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.
As the cold weather approaches, I thought it a good idea to give you some tips on keeping your feet healthy.
It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as
athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.Make sure your shoes and
socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly
sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard
over-the-counter preparations. If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required. Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.
Staying on your feet and keeping them warm go a long way toward enjoying outdoor winter activities. Over-layering your feet will cause them to sweat, which can lead to cold toes. For cardiovascular-based sports, a single pair of warm, wicking socks will normally do. In very cold conditions or for gravity-based sports, use a double layer of socks.
Avoiding frost bite and hypothermia is the most important consideration when preparing for cold weather activities. Make sure all of your skin is covered and carry an extra layer in case the conditions change during your workout.
Keep in mind also, that your legs and trunk tend to stay warmer than your hands and head. A pair of gloves, mittens, or socks over your hands can make a big difference in your comfort level, as can a headband, stocking hat or hooded sweatshirt. Usually, a single pair of athletic socks is sufficient, as your feet benefit from frictional heat during walking and running. The choice between tights and sweatpants is largely a matter of personal preference. As temperatures decrease, I recommend the following progression of upper body attire.
The Dr Comfort range of socks are designed and manufactured with your foot health in mind. They’re perfect for people living with diabetes, arthritis, edema, neuropathy and circulation issues. They’re available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. And the dye in our colored socks doesn’t bleed out of the fabric, reducing your risk of foot infection.
Why Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers?
Nano Bamboo Charcoal Fibers release Far Infrared Rays that may promote blood circulation and anion production, which has health benefits. Nano Bamboo Charcoal is also a natural deodorizer. It’s a sustainable, chemical-free way to take care of your feet.
Why not come in and try on a pair for yourself?
Keep warm and stay healthy.
It is important to keep your feet clean and as dry as you can. However, the sole of the foot contains thousands of sweat glands so feet which have been kept hidden away in winter shoes and boots during cold and rainy days are prone to problems because warm, dark moist places encourage such as athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections and verrucas. On top of this, bacteria that cause smelly feet flourish on warm, moist skin.
Make sure your shoes and socks are made from natural fibres and try and let your feet ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
The simplest way to deal with sweaty feet is to use a foot powder or antiperspirant. However, this may be insufficient in some people who have truly sweaty feet and have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
The most important thing is to vary the type of shoe and heel that you wear in order to reduce the repetitive strain on any one particular area of the foot. A low-heeled shoe will help with Achilles tendon problems and also plantar fasciitis.
Heel pain (called plantar fasciitis) can be caused by summery shoes such as flip-flops or ballet pumps. If you suffer from any of these see your Podiatrist.
If you have bunions (an enlargement of tissue around the big toe) or hammer toes (when your second, third or fourth toes are permanently bent) winter shoes can be very unforgiving. If you are having regular problems seek advice from a Podiatrist who will be able to give you different treatment options, and recommend a surgeon if needed.
Thick cracked skin on the heels is very common and the best way to deal with this is to start off with a visit to your Podiatrist who will remove the hard skin, and then advise on a home maintenance regime, which will involve the use of a foot cream (Gehwol foot care products).
Home maintenance will also include regular use of pumice to keep the skin smooth. Make sure the foot is nice and dry and gradually file the skin. If you are diabetic the skin loses its ability to sweat which is very important in naturally moisturising your feet and preventing cracking. If you have also lost skin sensation, these cracks may not be noticed or healed and this can lead on to significant problems. In this situation it is essential that you see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) regularly for your foot care rather than taking it on yourself. This is also true if you have circulatory problems in your feet.
Make sure you cut your toenails properly as painful conditions can occur without care.
Keep your nails trimmed. Undercutting the end of the nail in this way increases the risk of the nail edge growing forward into the nail – a so-called ‘in-growing toe nail’. Cutting them too short also encourages this to occur.
Thickened, yellow, brittle nails are a sign of a fungal nail infection. Treating this infection can be very difficult and it is best to make sure that you get nail clippings sent off to the lab before starting any anti-fungals.
Identification of the exact cause and targeted anti-fungal treatment increases the chance of success but beware as this can take several months. Sweaty feet make this more difficult.
It’s a good idea to have a regular foot care routine to keep you feet healthy.
If you are diabetic, make sure you inspect them regularly, especially if you have lost the feeling in them.
Firstly wash your feet in warm water, preferably with an anti-bacterial soap. Make sure you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes as the skin here is prone to a fungal infection called athlete’s foot. When dried, moisturise your feet.
Hard skin can be rubbed with a pumice stone when you are washing your feet. Severe hard skin on the sole is usually down to excessive pressure and you really ought to see a Podiatrist (chiropodist) to have this removed or protected with insoles.”
A verruca on the other hand has a dark centre and is more discrete. It is caused by the human papilloma virus.
Scaly, itchy feet can be due to athlete’s foot and it is actually quite common for this to be resistant to treatment with the standard over-the-counter preparations.
If this is the case you should see you GP as oral medications may be required.
Make sure that you treat your socks and shoes with powder as well as these can harbour the fungus and cause re-infection.
Please seek professional advice if you are diabetic, have circulatory problems, or want more information.