Sweaty Feet in Sandals: Prevention, Products, Tips & More

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It almost goes without saying: your feet do a lot of work. The average American walks between 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily (around 1.5 to 2 miles), and health experts recommend expanding that significantly to 10,000 steps (five miles).

If you’re walking up to five miles a day, your feet are going to perspire. In the heat of summer, they’re going to perspire even more! Even if you choose open-toed sandals to help your feet breathe, it’s going to be difficult to keep them dry. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the social taboo of foot odor. In this article, we’ll discuss how to stop sweaty feet when wearing sandals.

Sweaty Feet with Sandals: Hyperhidrosis Exacerbates Foot Sweating

To a certain extent, everyone experiences this problem. But for sufferers of hyperhidrosis, sweaty feet with sandals can be so much worse. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating, and it can be anxiety-inducing and even pose a threat to personal health. Consequences of hyperhidrosis can include:

  •   Embarrassing sweat patches
  •   Discomfort, including itching and cold patches
  •   Dehydration in hot weather
  •   Rashes or pimples can form
  •   Painful blisters may develop
  •   Unpleasant odors may occur
  •   Blocked sweat glands, making it harder to cool down

When hyperhidrosis happens in the feet, it is properly called plantar hyperhidrosis, a condition that affects an estimated 3% of the population. Although everyone’s feet will sweat, especially during exercise, people with hyperhidrosis can experience substantially worse symptoms of sweating.

Many people with plantar hyperhidrosis have palmar hyperhidrosis too (sweaty palms), and it can cause acute social embarrassment and even the avoidance of certain social circumstances (shaking hands or walking in bare feet). Self-confidence is often negatively impacted, particularly when other people are cruel or don’t take the condition seriously.

At The Center for Hyperhidrosis, we believe nobody should feel the need to change their behavior to cope with this condition. There are methods for preventing sweaty feet in sandals, mitigation, and minimization, including medical treatments, tips, and tricks. In this article, we’ll be answering the question of “how to prevent sweaty feet in sandals?,”so you can live your life free of sweaty feet!

How to Stop Sweaty Feet When Wearing Sandals: Prevention Tips and Tricks

The simplest method for preventing outbreaks of sweaty feet with sandals is the use of antiperspirants. These should be applied when the feet are dry and unlikely to sweat, for example, after a bath or shower or prior to bedtime. Such products exist in various strengths and formulations, so it may be wise to experiment with a few before settling on the one which proves most effective. There are also hypoallergenic products and stronger antiperspirants designed for use after sport.

Woman choosing between deodorants to treat excessive underarm sweating

Remember that following exercise, your body will continue to perspire for some time until it returns to an ambient temperature – this is entirely natural. It can be worth waiting until your skin cools before you shower so that your body does not continue to sweat. Apply antiperspirants only after your feet are cool and dry.

Talcum powder (baby powder) may appear as a useful product to help stave off sweating, but in a series of recent studies and high-profile lawsuits, there are links between excessive use of talc with ovarian cancer. It may be wise to find similarly functioning powders which do not contain talc (a compound of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen). Fortunately, there are many products on the market created with safe moisture-absorbent powders, such as cornstarch or baking soda.

baking soda for sweating

If you exercise regularly, there are anti-odor sprays for shoes that can be applied regularly prior to wearing them to reduce the build-up of unpleasant smells. You can also use disposable insoles designed to reduce foot odor, which will increase the lifespan of your shoes. We recommend a product called Summersoles, which are attractive, non-sticky thin insoles that can be added to footwear to keep you dry and confident! If you’re wondering, “what are the best sandals for sweaty feet?”, we recommend brands like TEVA, Birkenstock, and ECCO.

In the summer heat, you’ll ideally want to wear sandals, and your feet may be exposed to the hot sun for hours at a time. Rather than stifle your feet in socks and shoes, we believe in finding methods to give hyperhidrosis patients the freedom that everyone else enjoys.

We recommend selecting footwear specifically designed to minimize foot odor, including sandals. Try to choose breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen, which wick moisture away from your feet. Such products can prove to be a godsend for preventing sweaty feet in sandals.

Next, we’ll look at some medical interventions you might consider to achieve long-term relief from plantar hyperhidrosis.

How to Stop Sweaty Feet In Sandals: Medical Treatments for Hyperhidrosis

Botox®:

Although Botox® has been shown to reduce perspiration by blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which stimulates the sweat glands, it is not always an ideal treatment for plantar hyperhidrosis. This is because it can be painful due to the soles of feet being particularly sensitive. When it is used, a local nerve block is required before Botox® injections can proceed.

Woman getting a Botox injection into her armpit to treat excessive underarm sweating

Beta Blockers:

These are oral medications that affect the body’s B-adrenergic receptors, blocking the release of adrenaline. This has the knock-on effect of lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Anxiolytics (benzodiazepines) are similarly used to reduce anxiety symptoms (which can include excessive perspiration). Since both types of medication affect the central nervous system, they are best prescribed for occasional use, such as when public speaking or facing other high-stress experiences where excessive sweating may occur. If plantar hyperhidrosis is your primary problem, such treatments would probably prove to be excessive.

Hyperhidrosis

Anticholinergics:

These are the most frequently prescribed oral medications for excessive sweating (such as Glycopyrrolate® or Robinul®). Like Boto®x, these medications block the acetylcholine receptor to make sweat glands less active. However, these treatments come with significant side effects, including dry mouth and eyes, constipation and urinary retention, blurred vision, heartburn, and sometimes tachycardia or increased heart rates.

Because of these serious side effects, patients with secondary hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating as a side effect of an underlying medical condition) should best be treated for their primary condition rather than given anticholinergics. These treatments are also contraindicated for patients with a history of IBS, GERD, heart issues, or glaucoma.

In summary, there are no invasive or oral treatments that are suited to plantar hyperhidrosis specifically. However, if sweaty feet are part of a non-localized hyperhidrosis that you are being treated for, the above treatments may be considered. In all cases, a thorough consultation with one of our doctors will clarify which interventions are truly appropriate.

Non-Invasive Treatment for Sweaty Feet with Sandals

An entirely different approach in hyperhidrosis treatment is iontophoresis, but it’s nothing new. In fact, this non-invasive treatment has been used to treat excessive perspiration since the 1940s. Put simply, iontophoresis involves placing your hands or feet in a tray of water through which a mild electrical current is passed. A mild tingling sensation will be generated, which at higher voltages can be more intense (although all such machines should operate within safe parameters).

There are no significant medical studies undertaken to show how well iontophoresis works. However, patients with mild to moderate symptoms have reported an improvement in their condition. To prove efficacious, the treatment must be undertaken regularly and can therefore prove to be potentially time-consuming.

At The Center for Hyperhidrosis, we can advise on whether this treatment may be right for you, as well as recommend a range of devices that are reasonably priced, safe, and preferred.

Sweaty Feet in Sandals: A Proportionate Approach

It’s clear from this rundown of possible treatments that a topical, non-invasive, or behavioral response is best. In other words, products you can wear, rub, or spray on beat anything more extreme when addressing sweaty feet in sandals. Our hope is that this article helped to explain how to wear sandals with sweaty feet so that your summertime can be more enjoyable.

Visit our plantar hyperhidrosis information page to learn more about your condition, or take a look at our treatments pages for more information on the medical interventions described above.

Our consultants will discuss the types of products you might try to help you feel free and confident when wearing sandals, walking barefoot, or exercising. Your feet are your most vital extremities and deserve a little pampering – let us help you treat them with love and care!

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