Treatment for Sweaty Feet


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Antiperspirants

There is a range of antiperspirant products available that are designed to help your sweat problems.  Recently some have been made specifically to focus on foot sweating, and which you use is completely your choice.  Antiperspirants are available in many different forms, from roll-on's to powders, and you might find some easier to apply than others.

Most antiperspirants work in a similar way.  The ingredients include aluminium chloride, a substance that works to block up your sweat glands, so preventing any sweat from leaving the surface of your skin.  You will need to apply the antiperspirant at night, and wash it off in the morning.  Initially this will need to be done every evening, although over time you will be able to cut down the number of times you treat your feet.  Most people only need use the antiperspirant once or twice each week.

Antiperspirants are relatively cheap, costing between £5 and £10, and have a high success rate.  They would be a good treatment to try first, as they involve little effort and can fit quickly into your daily routine.  

Iontophoresis

Iontophoresis is a safe, non-invasive treatment for those who suffer from either plantar or palmar Hyperhidrosis.  The method involves using electric currents through a dish of water which then prevents the sweat glands from their normal function.  Due to the nature of the treatment it is only used for people who are having difficulties with excess sweating of their hands and/or feet, as these areas can be easily placed into the water.  This treatment can be performed by your GP, nurse or at a health clinic, or you can buy your own home kit so that you can continue the treatments yourself. 

Unfortunately iontophoresis is not a long-term solution for Hyperhidrosis sufferers, as the treatments need to be maintained over time.  It is likely that you will require fewer treatments the longer you use the method, however most people need to top up around once a week.  The home kits can be expensive, as can visiting a health centre for iontophoresis treatments, so ideally this would be a good second option after trying lotions and antiperspirant products. 

Many people who find that using antiperspirants irritates their skin can have a different experience with iotophoresis, and it has a high success rate with regards to preventing excess sweating of the hands and feet. 

Surgery

You can have surgery for sweating of the feet, although this is a very extreme answer to the problem, and surgery can sometimes lead to unforeseen side effects that are worse than the initial sweating problem.  When looking into surgery as an option it is a good idea to seek the advice of your GP, as they will be able to give you a balanced opinion of the surgery.  There are two surgical options, ETS, (Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy) or Retrodermal Curettage.  ETS involves changing the nerves that control the sweat glands within your feet, by cutting, burning or clamping them.  Retrodermal curettage involves a local anaesthetic and your surgeon will remove sweat glands from the feet area, so preventing excessive sweating.  Both have their pros and cons and ought to be greatly researched before you reach a decision.  Most surgeons will not conduct ETS for sweating of the feet due to the location of the nerve that controls it.  It is very close to that which controls fertility, and as such most surgeons choose not to provide this service.

Unfortunately surgery for Hyperhidrosis does tend to lead to a common side effects, that of secondary sweating.  This is a reaction by your body as the sweat glands are altered, and your body compensates for it.  Instead of sweating in the feet, you might find that you sweat excessively elsewhere.  This secondary sweating can sometimes be worse than the initial problem.  As well as this there are other problems with surgery such as a risk of infection, anaesthetic's and nerve damage that also pose a risk.  Surgery ought to be regarded as your last option when trying to treat excessive foot sweating.


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