Feet sweats are annoying, and they are unnerving. When you ask yourself why do my feet stink in the winter, there isn't a simple answer that jumps on your mind. But we are here to help.
We are all mentally ready and prepared to sweat in the summer, some more than others. However, it is a nuisance and very confusing when you have to deal with feet sweat in winter.
It is hard to understand how I can be feeling cold and still sweating? Read on to find the very reason your feet sweat excessively in winter.
It is a condition in which a person experiences excessive sweating in their hands, armpit, and feet. This excessive sweating of the feet region is called ‘Plantar Hyperhidrosis.’ The consistency of the condition varies from person to person; some intermittent experience episodes, whereas for some, it is a continuous cause of concern and discomfort.
Hyperhidrosis is linked with the hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, and an increase in stress and temperature triggers it. This overactive behavior causes overstimulation of sweat glands and narrows down the arteries limiting blood flow to the feet, which makes them moist and cold.
Although the causes of Hyperhidrosis are unknown, it is commonly correlated to obesity and increases or hyperthyroid functions.
Plantar Hyperhidrosis can be a very embarrassing problem, especially in a social and working environment. Excessive sweating causes feet to release a vile odor, which causes stress to the sufferer.
It can also be very dangerous as a sweaty foot can slip off the brakes while driving, or a slip in a high heel sandal can twist the ankle, causing serious injury.
There is no diagnosis required; it is usually determined by symptoms mentioned above and physical examination. It does not require any blood tests, x-rays, etc. A starch test is observed to be performed on rare occasions.
There are both surgical and non-surgical ways to treat this condition. Let us look into both.
Aluminum Chloride Hexahydrate, also known as Drysol, is what most doctors prescribe for Hyperhidrosis. You can apply Drysol every night, till your feet sweats are under control. Once you see a difference, you can use it on a weekly basis.
Botox is said to have resolved the issue, but it is a short term solution as the effect will only last from 3 to 6 months. Plus, it is expensive as you will require a lot of injections per session.
Other lesser tried treatments involve anti-anxiety drugs, psychotherapy, and Iontophoresis (where a person places their feet in water with low-voltage DC current).
I was amazed to know that surgery can be a solution to this problem. Yes, minimally invasive surgery is a viable and effective solution to feet sweat, and it has been around for over 7 decades.
The weather change can trigger feet sweats – Not just when it gets warmer, but even a drop in temperature can also activate your body’s sweating mechanism. This phenomenon is called autonomic regulation, which occurs as your body works hard to adjust to the change in temperature, hot or cold.
You might ask, how can cold temperature make my feet sweat? Let us consider a scenario; you are on your way home and have been walking out in the snow. This will make your feet cold, but once you enter your home, your body and feet will start working on getting your feet warmer.
This is again going to trigger the same reaction as mentioned in weather change. The autonomic regulation will trigger the feet sweat.
The Shoes You Choose
We generally get to wear warm boots during the winter season. Some working places require you to wear rubber boots or safety boots. Most of these boots and shoes are non-breathable, insulated, and waterproof.
Having your feet enclosed for longer durations can make them warm and sweaty. This also causes your feet to smell as air cannot go in or out of the footwear.
Similar to wearing winter boots, having thick socks on in winter also cause your feet to sweat profusely.
Due to dry air in winter, your skin tends to dry out much quicker and frequently than normal days. Plus, wearing insulated boots along with layers of thick socks can cause calluses and corns. This triggers excessive sweating as well.
Boots off when Inside
It is advisable to take off your winter boots when you are indoors. It might not be possible for some, but if you do get a chance, then do so. How about keeping a pair of slippers or normal shoes at your workplace? So you can change into them as soon as you get there.
Rotation of Foot Wear
Do not wear the same pair of shoes every single day. Winter boots need some fresh air to get in, so the odor can escape; therefore, leave the previous day boots out to breathe while you wear another fresh pair. You can use two pairs on alternate rotation.
Socks – Wear them Wisely
Whether you wear a single pair of sock or a layer of socks to keep your feet warm, choose them wisely. While it is perfectly alright to wear multiple layers, but if you wear the wrong material, it will make your feet sweaty and smelly.
Therefore, choose socks are made from Merino wool or polypro blend. Not only will they soak up the moist but keep your feet dry and fresh. Socks with synthetic inner lining with a thicker wool layer are another effective option available in the market.
General Hygiene is Important
You can apply the best remedies to encounter feet sweat in winters or any weather, but it is all in vain if you do not care for your general hygiene. Wash your feet regularly, use alcoholic wipes to sanitize them, soak them in warm water for a longer period when you are home from a long day at work.
Use antiperspirant sprays for fresh smelling feet. Do all of the above, and you will see a considerable difference in your feet’s appearance and issues with sweating and feel odor.