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The Condition

Hyperhidrosis is excess sweating of the feet or other areas of the body. While sweating is the primary way the body tries to stay cool during increased temperatures or exercising, or just during times of nervousness, hyperhidrosis can occur without any of these triggers. The condition seems to be related to overactive sweat glands and is hereditary.

Excess sweating of your feet can soak through your socks and cause skin problems such as infections or skin breakdown. This can be an embarrassing situation that can affect a person’s social or work life.

The Treatment

Some people may notice that in addition to avoiding overexposure to hot climates you may need to avoid caffeine, alcohol and even certain spices like cumin or curry. Using strong antiperspirants that can contain 10-20% aluminum chloride can help when used under the direction of your health care provider. Choose socks that wick away moisture from the skin. This does not mean cotton socks. Certain medications such as Botox can also be helpful. Another procedure called iontophoresis can use electricity to help “turn off” sweat glands.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is probably best to wear sandals when possible, as enclosed shoes trap and hold heat . Be sure to wash your sandals appropriately after several uses. Allowing a pair of shoes to air out for 24-48 hours will help to reduce growth of infectious microorganisms.
Topical medications can help to control excess perspiration as can the use of moisture absorbing powder. In some cases Botox injections are used to resolve the problem.
Botox temporarily shuts off the nerve impulses that trigger the production of sweat. The medication is injected at the areas which are most severely affected. The benefits last for approximately 3-6 months and result in sweat-free feet. Side effects of the injections are rare but can include minor injection site discomfort.
Surgery is usually reserved for the most severe cases. The procedure usually requires the removal of sweat glands or cutting the nerves that signal sweat production.


Footloose & Fancy Free: Cosmetic Treatments For The Foot & AnkleIn this article for HER Magazine, Dr. J.P. McAleer discusses solutions for unsightly nails, dermal fillers for the feet, Botox for sweat gland dysfunction, bunion and hammertoe surgery, and general foot tips.