Excessively Sweaty feet can make you feel uncomfortable, especially when they make your feet slip around inside your shoes but the real problem is the foot odor often caused by bacterial action due to excessively sweating feet. Are you wondering what to do for sweaty feet? Then you are in the right place. This article explores how to get rid of sweaty feet naturally and, by extension, stop sweaty feet smell in shoes using home remedies.
Sweaty Feet Meaning
Before we jump into the home remedies for sweaty feet, it is perhaps a better idea to first of all discuss what it means to have excessively sweating feet.
According to the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, the feet have 250,000 sweat glands and consequently tend to naturally sweat more than other parts of the body. Sweating helps the body to cool itself down naturally and you are likely to experience more sweating during hot weather and if you spend significant time walking, exercising, etc.
For some people, however, sweaty feet – in most cases accompanied by sweaty palms and armpits – is a consistent problem. This condition is referred to as hyperhidrosis. It simply means that you have overactive sweat glands.
What Causes Sweaty Feet?
Hot weather, walking a lot, and vigorous activities e.g. exercising, will naturally cause your feet and other parts of the body to sweat as the body tries to counteract the rising temperatures.
According to the NHS Choices website, hormonal changes associated with teenage and pregnancy can also cause more than usual sweating, but a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis stands prominently among the most common excessively sweaty feet causes. This condition can also cause more than usual sweating in the hands (palms), armpits, and scalp.
According to the Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, the exact cause of hyperhidrosis is not known but it is believed to be mainly due to overactive glands. The condition has been found to have a genetic aspect to it meaning that it has a tendency to run in families. Physical stress on the feet e.g. due to structural defects is also thought to be a factor for excessive sweating.
Overall, the causes of sweaty feet can be broken down as follows:
- Hot weather
- Vigorous activities e.g. walking, exercise, etc.
- Hormonal changes in teenagers and pregnant mothers
- Some people have genetic propensity for hyperhidrosis
- Poor choice of shoes and socks, coupled with poor foot hygiene and care.
- Physical stress on the feet e.g. due to structural damage
- Buildup of toxins in the body e.g. due to lack of exercise.
Home Remedies for Sweaty Feet – How to Get Rid Of Sweaty Feet
When covered in excessive sweat, feet tend to slip around inside your shoes. You may also experience other symptoms including white, wet skin around the feet especially the lower side. As though that is not enough, sweaty feet is often a precursor to foot odor due to breeding of bacteria in the resultant wet environment, says Dr. Lorraine Jones, a podiatrist at Chiswick Feet, London. Sweaty feet can also cause or worsen fungal infections e.g. athletes foot.
On a good note, however, there is an array of home remedies for sweaty feet that coupled with proper hygiene can effective banish the problem. Below is how to get rid of sweaty feet naturally at home:
Wash Your Feet with Antibacterial Soap
Bacterial growth is the main reason for smelly feet. It then automatically follows that washing your feet with antibacterial soap is one of the easiest ways to get rid of sweaty feet and foot odor. Although there is a great range of antibacterial soap products out there, Dr. Jones recommends Hibiscrub saying it is the best soap for treating sweaty, stinky feet.
As regards how to stop sweaty feet odor with the soap, she recommends leaving the soap on for 2 minutes before rinsing it off, twice daily. That way, you will be able to fix the problem within just a week.
Pay Close Attention to Your Socks
Socks are meant to trap in sweat from your foot, preventing a buildup of sweat on your feet and inside your shoes and pops up naturally as one of the best home remedies for sweaty feet. Less sweat buildup inside your shoes and around your feet means less risk of foot odor and associated problems. Here are a few tips to observe with regards to your pair of socks:
- Choose socks made of appropriate fabric: The best socks for sweaty feet and foot odor are those that do a great job in absorbing and retaining the moisture. Go for socks made from natural materials such as cotton, wool and bamboo fiber. Socks made from nylon, polyester, orlon and other synthetic materials are not advisable; they will make your feet soggy faster.
- Wear a fresh, clean, and dry pair of socks every day. If your feet are particularly sweaty and stinky, change your socks two times each day, or more.
- Ensure that your socks are just the right size. Avoid socks that are too tight to facilitate better air circulation and thus get rid of sweaty feet and foot odor. If you engage in sports activities, you will especially want to look for sports socks that come with ventilation panels.
Pay Close Attention to Your Shoes
A list of home remedies for sweaty feet can simply not be complete without including tips on shoe choice and care routine since are essential part of the sweaty feet and foot odor equation.
- Wear leather shoes. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends putting on shoes that are made of breathable materials. The best shoes for sweaty feet are those that are made of leather. Unlike plastic shoes, they allow better air circulation. Just make sure that they are not fitted with a plastic lining inside.
- Ensure your shoes are dry before wearing them. Damp shoes create an environment that is favorable for bacterial growth and is usually a precursor to foot odor.
- Alternate your shoes on successive days: This allows the shoes time to dry and thus prevent sweat and bacterial buildup.
- Wear open-toed shoes and sandals as frequently as possible: This expose your feet to the air and thus reduce sweating.
- Remove your shoes momentarily: When not possible to adorn a pair of sandals or open-toes shoes e.g. at the office, and assuming your feet are not stinky, the office, you may want to remove your shoes
- Get a detachable absorbent insoles or foot inserts and wash them daily: These help to absorb and retain sweat and thus prevent buildup of sweat and the resultant foot odor.
- Vacuum clean your shoes frequently: Another easy yet effective way to get rid of sweaty feet is to clean the inside of your shoes with the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner. This helps to remove the sweat trapped inside your shoes.
Take Care of Your Feet
Good foot hygiene goes a long way in combating hyperhidrosis. In addition to washing your feet daily with warm water and soap, any measure that reduces the secretion of sweat, avoids accumulation of sweat on the feet, or combats foot odor and other problems such as fungal growth (athlete foot) will go a long way in reducing the adverse effects of sweaty feet.
- Dab some surgical spirit onto your feet: Sold over the counter in most drugstore, surgical spirit is also among the best home remedies for sweaty feet and hands. Pay close attention to the area between the toes.
- Use cornstarch: Sprinkling your feet with cornstarch also helps to get rid of sweaty feet odor. For best results, ensure the feet are clean and dry before applying the cornstarch.
- Wash your feet with tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that may help combat foot odor. To use this home remedy for sweaty feet alleviation, simply add a few drops of tea tree oil in warm water, then wash your feet in the mixture. Finish off by drying your feet with a towel. Repeat once or twice daily.
- Use an antiperspirant on your feet: The NHS Choices website recommends using an antiperspirant on your feet as a way to get rid of sweaty feet. Ideally, apply the antiperspirant – an underarm antiperspirant is just okay – on your feet before you put on a pair of socks each morning.
- Apply an over the counter antifungal spray: A fungal infection characterized by skin peeling, itching, and red, soggy appearance between your toes – athlete’s foot – may benefit from using an anti-fungal foot spray. Check with your local drugstore (pharmacy).
- Dust your feet with talc foot powder on your feet, especially between your toes: Powders help to excessive sweat. As regards the best for powder for sweaty feet, Sweathelp.org mentions Zeasorb as one of the best products out there.
When to see a doctor
If the home remedies for sweaty feet and foot odor discussed throughout this article fail to get rid of the symptoms, consider booking an appointment with a podiatrist. Burning sensations, excessive itching, and redness also warrants the attention of a podiatrist.