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Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis Treatments
Top Articles
Treatments for Primary Focal Hyperhidrosis
Types of Hyperhidrosis
Treatment for Sweaty Feet
Written by Katie Crissman
October 01 2020

Wondering how to stop sweaty feet? One of the most common causes of excessive foot sweating is called hyperhidrosis.[1] Let’s take a look at what hyperhidrosis is and explore the options for those who are facing sweaty feet caused by it.

A Look at Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that causes excessive sweating. While, on the surface, excessive sweat may not seem like a big deal, this condition can be life-changing for those who have it. Most of the time, sweaty feet are caused by primary focal hyperhidrosis, the most common type of hyperhidrosis..[1]

If you are wondering how much your feet should sweat in a day because excessive foot sweat is interfering in your life then you most likely have a problem. While everyone sweats at some point or another, there is usually a reason for it - like fever, exercise, or hot weather. When someone has hyperhidrosis, their body doesn’t need that kind of stimuli to begin sweating heavily. It sweats excessively on even when there are no stimuli because it has overactive sweat glands.[2]

People with hyperhidrosis have the same size and number of sweat glands as anyone else and their sweat is made of the same products, but they produce a lot more sweat. There are various causes for excessive sweating but whatever the cause it is a big inconvenience.[1]

The feet are frequently affected by hyperhidrosis. You will experience excessively sweaty feet, and for some people, you might find your hands are often sweaty as well. In addition to these locations, you may also experience craniofacial (face and head) hyperhidrosis, axillary (armpit) hyperhidrosis and excessive sweating of the groin.[1]

It’s easy to see why someone would experience excessively sweaty feet when they have hyperhidrosis because feet contain 250,000 sweat glands.[1]

Why Are Sweaty Feet a Problem?

Although sweaty feet aren’t life-threatening, they can cause a number of problems for people who suffer from hyperhidrosis. These problems give many affected by hyperhidrosis anxiety and can impair a person's quality of life.[1]

Let’s examine all the reasons sweaty feet can be an issue.

How to Stop Sweaty Feet

There are treatments you can seek out to stop sweaty feet and their odor. However, there are also ways to manage hyperhidrosis at home when it is primarily affecting your feet. One of the simplest ways to deal with sweat is to find clothes and shoes that aid people who sweat excessively.

Medical Sweaty Feet Treatments

If you’re wanting to do what you can to stop sweaty feet from happening instead of only minimizing symptoms, you have a few options that will help.

Antiperspirant

The most commonly prescribed sweaty feet treatment is antiperspirant. When you want to make your armpits less sweaty, you turn to antiperspirants - the same theory applies to your feet. Using antiperspirant is one of the easiest ways to control foot sweat.[1]

Antiperspirant is an inexpensive and easy way to cut down on that soggy sock feeling. It’s simple to apply and over-the-counter topical treatments for hyperhidrosis can be bought almost anywhere.

Before consulting a doctor for a prescription-strength antiperspirant, you should try an over-the-counter brand to see if it’s strong enough to help you. It can be challenging to choose the right over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirant so it is important to learn about the ingredients and strengths before investing in a specific brand. An OTC antiperspirant might be enough to get the job done, especially when combined with some of the moisture-control methods we discussed earlier. A big reason you might want to try out OTC options before asking for the clinical-strength stuff is that it is generally less irritating on the skin.

To make sure your antiperspirant is doing all it can for you, put it on at night at bedtime. This works because people with primary hyperhidrosis don’t produce sweat while they sleep. This will help antiperspirants stay on so it can be more effective. There are specific methods to remove antiperspirant from skin if that has become an issue for you.[1]

If you are in the 10% of hyperhidrosis sufferers who don't’ have primary focal hyperhidrosis, you most likely have secondary hyperhidrosis.[4] This means you don’t want to apply antiperspirant to sweaty feet at night because you may be sweating more heavily then. If this is the type of hyperhidrosis you have, your best bet is applying the deodorant right after you wash your feet. Just make sure to thoroughly dry them first.

If antiperspirant is helping somewhat, but you’d still like to pursue another treatment to keep your sweaty feet at bay you may need to manage your hyperhidrosis with a doctor. [5]

Iontophoresis Machine

An alternative treatment for sweaty feet is to use iontophoresis as a treatment for palmar and plantar hyperhidrosis. Iontophoresis is a procedure in which a machine that sends mild electrical currents through your feet is used. The mild electrical currents cause your feet to sweat less. This procedure will take you several sessions before it begins to offer relief from sweaty feet – it can be as many as 10 before you see maximum results.

During an iontophoresis session, a machine will deliver low-voltage currents of electricity into a pan of water in which your feet are resting. Each session for your sweaty feet will take about 30 minutes.[1]

This isn’t a foolproof method of reducing sweat, but iontophoresis really does work for most of the people who use it. Your sweaty feet might not completely disappear, but you should experience noticeable relief. After your initial sessions cut back some on the sweat, you’ll just have to do maintenance sessions whenever you notice the sweat production starting to ramp up again. For some people that may be every few days, but for others, it might be a couple of weeks between sessions. If you are struggling to make it work, there are some specific things you can do to make iontophoresis more effective.[1]

While it is an effective treatment for many, the cost can be prohibitive to some people. However, if you find yourself replacing your shoes frequently because of your sweaty feet, buying a machine will still save you money in the long run. The cost of hyperhidrosis in general can be hard for many people to handle, but iontophoresis is typically a good investment.[5]

Botox Injections on the Soles of the Feet

Botox is another treatment for plantar (feet) hyperhidrosis. It can be used for more than just softening the appearance of wrinkles. When used on the soles of the feet by an experienced professional, it can provide temporary, but fairly long-lasting, relief from sweaty feet. [6]

Medications

Certain types of oral medications – those known as anticholinergics – may be used as a sweaty feet treatment. They are typically only used for those who haven’t had any luck with antiperspirants, iontophoresis, or Botox. Often, doctors use anticholinergic medications called glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin to treat excessive sweating.[1]

While these medications can reduce sweat, they can be unpredictable when it comes to how much they help any particular site. They could drastically cut back on one location of excessive sweat, while not helping another location much at all.[6]

They can also cause side effects. People looking for relief from sweaty feet should look at their other treatment options first before turning to medication. [6]

What About Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy Surgery?

Although surgical treatments for primary focal hyperhidrosis can sometimes be used as a last resort for people suffering from palmar (hand) hyperhidrosis, it isn’t recommended for sweaty feet.[1]

There is a procedure called endoscopic lumbar sympathectomy, but the benefits of the surgery do not outweigh the risk. So while you may hear about ETS surgery being sometimes used to treat hyperhidrosis, it shouldn’t be explored as an option for treating sweaty feet.[7]

Sweaty Feet Can Be Managed

Sweaty feet can be a big nuisance, and they can develop complications such as athlete’s foot. It will take some attention on your part, but you can help stop the sweat by using the sweaty feet treatments discussed in this article. You may be able to manage the symptoms of hyperhidrosis at home or you may need to learn about managing hyperhidrosis with a doctor but you can find strategies to lessen the impact of sweaty feet.

With attention and treatment, your sweaty feet can be more nothing more than an inconvenience rather than a full-blown issue.

Sources
  1. Pariser, D. M. (2014). Hyperhidrosis (4th ed., Vol. 32). Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co., 2014. Retrieved from https://www.elsevier.com/books/hyperhidrosis-an-issue-of-dermatologic-clinics/pariser/978-0-323-32607-0
  2. Huddle, J. R. (2014). Hyperhidrosis: Causes, Treatment Options and Outcomes. New York, NY: Nova Science. Retrieved from https://www.bookdepository.com/Hyperhidrosis-Janine-R-Huddle/9781633215160
  3. Nordqvist, C. (2017, December 21). Hyperhidrosis: Symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Retrieved May 14, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/182130.php
  4. Two Types of Hyperhidrosis. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sweathelp.org/home/types-of-hyperhidrosis.html
  5. Kamudoni, P., Mueller, B., Halford, J., Schouveller, A., Stacey, B., & Salek, M. (2017, June 8). The impact of hyperhidrosis on patients' daily life and quality of life: A qualitative investigation. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-017-0693-x
  6. Melissa A. Doft, MD;, Jeffrey A. Ascherman, MD, & Krista L. Hardy, BS. (2011, July 8). Treatment of Hyperhidrosis With Botulinum Toxin. Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22328694
  7. Reisfeld, R. (2010). Endoscopic Lumbar Sympathectomy for Focal Plantar Hyperhidrosis Using the Clamping Method. Surg Laparosc Endosc Percutan Tech, 20(4), 321-236. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20729691
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Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

9 Outrageous Things People Try to Avoid Excessive Armpit Sweating

By Daniel McCarthy /

9 Outrageous Things People Try to Avoid Excessive Armpit Sweating


On my first day of work a few years ago, I got dressed to impress and walked the 20 minutes to my new office to meet my new colleagues for the first time. Having just moved to the southern US, I’d been getting used to the unbearable humidity and its effects on my excessive armpit sweating. Luckily (I thought), the sun wasn’t out and the temps dropped below 80, so maybe my sweat glands wouldn’t take center stage! Well...I arrived to meet my colleagues looking like a wet bass in business clothes. Thank goodness I arrived 15 minutes early, which brings me to the first outrageous thing people try to avoid armpit sweating. 

  1. The Hand Dryer 

I anxiously scurried to the nearest bathroom, declothed, and put the hand dryer to good use on my shirt stains and sweat stains. More outrageously, I awkwardly hovered my sweaty extremities (including my sweaty underarms) over the hand dryer. Thankfully, I reapplied my antiperspirant and headed out to meet my colleagues a decently dry man. That was the day I knew I really needed clinical strength antiperspirant for my excessive armpit sweating (and a car). 


  1. Pantyliners


Many with excessive underarm sweating already know that underarm pads are one way to help with sweating armpits. But if you find yourself sans pad and worried about your excessive armpit sweating, you would not be the first person to try pantyliners. That’s right, pantyliners have been used in a pinch to help keep sweat stains at bay. 

  1. Give a shirt

In 2019, a reddit user posted that to combat his excessive armpit sweating, he skipped the typical clothing and made his own shirt. He posted asking others to try out his creation and received over 250 replies! By creating and giving others shirts, this innovative reddit user designed his way into the hearts of many with smelly armpits. 

  1. Get inked

If you’ve been debating whether to get a tasteful tattoo and you have hyperhidrosis, this finding may just help you make your decision. A 2017 study found that getting inked helped reduce sweat [1]! Now, I don’t recommend choosing a tattoo as a means of treatment for excessive armpit sweating (and maybe don’t tattoo your armpit), but the connection is a fun little fact nonetheless. 

  1. Become a naked mole rat

If you can’t pull the trigger on an armpit tattoo, another method some people have tried is hair removal. Yes, like Steve Carrell (who actually has hyperhidrosis himself) in the hit movie 40-year Old Virgin, removing hair can help reduce sweat buildup for you too. Many likely already “naturally” lose hair thanks to some sweat prevention products, but more natural hair removal may just be the trick to solving excessive sweating

  1. Armpit art

Even though we know most sweaty armpit causes, like too much caffeine or spicy foods, it’s no fun to cut these out completely. A more outrageous approach to excessive underarm sweating is actually turning sweating armpits into art. Multiple users of the Reddit community r/Hyperhidrosis have created shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing that includes beautiful tie-dye in the armpits. Creative, fun, and beautiful, and even better when combined with sweat prevention like antiperspirant or carpe underarm

  1. Vinegar your armpit

You may already know how to get rid of pit stains with vinegar, but there are other interesting ways it can help with excessive armpit sweating. Splashing vinegar on your sweaty underarms  is one method many recommend. Those that swear by this method also recommend using deodorant or antiperspirant, too. 

While we don’t know how this was discovered, I like to think someone accidentally splashed vinegar on their pits hundreds of years ago and voila! Too bad the first person to splash his pits with vinegar didn’t also have access to the best antiperspirant for his excessive armpit sweating. 

  1. Baking soda your sweaty underarms

If you find deodorant or antiperspirant irritating, one creative way to help alleviate your excessive underarm sweating is baking soda. Many crafty people with hyperhidrosis swear that not only can baking soda help reduce sweat, but it can also help alleviate pesky underarm smell with some of the best sweat prevention. 

  1. Restart the plaid fad

Black t-shirt, black sweatshirt, black button down, black tank top. If this sounds like your closet, you’re clearly an expert on the hyperhidrosis wardrobe. But if you want some variety as you fight excessive armpit sweating, add some plaid, a trick many with hyperhidrosis use that you may not know. Hey, you just may be starting the resurgence of the plaid fad, and at worst, you’ll add some fun, lumberjack variety to your dark closet. 


Sources: 

[1] Luetkemeier, M. J., Hanisko, J. M., & Aho, K. M. (2017). Skin Tattoos Alter Sweat Rate and Na+ Concentration. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 49(7), 1432–1436. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001244
Body Areas Affected by Hyperhidrosis

How to Cure Sweaty Hands Permanently at Home

By Daniel McCarthy /

How to Cure Sweaty Hands Permanently at Home 

Scenario 1: You’re invited into the office, confident you will land the job. You’ve prepared, you’re highly qualified, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You walk in and confidently reach out to shake the CEOs hand. But then, your confidence turns to dread as the CEO pulls her hand back, wet with your sweat. 

Scenario 2: You’re at home, playing video games with your friends and absolutely dominating. They get so upset, they tell you to take a break to let another friend play. But there’s another problem... nobody wants to use your controller after you finish. Despite your domination, your palmar hyperhidrosis (excessively sweaty hands) has taken center stage. 

Do these scenarios sound familiar? Wondering how to cure sweaty hands permanently? Although you may not have had these exact things happen to you, your sweaty hands likely have caused something similar and you’re looking for a home remedy. To stop sweating these situations, let’s talk about how to cure sweaty hands permanently at home. 

One of the best ways to cure sweaty hands at home is actually not related to the hands at all. Instead, working on reducing anxiety can have immensely positive results on how to cure sweaty hands permanently naturally. There are many root causes of anxiety, and some or many may be related to your hyperhidrosis. Likewise, it is easier said than done to reduce anxiety. But there are also many ways to work on reducing anxiety that are worth a try. One interesting way to reduce anxiety, and in turn, sweaty hands, is to be grateful. Specifically, Petrocchi and Couyoumdjian found that “grateful people experience less anxiety mostly because they are able to encourage and be compassionate and reassuring toward themselves when things go wrong in life” [1]. Other ways include stepping outside for a walk, drinking tea, or even distracting yourself. In general, starting with anxiety reduction not only can help with how to cure sweaty hands, but also your wellbeing in general. 

Another great way to cure sweaty hands at home permanently is to reduce consumption of coffee and alcohol. Now you may be reading this and thinking “Hey, those are all my favorite things! I’m done with this article!”. And while I wholeheartedly agree and enjoy coffee and alcohol myself, consumption in moderation is key, especially with hyperhidrosis. Caffeine, for example, activates part of the brain that is already a main part in causing hyperhidrosis symptoms. Instead of giving it up, try to reduce consumption to under 200 mg or add in decaf to your routine. Alcohol can affect hyperhidrosis in a similar manner, but like coffee, 1-2 glasses of alcohol may be okay. When figuring out how to cure sweaty hands permanently naturally, it is important to find a balance of coffee, alcohol, and managing your hyperhidrosis. And remember to always drink responsibly, in moderation. 

Tackling how to cure sweaty hands permanently, naturally, and at home may require more than behavioral changes we’ve talked about so far. Luckily, there are other great remedies you can try at home! First, finding the right antiperspirant is of paramount importance, especially appropriate antiperspirant for hands. Another possible over the counter option is anti-sweat wipes. If neither of these work for you, another option to cure your sweaty hands permanently is to buy your very own iontophoresis machine for at-home use. This machine delivers mild electrical currents to your hands (or other affected body part) while submerged in water. A combination of these treatments may have your hands feeling less clammy in no time! 

Ultimately, your palmar hyperhidrosis may not be treatable at home and permanently, but these recommendations may help alleviate some of your symptoms. If symptoms persist, consult a medical professional for further assistance with how to cure sweaty hands. 



Sources

Sources

1. Nicola Petrocchi & Alessandro Couyoumdjian (2016) The impact of gratitude on depression and anxiety: the mediating role of criticizing, attacking, and reassuring the self, Self and Identity, 15:2, 191-205, DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2015.1095794

Antiperspirant

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

By Daniel McCarthy /

8 Random & Interesting Facts about Excessive Armpit Sweating

Our worries about shirt stains, sweaty underarms, and smelly armpits may dominate how we think about excessive armpit sweating. Hey, we may even avoid thinking about these all together. But guess what? There are some random and interesting facts that just may change how you think about excessive underarm sweating! Let’s take a look: 

Fact number 1: Sweat by itself ISN’T smelly

Sweat is often associated with smelliness. But by itself, it doesn’t smell AT ALL. The reason sweat can smell (in places like your armpit) isn’t really about sweat. It’s about the sweat glands (and hair)! Apocrine glands are the biggest of sweat-producing glands and are usually located near hair. It’s this combo that leads to smelly armpits.

Fact number 2: Excessive armpit sweating is as old as cavemen

Hang with me here. Excessive underarm sweating is connected to the fight-or-flight response ingrained in even the most ancient of human predecessors. This excessive armpit sweating response has helped humans survive for millenia. And yep, it means our cavemen ancestors likely had sweating armpits, too. Even though they didn’t have to worry about shirt stains like us, we have the benefit of products like carpe underarm and antiperspirant in general to help with our excessive armpit sweating.  

Fact number 3: Famous people worry about excessive armpit sweating too

Michael Gary Scott, fearless and deliciously cringeworthy leader of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on the show The Office, is perfectly played by actor Steve Carell. Carell seemed to play the role with such ease, comfort, and confidence that nobody would ever know he was worried about excessive underarm sweating due to his hyperhidrosis. Co-star Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute on the show) even pointed out that the set temperature was a cool 64 degrees to keep Carell’s sweaty underarms from becoming the focus of the scene. 

Even though Carell’s excessive armpit sweating wasn’t part of the show, I like to think Michael’s approach to sweat stains could be summed up by his famous line:  “I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” 

Fact number 4: Other celebrities combat hyperhidrosis too

Steve Carell is not the only notable person looking for the best sweat prevention. As a longtime vampire and real-life human with hyperhidrosis, Robert Pattinson is another actor who combats hyperhidrosis (and werewolves) on the regular. 

Like Pattinson and Carell, Halle Berry also has hyperhidrosis. Famously, Berry confidently showed her sweat stains on the Ellen Show back in 2010. So when you’re feeling a little self-conscious about your own excessive underarm sweating, remember you too can confidently move through your day like Berry barring her pits for the world. 

Fact number 5: Ventilation over here please!

If you’re still worried about how to get rid of pit stains, some ventilation could provide a brief respite. Because we sometimes get pesky pit stains, it can feel like our excessive underarm sweating is due to our pits proclivity to produce the most amount of sweat. Yet, this annoying issue is more commonly attributed to a lack of ventilation, although sweaty armpit causes cannot be narrowed to one thing. Still, a little ventilation and clinical strength antiperspirant can go a long way in dealing with pesky pit stains and excessive armpit sweating. 

Fact number 6: An underappreciated aspect of a non-meat diet

Sometimes even the best antiperspirant and deodorant may not feel like enough to help with excessive armpit sweating and underarm smell. That’s okay though because there are other interesting ways to approach this issue. A 2006 study showed that women found mens’ armpit odor “more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense” when these men ate a non-meat diet [1]. If you haven’t already thought about eating less meat, the improved aroma of your pits (and the kitchen) may be another reason to eat a non-meat diet. 

Fact number 7: Fashion matters

Choosing clothes is a fashion statement for many. And while fashion may matter more to some than others, there’s one interesting reason we can all get behind to choose our clothes. Our clothing choices can help deal with excessive underarm sweating. That’s right, there are clothes, materials, styles, and pads that all can help with excessive armpit sweating as well as excessive sweating and shirt stains in general. 

Fact number 8: You aren’t alone

An estimated 2-3% of the US population suffers from axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). Even though this percentage may seem small, 3% of the US population is right around 10 million people. That’s like all of NYC combating excessive armpit sweating at the same time. It can be easy to feel isolated in dealing with hyperhidrosis, but there’s some comfort in knowing many others are dealing with the same worries. 

Sources

 

  1. Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006). The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/31/8/747/364338
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