The real cause of your sweaty feet

Summer is weeks away, so get ready to get sweaty. Operating around in the heat means perspiration is bound to happenon your face, under your arms, and in other, ahem , less visible places. But what if you’ve got sweaty feet 24/7, regardless of the temperature outside or how much you’ve exercised? According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, 3 percent of the population has hyperhidrosis, a.k.a. excessive sweating. Its more common in younger someones than older people, and more men than girls suffer from itbut it can happen to anyone. ( Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss objectives with Women’s Health’s Look Better Naked DVD .)

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People with overly sweaty or smelly feet tend to know they have this problem when they are young, says S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D ., an aesthetic dermatologist and CEO and founder of Miami Skin Institute. But what do you do when your toes are slimies and your soles are moist( besides opt for flip flops whenever possible )? And why does it happen? Read on to find out how to combat sopping socks and soggy shoes.

What causes it?
Hyperhysrosis, a hereditary condition, is an overproduction of sweat, ” says Jacqueline M. Sutera, physician of podiatric medicine. “[ Its caused by] being nervous, warm climate, fever or illness, infection, certain fabrics or material, and dye in socks.” If an external factor like workout doesn’t explain your damp kicks, Mom and Dad might be to blame. The propensity to have sweaty feet above normal levels when not exercising is a genetic one, says Jegasothy.

RELATED : WHAT YOUR SWEAT CAN TELL YOU ABOUT YOUR HEALTH

What can you do about it?
Depending on the severity of sweat, you have a few options, says Sutera. Tea soaks, which involve literally letting your feet soak in cooled tea, have tannins that temporarily shrink sweat glands. Over-the-counter sprayings and powders can act to dry the scalp and manage odor, she says. One alternative: Klima Surefoot Foot Spray ($ 24.95, amazon.com ). There are also prescription anti-perspirants that work like the underarm ones to temporarily decease sweat production.( Ask your doctor if you’re interested in the Rx route .)

RELATED: WHY DO SOME PEOPLE SWEAT WAY MORE THAN OTHERS ?

Are your socks and shoes causing their own problems?
Shopping the aisles of the pharmacy can help, but a quick dresser drawer run-through may alter the physical nation of your feet, too. Changing your socks to a more breathable textile, like cotton or new moisture-wicking technology,[ helps ], says Sutera. Champion Double-Dry socks could do the trick ($ 15, amazon.com ). Wearing closed-toe shoes can promote sweating, particularly in warmer weather. When possible and appropriate, opt for breathable textiles and natural materials with openings. Jegasothy suggests leather and canvas shoes, which tend to wick away sweat just like athletic wear, and are usually better than synthetic materials. A good option? Birkenstock Slide Sandals ($ 120, amazon.com ).

RELATED: HERE’S WHY YOU’VE BEEN WAKING UP DRIPPING IN SWEAT

Are there any procedures that help?
For more severe cases, there are a few options for therapies than can help. Miradry, an ultrasound procedure that is performed often over time, may decrease greatly the amount of sweating which occurs on the palms and soles. Botox is another optionBotox in the feet can temporarily block sweat production for three to six months, says Suteraas is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the nerve that controls the sweat reaction. Keep in mind that Botox injections are usually better when done earlier age( i.e ., in your twenties) because younger sweat glands are more easily ablated than mature ones. If you’re ready to try a therapy, see your M.D. to find out which option is best for you.

First published on WomensHealthMag.com .

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