Whether summertime or overheated indoor temperatures during the fall and winter months, the smell and discomfort of sweaty feet, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be unbearable. Besides the odor and pool of sweat in your shoes, other symptoms can indicate hyperhidrosis, including recurrent foot infections and the foot skin changing color.
Why are sweaty feet bad?
Sweaty feet may not sound life-threateningly concerning, but they can put you in awkward situations socially and medically. In the latter case, chronic sweaty feet may lead to fungal infections like Athlete's foot, toenail fungus, and unbearable foot odor.
Social problems caused by sweaty feet
People who suffer from hyperhidrosis tend to avoid wearing open shoes such as sandals and flip flops. They feel highly conscious if they have to walk bare feet - for example, on beaches and water parks - leading them to avoid such social and outdoor activities altogether.
Even physical activities like group yoga, Zumba, and workouts at the gym become a terrifying thought for these people. Other than having a drastic effect on their social life, sweaty feet might restrict a person's interest in solo physical activities as well.
Physiological and mental wellbeing gets affected
Sweaty feet inevitably bring negative emotions such as frustration, fear of being judged, and disgust, adding to the person's suffering. Moreover, being restricted from social activities might also deteriorate one's mental and emotional wellbeing; making it a force to be reckoned with.
Medical complications caused by sweaty feet
Sweaty feet can often lead to a fungal skin disease called Athlete's foot which usually occurs between the toes but can also spread to other parts of the feet. It happens because this particular fungus thrives on moist and enclosed environments within the shoes and between the toes. It can be a significant cause for concern as it leads to itching, burning, scaling, and swelling of the foot.
Moreover, it can even spread to other people since it is contagious. It has the ability to cause severe problems for senior citizens if they are on the receiving end, putting them at a greater risk.
Another medical consequence is Toenail fungus, also known as Dermatophytes, thrives in damp and moist conditions brought about by sweaty feet. It can be caused by catching Athlete's foot, making the entire process a loop. Although there are several treatments present for both conditions, they have certain side effects.
How can sweaty feet be avoided?
There are several ways to avoid sweaty feet. Preventative measures need to be taken, especially in regions with a hot climate or generally during summers. Besides these, everyone must aim to keep their feet healthy and clean and have a persistent routine of doing so.
Here are the nine most effective ways to prevent and manage sweaty feet.
- Wearing the right socks
The socks we wear must be in accordance with the weather; in summer, we must stock up on light cotton socks, which are preferably ankle-length to avoid sweat accumulation. During sports-related activities, it is advisable to wear sports socks that are specifically made for adequate ventilation of the feet.
- Using feet care products
These may include foot antiperspirants and fungal powders. Antiperspirants can be used before wearing your shoes when you have a long day of work ahead. Also, they are easy to carry around, so awkward situations can be avoided when you have to expose your feet. They can come in handy during sports too. The fungal powder can be highly beneficial as it will help prevent foot fungal diseases such as Athlete's foot, fungal toenails, etc.
- Finding the right shoes
Finding shoes that perfectly fit can be a game-changer. First and foremost, one must not wear shoes that are too tight, restricting space and might even disrupt blood circulation in your feet. Materials like plastic must be avoided at all costs; instead, opting for breathable shoe materials can prove to be a savior for your feet.
- Getting custom insoles
Custom insoles are a great way to get some relief from sweaty feet without having to shop for expensive new shoes. There are many ways to get your hands on custom shoe inserts. You can visit your podiatrist and get professionally fitted, however the easiest and most accurate way to get fitted for custom insoles is to use the FitMyFoot app.
You’ll be able to see the angle and curve of each foot, along with your true size, width and arch measurements, directly from your phone. Once your details are added, you will be sent your custom insoles that have been tailored to your exact foot needs.
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- Washing your feet
Make a habit of washing your feet regularly. Doing it once or twice a day may not be enough, especially if you wear enclosed shoes throughout the day. It is also advised to invest in good foot-related products such as moisturizers, foot washes, antiperspirants, etc. These products will not only wash away the bacteria accumulated on your skin but also remove any bad odor present.
- Soaking your feet in saltwater
Another helpful practice would be soaking your feet in saltwater at least two to three times a week. You can even add organic and herbal additions such as coconut oil, vinegar, and rose water to enhance your experience. Doing this for a minimum of twenty minutes straight will clear clogged pores and make your feet fresh as new.
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- Changing and cleaning shoes
Make it a habit to clean your shoes on the weekends! Do this especially with the ones you wear the most throughout the week and all your joggers, sneakers, and gym shoes. Putting them out in the sun and simply exposing them to open air does the trick as well. Also, it is always a good idea to spray the insides with an antifungal powder solution and a good foot deodorant.
If you think your shoes are a bit smelly lately, try NonScents Shoe Deodorizer, available on the FitMyFoot store. Each pair of NonScents can remove odor for up to 6 months! It's not just for shoes, either - put it in your gym bag, sock drawer, lockers, luggage, and more!
- Don’t over-wear your favorite shoes
It is also advised that you should not overwear a particular pair of shoes. Yes, even if they’re your favorite! Buying new shoes is not a luxury but a necessity. Don't hesitate to replace your beloved beat up oldies every six months or so - your feet will thank you!
- Consult a doctor
Besides the necessary precautions and measures, if you still feel your foot isn't in its best shape, you must not hesitate to visit a doctor. You may have an underlying health issue going on with your feet that needs attention. Medical advice is always preferable, and foot hygiene must be your top priority. The improvement in the smell of your feet will be evident.
Enjoy the summer without having to think about your feet smelling. It's time for some feet-freedom! We hope this article has helped you. For more, subscribe to our blog or check out the FitMyFoot app.