What causes sweaty feet?


Everyone gets sweaty feet once in a while. Nobody likes to talk about it, but it happens to everyone at some point of time. Though sweat most often appears in only a few areas of the body, such as the feet, underarms and palms, sweat glands are present all over the body. However, the excretion of sweat is the highest in these three areas, so it seems like they sweat excessively owing to the higher concentration of sweat glands. And while sweating is natural, it can also bring about unwanted side effects if not treated on time, such as athlete’s foot and other skin conditions.

What are the symptoms & causes of sweaty feet?

Sweat is the result of triggers to specific conditions or emotions. For instance, the production of sweat often begins when the brain triggers the signal to the sweat glands that the body’s temperature needs to be regulated – and the glands respond by producing sweat to lower the body’s temperature. You may even sweat in response to fear or excitement. However, some people tend to sweat more than others, as a result of a condition known as hyperhidrosis. This is seen in the form of sweaty feet and armpits. Other symptoms of sweaty feet are excessive foul odour, a whitened appearance and a slippery feeling in the shoes. The odour is caused by bacteria which is present in the sweat, and which proliferates in the warm and humid confines of the shoe. Though there is no parameter to define normal v/s abnormal sweating, any sweating that interferes with your social life and makes you self-conscious can be seen as excessive sweating. It may be triggered by an involuntary response of the nervous system, the exact cause of excess sweating is still unknown.

Three Tricks to Avoid Foot Odour

The feet has more sweat glands than any other part of the body does, so you are more likely to notice foot perspiration if you’re on your feet all day. The sweat starts collecting in your shoes, and the footwear becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Try these tips to prevent foot odour:

  • Care for Your feet
    The golden rule is to ensure that your feet are completely dry at all times, especially before wearing your socks and shoes. Let your feet dry thoroughly after showering. Now spray some of Scholl’s Fresh Step Foot Spray on your feet before putting on your socks. Everybody needs a daily foot care routine, but it becomes essential if you suffer from foot odour. Wash your feet daily with clean water, and use an anti-bacterial soap. You can even try home remedies like lavender oil, which not only smells wonderful but which also helps kill bacteria. Rub a few drops of the oil on your feet before bed and wake up to fresh feet in the morning.
  • Right Footwear
    The most severe cases of foot sweats and odour require two to three sock changes in a day. You might consider wearing sport socks that are designed to absorb excess moisture. Alternate between wearing two pairs of shoes and store them in a cool, well-ventilated spot so that they remain dry. Moist shoes are an invitation for bacteria in the foot sweat to proliferate and spread, so the shoes and socks must be kept as dry as possible to reduce unwanted odours.
    Make sure that you’re wearing the right shoes, in terms of fit and material. This applies to socks as well – synthetics are better for sweaty feet than 100% cotton. The socks should be washed after every use, and be properly dry before being worn again. If you find that you have excessive foot odour, it might be because of other problems, such as a fungal infection. Stock up on anti-fungal sprays and powders as a precautionary measure.
  • Simple Remedies
    You can make just one simple change to your shoes – use medicated insoles, such as Scholl’s Odour Control Insoles, to deodorize the shoes and reduce foot odour. There are antibacterial socks you could try as well, which eliminate the bacteria in the foot sweat and eliminate odour.
    Your sweaty feet may not change for the better right away, but making some lifestyle changes, being more active, drinking lots of water and using the right foot care products can reduce the sweaty feet symptoms and bring back your confidence. Get creams, disinfectant sprays and shoes or socks made out of breathable materials to permanently remove the problem of foot odour.