Plantar hyperhidrosis is a skin condition characterized by excessively sweaty feet. If you have plantar hyperhidrosis, your socks and shoes will be frequently soaked due to sweat, and worse, your feet will smell bad. Fortunately, you don't need to resign yourself to a lifetime of frequently changing your socks and shoes. Here are three non-surgical treatments that can be used to treat plantar hyperhidrosis.
You may think of Botox injections as just a treatment for wrinkles, but this treatment can be used for many other purposes, including blocking the nerves that supply your sweat glands. When these nerves are blocked, the sweat glands can't produce sweat, and you'll have symptom relief until the Botox wears off.
Since the bottoms of your feet are very sensitive, your doctor will need to numb your feet first. Local anesthesia will be used, so you'll be awake for the treatment. Once your feet are numb, your doctor will inject the bottoms of your feet with botulinum toxin type A. The treatment lasts for about four months, and when your feet start to sweat again, you'll need to have more injections.
Antiperspirants aren't just for your armpits: they can also be used on the soles of your feet to keep your sweat under control. The active ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum, and aluminum keeps you from sweating by blocking your sweat ducts. Apply antiperspirant to your feet at night, and cover your feet with socks to prevent the product from getting wiped off.
In the United States, over-the-counter antiperspirants are allowed to contain as much as 25% aluminum, which can provide strong protection from sweat. Try over-the-counter products first, and if your feet are still sweating, your doctor can prescribe a stronger type of antiperspirant.
There are a few different oral medications that your doctor can prescribe. The most commonly prescribed medications are anticholinergics. These drugs are used to treat conditions like stomach cramps or sleep disorders, but they can be used off-label to treat excessively sweaty feet. Anticholinergics work by blocking the receptors that tell your body to produce sweat, though if you stop taking the medication, you'll start sweating again.
If your sweating is made worse by anxiety or stressful situations, beta blockers can be used to block your physical symptoms. You'll still feel anxious or stressed, but you won't end up with puddles of sweat in your shoes. Beta blockers act on your nervous system, just like anticholinergics do, and keep your sweat glands from receiving the signal to produce sweat.
If your feet are very sweaty, you may have plantar hyperhidrosis and should see your family doctor, Orange Beach Walk-In Medical Care, right away for treatment.