Treatment Options for Sweaty Feet
Sweaty feet can be caused by a condition called hyperhidrosis. The condition is one of excessive sweating and affects your palms, feet and face. Sweaty feet can be part of a condition called palmar/plantar hyperhidrosis which has two forms. Primary hyperhidrosis is triggered by emotional stimuli and its cause is unknown. Secondary hyperhidrosis is caused by a medical condition such as infection, spinal cord injury, malignancy, and neurologic or endocrine disorders. Treatment of secondary hyperhidrosis will depend on what cause is diagnosed and treating that problem. While it may be a symptom of another condition there are still several options available to treat sweaty feet.
Get diagnosed. You need an accurate diagnosis to properly treat your problem. Everyone sweats so to determine if your feet are sweating excessively you will need to see a dermatologist. After a physical exam the doctor may do blood tests to rule out conditions which cause sweating such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes. The doctor may also do minor-starch iodine or thermoregulatory sweat tests in which iodine or powder is placed on your skin. If there is excessive sweating the powder will change colors.
Try topical treatments. Initial your doctor may recommend using clinical strength, over-the-counter antiperspirant. If that doesn’t work the doctor may give your prescription strength antiperspirant such as Drysol or Xerac which is put on before bed.
Try iontophoresis. Ask your doctor if iontophoresis is an option for you. Using a battery operated device and water-saturated wool pads to electrically stimulate hands and feet, the treatment changes the outer layers of your skin to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface. Iontophoresis can be done at home, can be moderately painful and should be done twice a day for four weeks. The procedure reduces sweating for a few weeks but excessive sweating will return and iontophoresis will need to be repeated.
Try oral medication. Sweaty feet may be controlled with anticholinergics which block nerve impulses going to your sweat glands or carbonic anhydrase inhibitors which inhibit sweating. Clonidine is a medicine which helps stop sweating by reducing nerve stimuli. Your doctor may also prescribe antidepressants such as amitriptyline.
Try botox. Your physician can use botox to temporarily block nerves which trigger sweat glands. You will see improvement in your condition within 4 days and it can last up to 6 months. Botox is usually used to treat sweaty palms, hands and face but ask your doctor about using it on your sweaty feet.
Consider surgery. A severe case of sweaty feet which hasn’t responded to other treatment might be helped by surgery in the some sweat glands are removed, or the nerve signal which triggers excessive sweating is interrupted.