13 April 2024

Excessive foot sweating – an unpleasant ailment or a symptom of a serious illness?


The problem with hyperhidrosis may appear at any age. Even though sweating is a natural process, too much sweat is a sign that your body is fighting bacteria. Sometimes it is a consequence of a bad lifestyle, but in some cases it is a symptom of a serious illness or hormonal problems that should be dealt with by a doctor. In any case, we should consult a specialist who will make a diagnosis and start therapy. The most common form of hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating of the feet. What are its causes?

Sweating of the legs – the main causes

Excessive foot sweating affects more and more people. It is very often the result of wearing socks or shoes made of artificial materials throughout the day, in which the skin cannot “breathe” freely. Unfortunately, sweating feet can also be associated with an incorrect diet – it is worth avoiding stimulants, as well as spicy, hard-to-digest foods. Sweating feet can also be a result of emotional disorders – that’s why lemon balm is added to dietary supplements to reduce sweating.

excessive sweating of the feet

Night sweating and serious diseases. When is it worth visiting a doctor?

Excessive sweating at night can be a symptom of many serious diseases, so it should not be taken lightly. Night sweats are a sign that our body is trying to get rid of toxins. If night sweats are accompanied by general fatigue, apathy, problems with concentration or headaches, it is a sign that we should see a specialist as soon as possible – especially if the amount of sweat is increasing day by day. Here is a list of diseases that may be associated with night sweats:

  • Cancer (lymphoma) – cancer of the lymphatic system, unfortunately, affects more and more patients. Early detection is very important in its treatment, so if we are concerned about night sweats, it is worth seeing a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Diabetes – Night sweats can be associated with a drop in blood sugar levels. It usually occurs in the presence of undetected or incorrectly treated diabetes.
  • Hyperthyroidism – the thyroid gland is responsible for all processes that take place in our body, including thermoregulation. When we are dealing with too many hormones, the entire body works faster, which increases the amount of sweat.
  • Hypertension – this is the so-called “silent killer”. The disease does not give any signs for many years, but sudden jumps in pressure can cause an increase in body temperature and sweating.
  • Neurosis – excessive sweating can be a symptom of many mental disorders, including neurosis, but also schizophrenia. An organism that is constantly under stress produces adrenaline almost continuously. In this case, night sweats accompany sudden panic attacks that also appear at night.
  • Hyperhidrosis – is an inborn tendency to excessive sweating. Fortunately, the disease can be treated with appropriate pharmacological agents.
  • Reflux – As the stomach goes back up into the esophagus, it can cause a cough that makes your body temperature rise.

It is very important to find the cause of your night sweats and treat it, not the symptoms themselves. It is also worth taking care of the proper sleeping comfort by controlling the temperature in the bedroom and ensuring an appropriate level of humidity.

Night sweating and hormonal problems

Sometimes, excessive sweating is due to a hormonal imbalance. They can be associated with puberty, and in the case of older people with menopause or andropause (male menopause). In the case of the menopause, hot flashes are normal and can also occur at night. As for andropause, testosterone levels decrease during this period, which corresponds to, among others, for maintaining the proper body temperature. This usually happens after the age of 40.

Sweating at night after drinking alcohol

Nighttime sweating after drinking alcohol may be caused by the effect of ethanol on the vessels of the skin, which dilate significantly under its influence. Alcohol increases the level of sugar in the body very quickly and is also treated like a poison – we start to sweat to get rid of it. If the problem only occurs after drinking alcohol, don’t worry. Excessive sweating can also be associated with consumed products – the amount of sweat increases if the diet contains a lot of dairy products or spicy vegetables (onion, garlic).

Sweating head

Sweating of the head is usually associated with overactive sweat glands. It usually occurs in stressful situations, although it is sometimes caused by hormonal changes, obesity, or heart disease. Increased sweating of the head is a condition that causes great discomfort and often contributes to withdrawal from social contacts. Usually, the first symptoms of head sweating appear between the ages of 20 and 30. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be fully cured, but the symptoms themselves can be eliminated. The most important thing will be to maintain proper scalp hygiene – remember to wash your hair with appropriate preparations available at the pharmacy. You can also use the botulinum toxin injection of the scalp – it aims to block the nerves supplying the sweat glands. Thanks to this, they do not sweat even for several months. The first effects can be noticed after a few days. The cost of the procedure ranges from PLN 600 to PLN 1000.

excessive foot sweating - how to treat?

Smell of sweat – disturbing signals sent by the body

It is worth knowing that human sweat is odorless – it is bacteria and other toxins that the body gets rid of that affect its smell. The smell of sweat may change depending on the consumed products or stimulants. The unpleasant smell may be related to the disease the body is fighting against. What medical conditions can a particular smell mean?

  • Acetone – the smell of sweat resembling acetone means we may have diabetes. When a disease is detected, such a smell is a sign that it is being treated poorly.
  • Ammonia – an ammonia-like odor indicates severe kidney failure. Accompanying symptoms include altered urine output.
  • Bad beer – such a smell may indicate that we have tuberculosis. The disease causes practically no symptoms for a long time, therefore it is difficult to diagnose.

Excessive sweating – 4 ways to alleviate its symptoms. Treatments to combat the problem of sweating

Fighting excessive sweating should start with changing everyday habits – very often they are the main cause of the problem. What is worth remembering?

  • Choosing the right antiperspirant – it should limit the functioning of the sweat glands, not only smell nice. Let’s pay attention to the composition of the antiperspirant – it should contain zinc gluconate, neutralizing unpleasant odors.
  • Home remedies – avoid bathing in hot water as it stimulates the work of the sweat glands. The places that are most affected by sweating should be washed with soap with chlorhexidine (or other bactericidal preparation). We should also choose light, cotton clothing in which our skin can breathe freely. We should also remember about proper hygiene.
  • Herbal medicine – herbs such as lemon balm, sage and oak bark are especially recommended. It is worth consuming them in the form of an infusion. We can also make a bath with herbs.

If the above-mentioned methods do not bring any relief, it is worth using treatments that eliminate the symptoms of hyperhidrosis. In addition to the above-mentioned scalp injection, medicine also offers the following treatments:

  • Ionopheresis – it is used to treat hyperhidrosis of the feet, hands or armpits. The treatment involves permanent damage to the sweat glands. The price of one treatment is about PLN 400. The first effects can be seen after a series of treatments.
  • Laser lipolysis – involves introducing a beam of light into the sweat glands and then sucking them out. In the case of this treatment, we can be sure that sweat will never appear in a specific place again.
  • Liposuction – is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. It consists in sucking out the gland and fat with a small needle. The liposuction effect is permanent and its cost is about PLN 5,000.
  • Sympathectomy (in extreme cases) – this operation is intended for the most severe cases of excessive sweating. During sympathectomy, the nerves of profusely sweating areas are surgically cut. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and its effect is permanent.

Remember that increased sweating is a signal that the body gives us – do not disregard it and visit a doctor as soon as possible, who will make a diagnosis or dispel our doubts.

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