Is There Any Cure for Damp Feet and How to Avoid Infections Caused by It?
Auto Beauty Business Culture Dieting DIY Events Fashion Finance Food Freelancing Gardening Health Hobbies Home Internet Jobs Law Local Media Men's Health Mobile Nutrition Parenting Pets Pregnancy Products Psychology Real Estate Relationships Science Seniors Sports Technology Travel Wellness Women's Health

Is There Any Cure for Damp Feet and How to Avoid Infections Caused by It?

More or less everyone has complaint of sweaty/damp feet and palms while some people sweat a lot. Our feet possess over 250000 sweat glands which produce up to a half-cup of sweat daily. Sweating is natureÂ’s way of maintaining a balanced body temperature. Therefore excessive sweating obviously indicates that this balance is off-kilter and the body is losing more sweat than necessary. Continuing research has revealed that hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is the product of an overactive sympathetic nervous system. In simple terms hyperhidrosis is a medical disorder characterized by excessive sweating. This kind of excessive sweating typically occurs either on your palms in your underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) on your face (facial hyperhidrosis) or in your feet (plantar hyperhidrosis).

More or less everyone has complaint of sweaty/damp feet and palms while some people sweat a lot. Our feet possess over 250000 sweat glands which produce up to a half-cup of sweat daily. Sweating is nature’s way of maintaining a balanced body temperature. Therefore excessive sweating obviously indicates that this balance is off-kilter and the body is losing more sweat than necessary. Continuing research has revealed that hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is the product of an overactive sympathetic nervous system.

In simple terms hyperhidrosis is a medical disorder characterized by excessive sweating. This kind of excessive sweating typically occurs either on your palms in your underarms (axillary hyperhidrosis) on your face (facial hyperhidrosis) or in your feet (plantar hyperhidrosis).

Medically termed plantar hyperhidrosis excessive sweating of the feet besides causing such socially embarrassing problems as smelly toes and shoes can also lead to fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot.

This condition is not normal as your hands feet or underarms are damp sticky or even drenched with sweat from morning to night through to the next morning. In other words you are sweating excessively at all times in different external conditions.

About one person in 100 suffers from excessive sweating, including sweaty hands and sweaty feet. This condition is called Hyperhidrosis or damp feet.  Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can either be generalized or localized to specific parts of the body. Hands, feet, armpits, and the groin area are among the most active regions of perspiration due to the relatively high concentration of sweat glands; however, any part of the body may be affected.

The worst part about having stinky feet is that it's embarrassing. Sweaty feet can also have a harmful effect on other aspects of your foot health too. The excess sweat can act as a chemical vehicle and solvent extracting chemicals from the linings of your shoes. These dissolved, shoe chemicals can cause skin rashes (contact or allergic dermatitis). The sweat can also lead the more rapid deterioration of your shoes.

Most importantly, the sweat also significantly changes the environment inside your shoes to not only dark and warm, but also damp -- the perfect environment for certain yeast, mold, fungal and viral infections of the skin.

Sweaty feet are thus more like to develop skin rashes, yeast infections, athletes foot, fungus toenails and warts (common or plantar). If you have any of these conditions, then controlling your hyperhidrosis is very important for treating these concurrent problems.Because we normally wear shoes, the sweat from the foot cannot evaporate normally. This sweat rapidly becomes smelly, because bacteria work on it to produce smelly fatty acids. Warm moisture also encourages the growth of the fungi that cause ‘athlete’s foot’, and this can add to the cheesy smell, as well as being unpleasant in itself. you might not be able to stop stink completely. But if you cut down on sweat, you'll cut down on the odor.

One of the main causes of sweaty, smelly feet is wearing the wrong socks or footwear. Shoes with plastic or other synthetic fabric linings don't allow any sweat to evaporate and don't absorb it either, so the foot stays wet. Synthetic socks have the same effect, particularly if they're tight.Chronic perspiration can contribute to a number of chronic foot conditions including fungal nails, fungal infections of the skin and believe it or not, warts. The problem lies in the fact that each day we slip on a shoe and create an environment for the foot that damp and warm. It’s just like a green house; hot damp and warm. And those fungal filaments are down there just laughing and having a great time. For most people, foot odor can be controlled. The simple solution is to keep the feet dry and open to the air.

Treatment or cure:

More and more patients these days are resorting to alternative methods like herbal remedies acupuncture biofeedback hypnosis and relaxation techniques as potential treatments for hyperhidrosis after consulting their physicians. Though the efficacy of these treatments is yet to be 100% proved nobody denies that they hold potential. 

In addition there are certain everyday solutions that can control if not actually reduce in the long term the sweating on your feet. First and foremost bathe daily to regulate the amount of bacteria on your skin because these are what cause you to smell not the actual sweat. After your bath dry yourself thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in potential damp areas like the skin between your toes. For sweaty feet you will also perhaps need powders or certain branded absorbent insoles available on the market.

Apply antiperspirants at least twice a day and follow the doctor’s advice regarding their application.      

Some prevention tips are:

  • Dry your feet properly after swimming, showering, or bathing.
  • Do not wear tight shoes when your feet are sweaty.
  • Do not wear the same pair of shoes or socks day after day.

To help avoid it:

  • Wash your feet every day.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Sometimes go barefoot at home — especially at night.
  • Avoid wearing tight or synthetic footwear that doesn't allow your feet to "breathe."
  • Wear sandals around pool areas, public showers, and gyms to steer clear of the fungus.
  • Wear socks that soak up wetness. Cotton is one material that does this.
  • Change your socks every day (or more frequently) if they get damp.
  • Ask your parent to buy antifungal powder to put in your sneakers or shoes.
  • Spray your shoes with a disinfectant and set them in out in the sun to help kill germs.
  • Don't share towels or footwear.
  • Keep home bathroom surfaces clean — especially showers and tubs. 

There are some ways through which you can stop your feet from getting that wet feeling and making that awful smell.

Remedies to cure damp feet:

Bathe your feet in vinegar. For this you need to mix 1/2 a cup of vinegar and one quart of luke warm water in a tub. Then soak your feet for about 25 minutes. Dry your feet well with a towel and make sure that you do not forget the area between your toes. Do not rinse your feet. Let the vinegar saturate the pores on your feet. Vinegar helps in reducing the bacteria formation which reduces the chances of getting odor. You can also use cider vinegar for this purpose. Vinegar also helps in reducing the chances of fungal and bacterial formation and help in keeping the toes healthy and fresh for long time.

Salt water therapy: Salt water therapy is an easy cure of sweaty feet and gives great results. You can yourself experience the value and power of this therapy once you try it out. Epsom salt is a better option to use for this therapy as it not only cures the sweating problem of feet but also leave them soft and smooth. Exfoliate your feet with a loofah before applying this therapy. This would help in getting better results. Use warm water to get better results. This would not only relax your feet but cleanse them thoroughly.

You can use talc powder too, since they are made for feet sweating but it's been known to induce fungi growth so foot sprays and deodorants is definitely encouraged.

Herbal extracts are well known to be very effective to prevent sweating like oak bark, witch hazel, and eucalyptus leaves. These are common herbal treatments to prevent sweaty feet and they are readily available in the market. You can boil the herbs to get ample extracts so you could soak your whole feet into a jar. Make sure it's warm so the skin could absorb the herbal extracts very well.

Useful links:                             

* Sweaty Feet? How to Cope

* Read about Hyperhidrosis at Medline Plus

* What Is Hyperhidrosis? at WebMD

* Treatment of Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating of hands, foot & underarm sweating.

* Athlete's Foot - Fungal Infection of Foot Skin

Looking for skin care? Save when shopping online by using the latet skin care coupons and pay less at popular retailers and brands. Find deals for popular skin care stores using community-sourced coupons and deals.
Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Dermatology & Skin Health on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Dermatology & Skin Health?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (1)

great article and certainly a problem area for many people

ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
RELATED CATEGORIES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS