With the heat wave striking Columbus and much of the country this past week, many people may be sweating a bit more than usual. However, for some people, this excessive sweating can continue to occur regardless of whether there are record high temperatures, or it is a snowy day in January. This is a condition called hyperhidrosis, which is actually an inherited medical condition that results in increased sweating.
The feet are one of the most common areas that show an increase in sweat, along with the armpits and palms of the hands. Sweaty feet from hyperhidrosis or just from high temperatures may not be as prominently on display to others as the palms or armpits, but they can lead to a variety of other problems. Sweaty feet may cause embarrassment if the feet produce an unnatural odor as a result. This occurs because bacteria thrive in warm, dark and damp conditions and increasing dampness by sweating will serve to make the foot a more ideal habitat for bacteria to grow. The more bacteria present in these conditions, the more the foot will smell. A more serious side effect is that fungus also thrives growing in these conditions, making a sweaty foot more likely to develop Athlete’s foot or a foot fungus. If red, patchy, itchy areas of skin develop it is important to get your feet evaluated by a podiatrist. If you do have a foot fungus, the more quickly it can be treated the less likely it will spread to the toenails or other areas of skin. Fungal toenails are often more resistant to topical creams than a skin fungus, and may require the use of a quick laser fungal nails treatment or a much longer course of topical and oral medication.
For anyone with sweaty feet regardless of the cause, it is important to change socks at least once a day to avoid staying in wet socks. With sweat that has passed through socks causing shoes to be wet, it is also a good idea to alternate wearing different pairs of shoes every other day to give damp shoes a chance to dry out completely. Non-medicated baby powder or foot powder can be dusted onto feet to help keep them dry. It is also important to examine feet thoroughly for signs of infection, which can also present with a strange odor. For individuals with hyperhidrosis, topical medications can be prescribed, a procedure called iontophoresis, or even surgery are options for treatment depending on the severity and responsiveness to treatment of the excessive sweating.
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885 FEET (3338) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.