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10 Common Foot Facts That All People Should Know

Goodbye 2019 and hello 2020!

The start of a new decade has many of us looking forward to new beginnings, new adventures, and new goals. One goal in particular you may want to think about adding to your New Year’s resolutions is keeping your feet healthy and happy this year. Your feet work hard to support your body weight and take you wherever you want or need to go throughout the day, yet they are easily the most neglected part of the human body. Begin the year off right by making some changes, starting with educating yourself and building simple habits to take care of your feet.

Here are 10 simple facts about feet that all people should know.

  • Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. You don’t have to remember the specifics, but the takeaway is to know that many structural elements come together to hold the foot together and allow it to move in various ways.foot
  • The most common ailments of the foot include ankle sprains, corns, calluses, nail problems, and plantar fasciitis.
  • Wearing properly fitted footwear is very important to your foot health. If you are unsure of your size, have your feet measured before purchasing shoes. In addition, always try them on. Make sure to leave 1 inch or about a finger’s width between the longest toe and end of shoe.
  • To expand on the previous point, wear shoes that resemble the general shape of your foot. Avoid shoes with a narrow and pointed toe box, especially if you have bunions. Keep in mind, there are shoe companies that make shoes of differing widths in addition to various lengths.
  • Wearing heels can shorten or tighten your calf muscle. A tight calf can lead to Achilles’ tendonitis or ankle equinus.
  • If your feet are well-aligned, your toes will point straight ahead when you are walking. The first point of contact is your heel, then the outside border of your foot, then the ball of your foot, and finally the big toe.
  • A custom foot orthotic can help to support, stabilize, and balance the foot, ultimately improving foot alignment and gait patterns. It is recommended to replace an orthotic every 2-3 years.
  • Wash your feet daily and dry well in between the toes. Finish with daily applications of a urea-based moisturizer. This simple practice helps to reduce bacterial and fungal load and keep the skin’s integrity at its best. The skin is your first line defense against infections.foot care
  • Trim your toenails straight across and not too short. This helps to reduce risk of breaks in the nail as well as ingrown toenails.
  • There are approximately 250,000 sweat glands in the feet and on average, they excrete around 1 cup of moisture in one day. Wearing socks made of natural fibers like cotton and wool instead of synthetic materials will help to create a more breathable environment.feet

Start taking care of your feet and book an appointment with one of our Licensed Chiropodists, call Feet First Clinic today!

How To Protect Your Feet This Winter

Winter can be the time of year when your feet are hit hardest. Dry skin, wet shoes, frostbite, sweaty feet: all foot issues and conditions that seem synonymous with winter.

As temperatures drop and we head into cold(er) conditions, you’ll want to know how to protect your feet this winter.

Below, we break down some of the most important areas in this winter foot guide.

Keep Your Feet Warm

This tip is no surprise. Frigid temperatures mean a frostbite factor.

Frostbite is an injury caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues. Your toes are particularly susceptible to frostbite, which begins when your skin becomes cold and red, then numb, then hard and pale.

The numbness stage can be of particular concern, because you may not know the severity of the frostbite. The injury starts out as frostnip, followed by superficial frostbite, and then deep frostbite, the most severe of the three stages.

To prevent frostbite from occurring, taking the following precautions:

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks that fit correctly, and have insulation
  • Change out wet socks as soon as possible
  • Watch for signs of frostbite like red skin, or numbness
  • Keep moving: encourage blood flow to the area

For more on frostbite prevention, and to ensure your feet are warm this winter, check out our complete winter foot guide.

Dry Your Shoes To Protect Your Feet This Winter

Do yourself a favour and ensure your shoes are dry before each use.

Not only will it extend the life of your shoes, you’ll be less prone to the foot conditions that come with wet feet. Plus, wearing wet shoes for extended periods of time can permanently alter the sizing of the shoe, making them bigger than intended.

If your shoes do become wet, remove the insoles and leave them in a well-ventilated area. Keeping your shoes in your bag, closet, or in dark, moist areas will mean a longer drying time. There are also heated shoe racks that quicken the drying process; they can be a great investment if you consistently find your shoes don’t have adequate time between use.

Keep Your Feet (Not Skin) Dry

Did you know that sweat glands are more concentrated on your feet than in any other part of the body? On a given day, thanks to the roughly 250,000 sweat glands, your feet can produce up to one cup of sweat. No wonder moisture can linger.

Even in the winter, your feet sweat. To keep your feet dry, invest in moisture-wicking socks. In essence, these type of socks absorb and bring moisture away from your feet. For a complete list of recommendations, check out our list of best socks for your feet that won’t break the bank.

Socks are only part of the equation in the battle against winter elements. Your primary source of defence is your footwear. And not all shoes are designed for winter. Avoid breathable shoes as they won’t be able to protect your feet from the wind. Plus, slush, ice and snow can more easily penetrate your shoe’s outer material and waterlog your socks.

For a full list of brands we carry in-store for your footwear needs, read about the products we offer.

Soften Your Skin

Winter is prime time for dry skin, which occurs when your feet aren’t retaining enough moisture.

According to Harvard Medical School, winter poses a special problem because humidity is low both outdoors and indoors, and the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. Further, dry skin becomes much more common with age.

By moisturizing your skin, you can help prevent calluses, blisters, and cracked heels. Skin moisturizers – mixed with other preventative measures like reducing the temperature of the water you bathe in, reducing showers to once daily, and use a humidifier in the winter – is a good start. You can use petroleum jelly or mainstream brands.

Fend Off Feisty Fungus

With harsh winter elements comes added exposure to moisture.

Certain fungi thrive in dark, moist places, making your feet a prime area. You could be at an increased risk of:

As we’ve previously written, dermatophyte fungi thrive in dark, moist areas and feed on keratin – a primary component of the epidermis (the outer layer of human skin). This means that our feet, which spend most of the day bound up in socks and shoes, present an ideal environment for the proliferation of a fungal infection. Consequently, one in 10 people have athlete’s foot.

In order to help prevent these types of foot conditions and protect your feet this winter, swap out wet socks for dry ones – remember that fungi thrive in moist areas – and wear winter-tough boots – like Sorels – when possible in the winter. Other common preventative measures include trimming your toenails, thoroughly drying your feet, and wearing shoes when in common areas like the gym.

For proper winter footwear and socks, visit our Toronto Foot Clinic on Monday-Friday between 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Get Your Feet Measured This Winter

There are a slew of problems that arise from ill-fitting shoes. For example, black toenails, pinched-nerve pain, bunions, blisters, corns and calluses can all of a result of shoes that are either too big or too small.

Addressing problems with your feet is essential for your entire body. In fact, the health of your feet can directly affect your posture.

In fact, eight out of 10 people have ill-fitting shoes. At Feet First Clinic, we offer every customer a comprehensive footwear assessment free of charge to ensure that you invest in the healthiest footwear for your unique feet.

Our footwear specialists and chiropodists will help match your foot shape, structure, and alignment to specific shoes and footwear features that answer to your corrective, supportive, or accommodative needs.

If you’re in Toronto, come on in and visit us for an in-person assessment.

Here’s a complete guide to picking the correct footwear to better protect your feet this winter.

Visit a Professional

Feet First Clinic has some of the best chiropodists in Toronto — we specialize in foot care treatments and products like custom made orthotics, orthopedic footwear, accessories and much more.

Read about what you can expect from your first visit to Feet First Clinic.

Different Stages of a Bunion

A bunion, medically known as hallux valgus, is characteristic of an angular bony protrusion that forms at the site of the large joint that connects your big toe to your foot.

This joint, called the first metatarsophalangeal joint (or MTP joint for short)is a critical junction of bones, tendons, and ligaments that bear much of our weight when we’re on our feet. With this deformity, the big toe slowly and gradually turns towards the lesser toes as the joint deviates from proper alignment.

This foot deformity occurs in about 10-30% of the population, affecting twice as many females than males. Bunions are caused by wearing poor-fitting shoes, faulty foot mechanics, muscle imbalances, lax ligaments, inflammatory arthritic conditions, and genetics.

Bunions can be asymptomatic, although some people may experience pain, redness, and swelling at the joint, especially with tight footwear and extended periods of standing or walking. Symptoms tend to subside with rest.

Unfortunately, a bunion is a progressive deformity and is irreversible without surgical intervention. This means they will slowly get worse over time. They are categorized in stages to determine the severity of the deformity.

Without treatment, there is a greater risk a bunion will progress from one stage to the next.

Stages of Bunions

4 stages of bunion deformities

Stage 1

Visually, a bunion at this stage is considered mild. There may be a small “bump” at the side of the 1st MTP joint and the big toe will be slightly turned towards the second toe, although not touching it.

Stage 2

Big toe further deviates from the MTP joint. At this stage, the 1st toe may be touching the 2nd toe beside it.

Stage 3

The bony protrusion at the base of the big toe is significant because at this stage, the base of the 1st toe has developed a bone spur. The 1st toe also starts to rotate on its axis away from the mid-line of the body.

Stage 4

The 1st MTP joint has dislocated and the 1st toe will under ride or override the 2nd toe. At this stage, the 2nd toe will also present with a hammer toe deformity.

Although the only way to reverse a bunion is by surgery, it is recommended if symptoms are not manageable by conservative measures and if function is severely compromised.

Conservative bunion management includes custom foot orthotics, splints, bunions guards, toe separators, and foot exercises.

Conservative treatments help to slow down the progression of a bunion as well as manage pain.

Talk to your Chiropodist about the stage of your bunions and which conservative treatment options would be best for you!

Memorable Evenings at DJ Skate Nights

Toronto’s number one outdoor skating party started last December 14th and will last until February 15th at the Harbourfront Centre. They will also be hosting a special New Years Eve edition on Tuesday December 31st. Don’t forget to sharpen your skates and bundle up!

Staying warm and comfortable while skating outdoors can be a challenge so here are some useful tips for beating the brisk cold:

Wear Layers

The most important advice about staying warm is to wear several layers and to be mindful about the materials you choose for each layers.

Base Layer: This is your first layer which stays in contact with your skin – choose materials like polyester, polypropylene or other quick dry/ moisture wicking materials over cotton. Cotton will absorb the moisture but it will not evaporate. Merino wool compression stockings are ideal as a base layer as they help promote continuous circulation, generating heat and fueling your muscles.

merino wool

Middle Layer: This is your warm layer which should be snug but not tight. Fleece or wool sweaters and light down jackets make a great middle layer.

Outer Layer: This layer is all about protection from the wind and elements. A regular winter jacket (down puff or coat) will be more than enough if the weather is mild. However, if it’s raining or snowing, wear a waterproof jacket or a waterproof shell over your winter jacket.

Wear Mittens 

Wearing mittens allows your fingers to stay together and share body heat rather than insulating every finger as with gloves. To stay extra warm you can put hand warmers inside your mittens.

Wear Thick Socks

Thick wool socks will help regulate your body heat and maintain warmth. A sure way to stay warm is to wear thin and breathable socks underneath thick wool socks. Remember that dry feet are warm feet so choose your sock material carefully. Again, materials like polypropylene and quick-dry polyester materials promote breathability and allow your feet to stay dry at all times.

Wear a Head or Scarf

The idea that we lose 40-50% of our body heat through our head is a myth. We lose heat where skin is exposed. Wearing earmuffs or scarves can be more than enough as long as your ears and neck are covered. If you lack a full head of hair, then cover up with a wool hat.

Fit Your Skates Right

Skates should fight snug but not too tight – to allow proper circulation to your toes. There should be some wiggle room in the toes but your heels should be secure. Most people buy bigger skates to allow room for thicker socks or even heating pads but remember that feet can get swollen after a lot of exercise. To reduce swelling, wear compression stockings as a base layer and Superfeet.

Superfeet are over the counter insoles that come in a variety of different colors and functions – the yellow colour is specifically made for hockey skates. They help align your feet properly to reduce strain and wear. Superfeet can guarantee that you will be skating your fastest and best all evening.

hockey

Gehwol Warming Balm

If you are bundled up with your layers, outdoor gear and properly fitted skates and you’re still feeling the chill, try Gehwol Warming Balm. This warming balm has hints of paprika, ginger and camphor to help promote circulation and warmth directly where it is applied. To guarantee staying warm, applied Gehwol Warming Balm on your feet, breathable thin socks, and thick wool socks over top and you will be warm all night.

Gehwol_Warming_Balm__89566.1371506014.1280.1280

Following these quick tips and you can be sure to stay warm and comfortable as you enjoy dancing, music and skating all evening long.

If you have any concerns or issues with your feet, then come visit us at Feet First Clinic to get you feeling your best to enjoy the rest of the winter holidays.

Common Footcare Mistakes That You’re Most Likely Making

If you’re like us, you care about the condition of your feet and do everything in your power to ensure that they stay healthy. However, even if you have the best intentions, you are most likely damaging your feet in one way or another.

There are several common mistakes that people make while taking care of their feet. These mistakes range from incorrect nail trimming to walking barefoot in damp areas.

If you value your feet, you need to take the time to educate yourself — the easiest way to do this is by reading this list of common mistakes, provided by our experts at Feet First Clinic.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with us, we are a team of professional chiropodists that specialize in foot care prevention services for common and rare conditions foot conditions. We offer a long list of services and products, including custom made orthotics.

Continue reading to learn more.

Cutting Your Toenails Incorrectly

Cutting your nails may appear to be a simple, mundane task, however, it is extremely important and needs to be done correctly.

Many people are unaware that they can get ingrown toenails from improper nail trimming — if left untreated, ingrown toenails can become infected and require surgical treatment.

Before cutting your nails, you should soften them in warm water. This will make the nail less brittle, allowing you to make a clean cut. Additionally, you should always cut straight across and leave as much of the cuticle on as possible. This will decrease the risk of infections and ingrown toenails.

If you get a serious ingrown toenail, you need to get in contact with our team as soon as possible. Our experts can have it removed quickly and have you feeling back to normal immediately.

Walking Barefoot in Damp Areas

Many people will walk barefoot in public locker rooms and showers. Although this may not seem like a huge issue to some people, doing this can seriously harm your feet. You need to make sure that you wear some sort of protective footwear while you’re walking in moist areas.

Some examples of reliable footwear include:

  • Sandals
  • Flip-flops
  • Water shoes
  • Shower shoes

Doing this is important for several reasons, one of the primary factors being that it can help prevent issues like toe fungus. This condition causes your nails to become yellow, thick and foul-smelling. Men tend to have a higher chance of developing foot fungus, along with elderly people and individuals that suffer from athlete’s foot.

If you’re currently suffering from nail fungus or a similar condition, you can purchase some of our moisture-controlling socks, shoes or sandals – these garments will keep your feet dry and fungus-free.

Don’t take your feet for granted — our reliable team wants to help you stay on top of your footcare regimen and avoid making the common mistakes listed above.

By using these helpful tips, you can prevent painful issues like ingrown toenails and fungal infections.

Plantar Warts: Why Do I Keep on Getting Them?

A plantar wart is a common viral skin infection that appears as a small, rough growth resembling a cauliflower or solid blister on the sole of the foot. These skin growths are non-cancerous. When these lesions are located on a weight bearing surface, they tend to grow inward and will build up hard tissue overtop of it, resembling a callus or corn. Plantar warts affect both children and adults. Here is a list of commonly asked questions about warts and their answers provided by a Registered Chiropodist.

What causes plantar wart?

Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus which has made its home in the top layer of the skin. They are generally harmless and not easily transmitted with direct contact.

Can I treat my wart at home?

Some warts are asymptomatic and may resolve spontaneously on their own with time. However, more aggressive warts require treatment. Over the counter treatments as well as home remedies usually do not work. If you are experiencing symptoms with your warts such as pain, if the wart is spreading to other areas on your feet, or it is increasing in size, it is best to seek professional help.

What can I do to prevent plantar warts?

Prevention lies with education. Warts thrive in moist, warm environments. This is why it is important to always wear shoes at the gym, public showers, or swimming pools. Protecting your feet and particularly the skin from cuts, scrapes, and tears will reduce the risk of plantar warts. Finally, keep your immune system in check. Eating a well-balanced diet, participating in regular exercise, and attending annual check-ups with your family doctor will help to ensure a proper defense system against harmful viruses.

 How long is the recovery time after a wart treatment?

This depends on the type of treatment. There are a number of different treatment options available for plantar warts, varying from topicals to freezing to excisions. Here is brief list of treatments available and their recovery times.

  • Salicylic acid (prescribed dosage)

Salicylic acid is a common topical treatment for warts. It acts to break down the bonds between skin cells, softening the skin and making it shed quicker. This treatment is relatively painless and does not require down time.

  • Canthacur Plus

Canthacur Plus is a strong topical treatment for warts, causing a blister to develop where applied. Although discomfort will not follow immediately after Canthacur treatment, you may start to feel pain, tenderness, mild swelling, and discomfort several hours after treatment. Symptoms may last for a couple days and up to a week. Most are able to go on with their daily activities, although strenuous physical activity is usually avoided. Multiple rounds of treatment may be required.

  • Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart and thereby killing the virus. This treatment may cause some discomfort at the time of application and pain may last for up to 3 days after. Multiple rounds of treatment may be required.

  • Excision

Excision is a minor surgical procedure under a local anesthetic. It involves removing the wart by cutting it out with a scalpel. Most are able to return to normal activity within 3 days and complete healing can take up to a month.

When to see a chiropodist?

If you have tried over the counter medications with little to no success, if you are experiencing pain, or notice the wart is increasing in size or spreading, make an appointment with a Chiropodist, who will assess the wart and determine the right treatment path for you.

Frequently Asked Questions: Corns

A corn is a small area of hardened skin that develops on areas of the feet that sustain too much compression or pressure. Corns can develop on weightbearing areas of the feet or areas that don’t bear weight such as on or in between the toes. They form to protect the underlying skin and can be very painful.

Do corns have roots?

Corns have what is called, a nucleus, which refers to a deep centre or core. These are sometimes called roots.

What does a corn look like?

Foot with corns
A corn looks like a small bump of thick, hardened skin, and is usually yellow in colour. The skin surrounding the corn may or may not be inflamed.

Can I treat a corn at home?

Corns are difficult to treat at home because they tend to be relatively small and have a deep core that needs to be removed for effective relief. A chiropodist or foot specialist will use a sharp scalpel blade to remove all hardened skin including the core as part of corn treatment.

Between appointments, you can maintain the corn and slow down its return by using a foot file to exfoliate the skin as well as a good moisturizer.

When should I see a foot specialist for corn treatment?

If your corn is painful and it affects your daily activities, or looks inflamed or discoloured (i.e. purple, brown, red), see a foot specialist for treatment. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right so do not ignore it. When corns are left for long periods of time, the healthy skin underneath can break down and result in an ulcer or wound in the foot. If you have diabetes, see a chiropodist for corn treatment as soon as possible.

Can I do other activities (drive, dance, walk, exercises, etc.) after a corn treatment?

Yes. Corn removals are usually painless and there is no down time. Most people experience immediate relief after treatment and can go back to their normal routines feeling much better than they did before the appointment.

How long do results last after getting treatment?

This will vary depending on your footwear choices, level of activity, and presence of and severity of digital deformities. Most corns will require continuous periodic care and management. On average, an individual should experience relief for at least 2 months after treatment.

How to Reduce Physical Pain This Holiday Season

Even though the holiday season is filled with cheer, there is no denying that these celebrations can put a strain on your body. All of the standing, driving and running around can cause you to feel aches and pains, especially in your feet and lower back. Continue reading to learn more about how you can stay a step ahead of your aches and pains during this busy time of year.

Visit Feet First Clinic

At Feet First Clinic, we can provide you with incomparable care. We offer comprehensive foot care services and high-quality products, many of which can be customized to meet your unique needs. Drop by the store or book an appointment with one of our chiropodists today.

Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Your Feet

Due to all of the cooking, entertaining and travelling that comes with the holidays, many people spend a lot of time on their feet. Although this may not seem like a huge issue to some people, standing for a long period of time can take a physical toll.

Recent studies have shown that standing for 2 or more hours at a time can cause physical discomfort and impacts your mental productivity. Additionally, walking for a long period can be quite painful, especially if you suffer from foot conditions like plantar fasciitis or bunions.

If you know that you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your feet, be sure to get a pair of orthopedic shoes before the holidays arrive. These will give your feet plenty of cushioning and support. There are lots of stylish options available, so you can look fashionable and feel comfortable at the same time.

If you don’t want to change your shoes, you should purchase a pair of custom orthotic inserts. Here are just some of the benefits of custom orthotics that you will appreciate:

  • Reducing bodily pain
  • Alleviating strain
  • Minimizing fatigue
  • Increasing shock absorption in high-pressure areas

Look for Opportunities to Carpool

If you’ve been invited to any holiday parties, then you will most likely end up doing some driving. Although it is harmless when done for a short amount of time, driving for extended periods can have a negative impact on your body.

If you’re exposed to a large amount of whole-body vibrations (like the ones that are produced from a vehicle) you have an increased chance of suffering from lower back pain or sciatica. Additionally, if you lean too far forward while you drive, you can end up straining the muscles in your back.

Whether you’re already dealing with soreness in your lower back or want to prevent it from happening in the first place, you should try to carpool and split up the driving. This will minimize the amount of time that you’ll be sitting behind the wheel.

The holidays only come once a year, so don’t let your physical aches and pains get the best of you. If you want to enjoy the entire holiday season, be sure to use these tried-and-true tips. We guarantee that your feet and lower back will thank you.

Daily Feet Exercises

Did you know each foot is made up of 26 bones and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments? These structures help with support, balance, and mobility during all your daily activities, so it is important to keep them healthy.

Follow these simple foot and ankle exercises to stretch, strengthen, and even prevent pain and injuries to your feet:

Calf stretches

To perform calf stretches, position yourself with two hands against a wall and start with the left foot forward towards the wall while the right is a few steps behind. The important thing to remember is to keep the right heel firmly planted on the ground. Keep the right leg straight and while bending the left knee, push your body towards the wall. You should feel a stretch at the back of your right calf. To isolate another calf muscle, follow the same instructions described above while bending the right knee slightly. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.

Toe spreads

Sit on a chair and have both feet planted on the ground. Then spread your toes apart and hold that position for 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Marble pick up

Sit on a chair and place two bowls in front of your feet; one should contain at least 10 marbles while the other is empty. Using your toes, pick up a marble one by one and place it in the empty bowl. Repeat on the other foot. If you don’t have marbles, place your foot on top of a towel on the ground and scrunch the towel towards you using your toes. Repeat this 10 times on each foot.

Towel stretches

For this exercise, you will need a towel or a resistance band. Sit on the ground and have both legs extended in front of you, feet together. Place the towel under your toes or the balls of both feet and pull slightly until you feel a stretch at your calves and at bottoms of your feet. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Four-way ankle resistance band exercises

For these exercises, you will need a resistance band. Sit on the ground with the left leg laid flat and knee extended in front of you while the right knee is bent. Then create a loop at the end of the resistance band and place your left foot in that loop making sure the band wraps around the ball of your foot. Hold the non-looped end of the resistance band and pull towards your body creating some tension in the band. Then push your foot forward as far as you can as if you are pushing down on a gas pedal (toes facing away from the body) and then bring the foot back to starting position. When you bring the foot back, do this slowly and in a controlled motion.

Next, hold the non-looped end of the resistance band with your right hand and pull to create tension. Then move your left foot out so that the sole of your foot faces away from the right foot. Again, bring the foot back to starting position in a slow and controlled manner.

Repeat the same process above; hold the non-looped end of the resistance band with your left hand and pull to create tension. Now move your left foot in the opposite direction so that the sole of the foot is facing your right foot. Again, bring the foot back to starting position in a slow and controlled manner.

Finally, to do the next exercise, find a heavy chair, sofa, or table that you can tie the non-looped end of the resistance band to create tension. Instead of pushing down on a gas pedal, bring the foot back towards the body as far as you can and then bring the foot slowly back to starting position.

Repeat each step 10 times. Repeat this entire exercise on the right foot.

Plantar Hyperhidrosis: Frequently Asked Questions

Plantar hyperhidrosis is the medical term used to describe a condition characterized by excessive sweating of the feet. This condition affects approximately 1-3% of the population. Today, we will be answering some the most frequently asked questions about plantar hyperhidrosis.

  1. What causes sweaty feet?

Feet submerged in water and surrounded by question marksIn most cases, the cause of sweaty feet is idiopathic, meaning the cause is unknown. Onset is usually in childhood suggesting a hereditary component to this physiological disorder. Emotional and physical distress as well as heat can initiate sweating and/or make it worse. Sweaty feet can also be secondary to a chronic systemic illness or it can simply be a side effect of a drug.

  1. How can I stop excessive sweating?

More often than not, plantar hyperhidrosis can be controlled by conservative measures including topical antiperspirants, foot powders, deodorants, proper footwear, moisture-wicking socks, and absorbent insoles. In severe cases, treatments include but are not limited to prescription oral medications, Botox injections, and iontophoresis.

  1. Can it be cured?

Plantar hyperhidrosis will likely require ongoing treatment and management.

  1. Does it get worse with age?

The general trend is sweaty feet actually improve with age. This is because as we age, our sweat glands become less active and less responsive to stimuli.

  1. How much does your feet perspire in a day?

According to the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine, your feet contain approximately 250 000 sweat glands and the average person will perspire about a cup of moisture throughout the day.

  1. Does wearing socks make a difference with sweaty feet?

Socks on feetWearing socks with closed toe shoes help to reduce sweating in feet. When you don’t wear socks with closed toe shoes, the increased friction between your feet and the interior of the shoe in combination with poor air circulation tends to induce sweating.

The type of sock is also important. Choose socks made out of cotton, wool, or merino wool and avoid synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester.

In general, look for socks that have a “moisture-wicking” property. Finally, socks that contain silver, copper, or bamboo will control odors and growth of micro-organisms.

Sweaty feet can cause foul odors, increase risk of fungal and bacterial infections, and dramatically affect your quality of life.

Book an appointment with a Registered Chiropodist at Feet First Clinic today for all your foot concerns, including sweaty feet.

We are open six days a week!