Sweating feet: all you need to know about plantar hyperhidrosis

Sweating feet: all you need to know about plantar hyperhidrosis

Plantar hyperhidrosis is the term for excessive sweating of the feet. Often a taboo subject, sweating on the feet can be a source of discomfort, even a hindrance in the practice of certain activities. If the precise cause remains unexplained, sweating of the feet may be limited.

Sweating feet: what is plantar hyperhidrosis?

While sweating is a natural physiological phenomenon, excessive sweating is often the source of discomfort. In medicine, excessive sweating is called hyperhidrosis. It can affect different areas of the body, including the feet. We speak more specifically of plantar hyperhidrosis when it occurs on the soles of the feet.

Plantar hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating of the feet, is characterized by overactive sweat glands, or sweat glands. Located under the skin, these glands secrete sweat, a biological fluid involved in particular in controlling body temperature.

Excessive foot sweating: what is the cause?

Plantar hyperhidrosis is a phenomenon whose origin is not yet clearly defined. Based on current scientific data, it seems that psychic and thermal stimuli are involved in excessive foot sweating.

Although the exact cause is not clearly established, certain situations and factors are known to promote sweating in the feet:

  • the practice of intense physical activity ;
  • wearing completely airtight shoes that do not allow the feet to breathe;
  • wearing socks or nylon stockings which promote sweating of the feet;
  • poor foot hygiene.

Sweating feet: what are the consequences?

Plantar hyperhidrosis results in excessive secretion of sweat, which results in maceration of the feet. This causes a softening of the stratum corneum which promotes:

  • the development of bacterial infections ;
  • the development of skin yeast infections, such as athlete’s foot;
  • the occurrence of injuries at the level of the feet;
  • the formation of phlyctenes, more commonly called bulbs;
  • the appearance of frostbite, especially among athletes practicing winter sports.

Excessive sweating of the feet is often accompanied by hydrobromide, which corresponds to the appearance of bad smells at the level of the feet. This phenomenon is due to the decomposition of organic matter present in sweat, as well as the development of bacteria and fungi.

Excessive foot sweating: what are the solutions?

Prevent hyperhidrosis of the feet

To avoid sweating on the feet, it is often advisable to:

  • wash your feet regularly, once or several times a day if necessary, then proceed to a complete drying of the feet, especially at the level of the interdigital spaces;
  • regularly change socks or stockings, once or several times a day if necessary;
  • avoiding socks or nylon stockings by favoring other materials such as lycra, spandex, polyester and polypropylene;
  • prefer shoes that do not contain waterproof materials ;
  • use insoles with absorbent properties, which can be removed for regular washing.

Limit sweating and get rid of odors

There are solutions to limit foot sweating and avoid bad odors:

  • powders and astringent solutions;
  • antiperspirants;
  • soaking solutions with an antibacterial;
  • baking soda products;
  • sockliner;
  • drying powders with antifungal properties.

Consult a healthcare professional

If, despite preventive measures, plantar hyperhidrosis persists for more than eight weeks, medical advice is advised.

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