe, all that moisture is sitting in your shoes. You have started your own colony of bacteria! And it will SMELL.
There are 5 steps to help with sweaty feet.
1. Wear leather or mesh shoes – especially to exercise. You need to wear shoes will breathe and allow the sweat to dry.
2. Wash your feet twice a day and dry them. After you dry them, you can use some medicated foot powder.
3. Wear socks that wick away the moisture. With cotton socks, the moisture is absorbed by the sock and stays by your foot.
4. Let your shoes dry in-between wearing. It will take more than overnight for your shoe to dry after having over 1/2 cup of sweat go into it. Plan on wearing a pair of shoes only every other day.
5. Detachable insoles that you switch out daily will also help. Get them out of your shoes and let them air dry.
Hopefully this has helped. Please go see your friendly local podiatrist and have your foot sweating issue checked. I hate to think of you hiding away with your smelly feet and shoes. The dog wants to be with you too.
The Foot Blogger Chick
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