Most of us have suffered from foot perspiration and odour from time to time. Yet for some people, sweaty feet are a persistent problem which can be embarrassing and uncomfortable.
Sweat glands in the feet
Known as hyperhidrosis, it has a lot to do with how the sweat glands in this part of the body work.
There are more sweat glands per inch in our feet than anywhere else in the body, around 250,000, and their function is to keep the skin moist and therefore supple. Feet do tend to sweat more than other parts of the body and they secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise as elsewhere in the body. However, with a daily hygiene routine, few people should suffer from the embarrassment that it may cause.
Sweaty feet can be caused by stress on the foot. This may be due to a structural problem, or because the foot is under strain or tired, for example, when you’ve been standing on your feet all day.
Hot weather can make matters worse, although hyperhidrosis is a winter, as well as a summer, problem. It can also be an inherited condition. In adolescents, sweaty feet are probably caused by over-active sweat glands triggered by changing hormonal levels in the body. As the sweat glands on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hand respond mostly to emotion, mental or emotional stress is another common cause.
Careful consideration of footwear and socks is essential. Well-fitting shoes made of leather, that allow feet to ‘breathe,’ are advisable.
As a lot of sweat is absorbed by insoles and uppers of shoes, different pairs should be worn each day, and allowed to dry before being worn again. Removable insoles are beneficial.
Socks that absorb moisture well will also help. Changing socks a couple of times a day can also help.
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