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Is It Normal to Have Sweaty Feet?

Foot sweating can be a normal function of your body under certain circumstances, such as intense physical activity. Excessive foot sweating, however, is defined as sweating that goes beyond the normal physiological needs of your body.

This type of excessive foot sweating is known in the medical community as hyperhidrosis. If a person is sweating from his or her palms under normal conditions (non-active, no stress or excitement, normal temperature, social interaction), then they may have hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a genetically inherited condition which causes social and functional problems in everyday life.

As a part of the hyperhidrosis symptoms, sweaty feet and sweaty hands are possible. For many patients, excessive hand sweating is the more bothersome issue. Excessive hand sweating appears earlier than excessive foot sweating in many cases.

This has to do with the maturation of the sweat glands in the feet which are fully developed later in life (mid 20’s). Patients with excessive foot sweating are suffering from it on the same level as those with excessive hand sweating.

As in the case as with excessive hand sweating, the usual conservative measures are not as viable. The lumbar sympathectomy procedure has been used since about 2006. With this operation, one can achieve elimination of excessive foot sweating in up to 98% of the cases.

This operation is not offered for patients who previously had an ETS procedure which was unsuccessful for the feet. It is also not offered for patients where excessive foot sweating is much more of a problem than hand sweating.

Feet Sweating Without Any Sweaty Hand Symptoms

There are cases where patients only experience feet sweating without any hand sweating whatsoever. These cases need to be discussed extensively with the surgeon, in order to determine eligibility for the lumbar sympathectomy procedure.

At this time we are still investigating the mechanism that causes both sweaty hands and feet. It is possible that these cases are caused by something beyond the standard genetic traits.

As always a thorough discussion with a surgeon who is familiar with these issues is essential.

For additional information on foot sweating: