What if you feet sweat and burn profusely? You wash them every day and change socks/shoes several times a day. You have tried every athlete’s foot remedy at doctor’s advice, and nothing works. What could this be?
This is a common problem seen during the winter months, especially in teenage boys. The hormones are working overtime, they are in thick socks and lace-up shoes for school and their feet are getting wet from the rain . Not to mention when they are playing rugby or soccer- the socks and boots get soaked.
Plantar hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessively sweaty feet. It is a common problem and rarely linked to any underlying disease.
It can be a significant problem, interfering with a person’s quality of life. Sweaty feet can become a breeding ground for bacteria and lead to significant foot odour as well as fungal skin infections that lead to a burning sensation of the feet.
The skin of the human foot can make more sweat per square inch than the skin of any other part of the body. This is because the skin of the foot has more
sweat glands per square inch than the skin of any other body part.
Moisture accumulation is most commonly associated with heating of the foot and poor ventilation of the shoe. In addition, it is normal for dead skin cells
to exfoliate or slough from the skin constantly.
The skin of the feet is no different from the skin of the rest of the body except that dead skin cells from the feet accumulate with sweat in a closed area. In this environment, fungi and bacteria that are usually present are able to grow and thrive. This overgrowth can lead to foul odours and burning.
Most foot fungi reside on the soles of the foot and between the toes. This is where one would expect most of the burning to be localized. Burning and itching of the feet is most likely due to skin infection with fungi.
This is more severe than the fungi simply being on the skin surface and is commonly referred to as athlete’s foot or Tinea Pedis. The skin can look relatively normal to the untrained eye.
Consider seeing a podiatrist to verify the diagnosis. For many there will be benefit from weeks of treatment with topical anti-fungal medication. Some will need prescription oral anti-fungal agents.
Stinky feet are caused by overgrowth of bacteria. Interestingly, a skilled diagnostician can identify the type of bacteria from the smell. Cheesy smells are linked to specific types of bacteria, vinegarlike smells to others and rotten garbage smells to yet other bacteria.
Some people report that a change in diet, while not affecting sweating, can reduce foot odour. They recommend a diet lower in processed carbohydrates and
higher in complex carbohydrates and higher in proteins.
Common measures should be taken to treat excessive sweating of the feet:
• Wash the feet daily with warm water and an antibacterial soap. Dry the feet thoroughly with a dry and soft cotton towel, especially between the toes.
• Use a shoe spray designed to reduce the smell and accumulation of bacteria and fungi. In severe cases, a trial of an underarm antiperspirant sprayed or
applied to the feet is reasonable.
• Use foot powder to dry the feet. • Wear thick socks, so they can absorb and wick away the moisture and help ventilate the feet.
• Use 100% cotton or 100% wool socks. Avoid, synthetic socks and stockings (polyester or nylon) as they can worsen the problem.
• Change socks several times a day.
• Wear shoes with adequate ventilation. Avoid plastic or nylon shoes. When not wearing shoes, let them air out in an area where dry air is circulating.
Serious problems that can cause excessive sweating and burning of the feet include diabetes with diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. A
physician can easily exclude these diagnoses.
Please consult a Podiatrist or other medical professional before undertaking any self diagnosis or treatment.
An infection of nail fungus occurs when fungi infect one or more of your nails. A nail fungal infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the nail fungus spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges — an unsightly and potentially painful problem.
These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. Nail fungus isn’t the same as athlete’s foot, which primarily affects the skin of the feet, but at times the two may coexist and can be caused by the same type of fungus.
An infection with nail fungus may be difficult to treat, and infections may recur. But medications are available to help clear up nail fungus.