What can I do?
Medical treatment is not always necessary to alleviate mild to moderate cases plantar hyperhidrosis. Many individuals have been able to successfully regulate this excessive sweating by simply changing their daily habits. Consider the following at-home remedies:
- Shoe inserts which absorb sweat. These keep the feet drier and minimize slipping and sliding.
- Moisture absorbing powers such as baby powder and Gold-Bond can help. Pat the feet dry with a towel and apply liberally before putting on socks. Avoid using these powders in the genital region. There is also a risk associated with inhaling these types of powder, especially for babies and young children.
- Using warm air dryers to dry the shoes thoroughly before their next use. This can help them smell better and last longer as well.
These methods may work for some patients yet usually don’t achieve results which are comparable to medical treatments. In almost all cases it’s best to consult with a qualified physicians to explore more proven and effective options.
Botox for Sweaty Feet
Below are are some question to consider if you are thinking about Botox injections for sweaty feet.
- Are your feet always cold?
- Are you worried about slipping out of you sandals or flip-flops due to excessive moisture?
- Does your sweat ruin shoes?
- Do your feet often feel sloppy and soggy?
- When you walk barefoot do you leave damp footprints?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above you may have exceedingly sweaty feet. The technical term for this condition is “plantar hyperhidrosis,” and it affects about 2% to 3% of the population. Fortunately, several effective treatments are now available. These include:
- Iontophoresis (an electricity based treatment which must be used weekly to maintain results)
- Botox injections
Botox injections have become a favorite treatment choice for axillary hyperhidrosis (excessive underarm sweating). This popular treatment is currently finding wider acceptance for excessive sweating on the feet and hands. While injections of Botox into the foot are quick and simple and cause minimal discomfort. In most cases the effects last approximately 4 months at which point further injections are recommended.
Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery (ETS) is a procedure used to treat overactive sweating. ETS surgery is NOT recommended for overly sweaty feet. It’s a more invasive option, and the potential side effects may be severe and sometimes irreversible.
Using Botox to treat excessive sweating
Botox, when used correctly, delivers outstanding and reproducible results. Yet not all practitioners, whether they’re doctors, physician’s assistants, or nurses, have the same level of skill. Practice makes perfect, so always choose the most experienced injector regardless of their professional title.
One of the things that makes Botox so popular is that it’s remarkable safe. It’s been studied extensively for years and produces very few side effects. When used cosmetically on the face the most commonly reported side effect is temporary asymmetry, usually of the forehead. This almost always occurs when an inexperienced injector applies more Botox to one side than the other. This is often complicated by using too much of the product to begin with.
In all cases this effect is temporary. When desired, it’s possible to deliver additional injections to balance out the appearance of the face. The alternative, of course, is simply waiting for the injections to wear off over the course of 3 to 4 months. This is often the best course of action when too much of the drug was used initially.
Botox effectively treats excess sweating
Botox has proven itself to be highly effective in the treatment of plantar hyperhidrosis, a.k.a. excessively sweat feet. When used in this fashion asymmetry isn’t an issue. One of the only reported side effects of plantar injections is mild, temporary discomfort. Typically, this subsides within hours of the injections.
As mentioned, you’ll get the best results when treated by a trained and experienced professional. Currently the International Hyperhidrosis Society (IHhS) offers such specialized training to doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurses. This is usually delivered in seminar format. Once this hands-on training is completed the practitioner is designated as being “IHhS Educated.”
Botox injections used to treat plantar hyperhidrosis are almost always delivered in an outpatient environment, usually a physician’s office. As with injections elsewhere on the body, very fine 32 gauge needles are used to deliver the drug. During treatment, multiple injections are delivered to the area in a grid pattern. Both the number of injections and the amount of Botox used are based on the injector’s clinical judgement. Not surprisingly, more severe cases require more of the drug to be delivered via more injections.
Can stress or anxiety trigger or worsen hyperhidrosis?
Yes, stress and anxiety can indeed trigger or exacerbate hyperhidrosis, a condition characterized by excessive sweating. This type of excessive sweating, brought on by emotional factors, is often referred to as emotional or stress-related hyperhidrosis. Here’s how it works:
- Sympathetic Nervous System Activation: When we experience stress or anxiety, the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated. This is the body’s “fight or flight” response to perceived threats or stressors. One of the physiological responses is an increase in sweating to help cool the body during a potential crisis.
- Excessive Sweating: In individuals with hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands are overactive, and this reaction to stress can be extreme. Even in non-stressful situations, their sweat glands produce more sweat than necessary, and when combined with stress-induced sweating, it can lead to profuse sweating.
- Cycle of Anxiety: The excessive sweating caused by stress or anxiety can become a source of embarrassment and further anxiety, creating a cycle. People with hyperhidrosis may worry about sweating excessively in social situations, which, in turn, can increase their stress levels and trigger even more sweating.
- Quality of Life Impact: This cycle can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, causing emotional distress, social withdrawal, and avoidance of situations that might trigger sweating.
What role does genetics play in hyperhidrosis?
Genetics can play a significant role in hyperhidrosis. This condition often runs in families, suggesting a hereditary component. If you have a family history of hyperhidrosis, you may be at a higher risk of developing it yourself. Specific genetic factors related to sweat gland function and regulation are believed to contribute to the condition. However, while genetics can increase susceptibility, other factors like environmental triggers and stress can also influence the onset and severity of hyperhidrosis.