It is quite normal that we sweat more than usual on our feet in summer. However, some women suffer from sweaty feet all year round – an unpleasant sensation, but one for which there is relief. Tikbow explains what can help.
- Why do we sweat?
- Some people sweat überm ularly a lot
- Treatment of hyperhidrosis
- Tips against perspiration
Why do we sweat?
As with the rest of the body, sweating on the feet is an important physical function for heat regulation, the evaporation of sweat on the skin causes cooling. This is also the reason why we sweat at all when it is warm, and the same applies to the body during exercise. In addition, factors such as nervousness or excitement can increase sweat production in the short term. Sometimes hormonal fluctuations, such as changing or discontinuing the pill or menopause, are also responsible.
Some people sweat überm ularly a lot
In some people, the production of sweat goes beyond a normal level. Doctors such as the Munich dermatologist Dr. Timm Golüke speak of hyperhidrosis in this case. There is focal hyperhidrosis, which occurs on individual parts of the body, and generalized hyperhidrosis, which affects all parts of the body with a lot of sweat (e.g. armpits, hands).
The finding often causes a high level of suffering for those affected, and the increased sweat production can become a burden in everyday situations, such as when going on a date, buying shoes or visiting friends to take off their shoes. Hyperhidrosis can be treated in many different ways, the expert says.
Treatment of hyperhidrosis
Unlike some of his colleagues, Dr. Golüke is not a proponent of Botox treatments or liposuction. He doubts the effectiveness and considers both measures to be disproportionately expensive. In the end, however, it is the patient who decides. If you suspect that you are suffering from hyperhidrosis, it is best to seek medical treatment and discuss the most sensible course of action.
Before that, however, there are some things that sufferers can do themselves – risk-free and at home. Tikbow has collected tips from the experts against sweat.
Tips against perspiration
The right material for shoes and socks
Many people who suffer from sweat want to hide it in closed shoes, even in summer. Open shoes are a much better choice, as the skin on the feet can breathe and the sweat can evaporate directly. If it has to be closed shoes, then please choose ones made of breathable mesh materials or leather. Synthetic materials are not suitable, because there is no air circulation in them and the moisture/sweat cannot escape, the feet are trapped in shoes made of plastic, for example, like in a damp chamber. This is uncomfortable and can cause unpleasant odors.
The right choice of material is also essential for socks and tights. In addition to simple cotton, special moisture-wicking materials from the sportswear sector are also available.
When it comes to perspiration, pay particular attention to body hygiene.
The fact that pores sweat does not necessarily mean that they also smell unpleasant. As dermatologist Golüke confirms in conversation with Tikbow, sweat naturally smells neutral – with exceptions such as the hormonal influence during puberty. As a rule, the smell of sweat is caused by bacteria, which are the result of poor cleaning or repeated sweating of clothes or shoes. They produce the unpleasant smelling butyric acid when decomposing the sweat. Especially if you have a tendency to increased sweating, it is therefore extremely important to wash your clothes regularly.
Washing or drying sweaty clothing
Socks that you have sweated once should be washed, and preferably together with insensitive laundry that can withstand a 60 degree wash cycle well. It needs hot temperatures to destroy bacteria.
Hygienic handling is also recommended with the shoes. In the drugstore you can find fresh insoles, some of which have antibacterial additives. But even with shoe inserts, you should avoid wearing the same shoes on consecutive days. Furthermore, it makes sense to spray the shoes with a disinfectant spray after each use and put them in front of the door for airing.
Treating sweat with powders and foot deodorants
Powder can be used to keep different parts of the skin dry. For example, you can use the classic household product baby powder for the feet or use a special foot powder. Some people swear by foot deodorants, which are supposed to prevent the development of bacteria. These are also available with aluminum chloride additives, which – are comparable to common antiperspirant deodorants for the armpits – cause the sweat glands to contract and thus reduce perspiration.
Whether or not to use deodorants with aluminum chloride remains a personal decision for the time being. Although the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment announced in a statement in July 2020 that the contribution of antiperspirants "to overall exposure to aluminum is significantly lower than previously assumed", aluminum in deodorants remains controversial. It is safe to say that aluminum from deodorants can be absorbed through the skin,” says health expert and pharmacist Steffen Kuhnert in an interview with Tikbow. The extent to which this poses a threat of health problems has not yet been finally scientifically researched.
Footwear against perspiration
According to Dr. Golüke, low-current baths, in which continuous or high-frequency current is passed through water with the aid of electrodes, can do something to combat üexcessive sweating. This is confirmed in an article published in the journal Pädiatrie. According to the article, this is a treatment method that has been recognized for many years and leads to normal dry skin in 98% of all cases without the need for medication. For home use, there are special pads with electrodes in the sanitary house.
Likewise, customary footballs are not only pleasant, but also quite useful. A particularly proven remedy is a regular 20-minute apple cider vinegar foot bath. You need half a cup of apple cider vinegar in two liters of warm water. Also recommended are footbaths with natural additives such as bath salts, sage or fragrant lavender, which also has an antibacterial effect. The tannins from black and green tea are said to cause the pores in the feet to contract and somewhat inhibit sweat production.
Despite a possible tendency to sweat, skin care should not be neglected: Dry your feet well and then apply a moisturizing lotion. Here, too, there is a choice between products with and without aluminum chloride. In any case, it should not be an ointment – the texture is too thick and could close the pores, which in turn can promote the sweating problem.