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Plantar Hyperhidrosis

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Overview

What Is Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

Plantar Hyperhidrosis is a condition where the feet sweat excessively (“plantar” = “feet”, hyperhidrosis = excess sweat).  It is one of many types of focal hyperhidrosis conditions (also known as primary hyperhidrosis), which are conditions where excessive sweat is produced in a localized part of the body. Hyperhidrosis is more common in men than women.  

It is perfectly normal for our feet to sweat (especially when it’s hot outside).  Although this is usually not an issue, excessive sweating can sometimes produce a strong odour.  The buildup of moisture in your feet also predisposes them to bacterial and fungal infections, as well as friction blisters.

Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

Signs and symptoms of plantar hyperhidrosis are:

  • Constant or excessive sweating in both feet (this may coincide with sweaty palms)
  • Foot odour
  • Feet getting so wet that they slip around inside your shoes
  • Persistent moisture-related foot issues, such as foot fungus, athlete’s foot, foot infections or friction blisters from constant wetness breaking down the skin.
  • Negative impact on quality of life

Causes

What Causes Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

Sweat is part of the body’s way of regulating its temperature and cooling itself off when it senses it’s too hot.  In people with hyperhidrosis, this regulatory process switches on at lower temperatures than it may for others.  

Hyperhidrosis is typically genetic.  It may also involve excessive sweat in other parts of the body, such as the palms and armpits.

Treatment

How Do I Treat Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

Plantar hyperhidrosis often requires ongoing treatment – hyperhidrosis cannot be “cured” and typically does not go away.  Although not a serious condition, managing the moisture buildup from plantar hyperhidrosis is important in order to prevent other common moisture-related foot issues, such as fungus or infection.  

The key to this is good foot hygiene.  This involves:

  1. Washing your feet daily with an antibacterial soap (don’t forget the areas between the toes!);
  2. Thoroughly drying your feet after; and
  3. Applying foot powder or antifungal powder to your feet.

The following products are also recommended for treating the effects of plantar hyperhidrosis: 

  • Absorbent insoles
  • Topical antiperspirant
  • Double layered cotton socks
  • Anticholinergic creams

Our foot clinic offers a variety of products specifically designed to treat and manage plantar hyperhidrosis.  You can stop by our store and speak to our knowledge staff to find out which solutions work best for you, or browse our selection online (online store coming soon!).

Risk Factors

What Risk Factors Are Associated With Hyperhidrosis?

Risk factors that can exacerbate excessive sweating in the feet include:

  • Wearing shoes and socks that don’t let your feet breath (especially when it’s hot outside)
  • Hot temperatures
  • Physical stress
  • Emotional stress

Prevention

How Do I Prevent Plantar Hyperhidrosis?

Here are various foot care solutions preventing Plantar Hyperhidrosis:

  • Keep a daily log recording the incidents of sweaty feet to determine what triggers your feet to sweat, and manage accordingly
  • Topical antiperspirants
  • Wear moisture wicking socks
  • Wear shoes with a breathable material and in the correct size
  • Stay hydrated to regulate body temperature

The knowledgeable staff at our foot clinic can help you find antiperspirants and footwear with breathable material to prevent or reduce the amount of foot sweat.  This will help prevent other complications that may result from plantar hyperhidrosis, while keeping your feet dry, clean and healthy. 

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