How do I stop sweaty, smelly feet?

Excessive amounts of sweat (hyperhidrosis) are secreted by glands in your feet, and when this happens it effects the skins mechanical strength.

This means for example that your skin between the toes will become waterlogged and white and the skin will tear. The soles of the feet and heels can become waterlogged as well and appear pitted, white,rubbery and painful.

When the skin breaks this can then increase the risk of bacterial infection, which in turn causes the characteristic smelly feet odour. A sweat rash can then develop which consits of tiny blisters which can then block the sweat gland ducts. This results in damage to the tissues and inflammation.

Why do I produce excess sweat in my feet?

Excess sweating may be caused by several factors :

  • Wearing non absorbent footwear i.e non-leather shoes
  • Wearing nylon socks
  • Abnormal foot shape can lead to foot strain which can cause excessive sweating
  • It may indicate a medical disorder e.g. an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism)

How do I stop my feet from sweating and smelling?

  • Try sweat absorbing insoles
  • Changing and airing footwear frequently
  • Wear cotton socks and change twice daily
  • Apply astringents e.g. surgical spirit or potassium permanganate footbaths (only use 2-3 crystals)
  • Antiperspirants e.g. aluminium chloride
  • Deodorants
  • Treatment of any foot disorder e.g. flat feet
  • Treat any bacterial or fungal infections
  • In severe case botox injections can help (injections of botulinum toxin)
  • See your podiatrist for a consultation, who can¬†provide stronger treatments
  • Iontophoresis is a simple device used to treat excessive sweating of the hands and feet which patients can buy to use at home. Iontophoresis uses water to conduct a mild electric current through the skins surface. It is thought the electric current and mineral particles in the water work together to block the flow of sweat to the skins surface. www.iontophoresis.info