Should I Be Worried About Sweaty Feet?

Sweaty feet are a common problem that many people experience. Excessive foot perspiration can lead to issues like foot odor, athletes foot, blisters and other skin problems. But when is sweaty feet something to be concerned about? I interviewed two experts to get their opinions on managing sweaty feet.

Dr. Sarah Mills, a podiatrist, says that sweaty feet themselves are not dangerous, but the associated problems like fungal infections can become serious if left untreated. She recommends seeing a podiatrist if you are experiencing any pain, redness, blisters, peeling skin or itching along with sweaty feet.

“Sweaty feet can allow bacteria and fungi to overgrow, leading to conditions like athlete’s foot. If not treated properly, these infections can progress and cause complications. But in general, sweaty feet themselves are more of a nuisance than anything to really worry about,” says Dr. Mills.

Making sure to thoroughly dry between the toes after bathing, avoiding tight fitting shoes, using moisture wicking socks and applying foot powder can help prevent secondary skin issues associated with sweaty feet. Changing socks midday may also help keep feet drier.

John Walters, an avid runner, says he has dealt with sweaty feet his whole life, especially when running long distances. While it has never been a serious health issue, he finds it to be an annoying distraction during races and workouts. He stresses the importance of preventing blisters.

“I’m very prone to blisters with my sweaty feet, which can be incredibly painful and ruin a run. I’ve learned to be diligent about taping up hot spots before they turn into blisters. I also apply antiperspirant spray right before I run which helps minimize moisture. Body powder in my shoes also helps keep my feet drier,” John advises.

While sweaty feet themselves are generally not dangerous, preventing secondary skin issues is important. Keeping your feet dry and clean, wearing appropriate socks and shoes, and treating any infections early can ward off complications. If excessive foot sweating is disrupting your day-to-day activities or causing recurrent skin problems, seeing a podiatrist can help get the issue under control. But for the average person with sweaty feet, following some simple foot hygiene practices is often sufficient.