Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for tag: sweaty feet

Like most Seattleites you crave your coffee. Particularly during our wet, dreary winters there’s nothing quite like a full bodied Cuppa Joe to get you through the day. Coffee is great for many people and has even been shown to be richer in anti-oxidants than any other beverage. What could be wrong with that? Nothing, unless you happen to be a person who sweats excessively and has a condition called hyperhidrosis which could add to your risk of toenail fungus.

Toenail fungus loves dark, damp environments. In the winter in particular when feet are in boots, get wet, and rarely see the light of day fungus has many of the right conditions to infect your toenails.

A Seattle Times reader recently submitted some advice to people about how to decrease sweaty feet.  This reader with profoundly sweaty feet found that if he cut back to decaf or drink only one cup of fully leaded coffee it made a huge difference in decreasing his sweaty feet.  A respected journal also showed that caffeine increases sensitivity to sweating triggers.

As as Seattle podiatrist, I also recommend wearing flip flops in locker and shower rooms which are a hotbed of fungus and avoiding nail salons that don’t clean their equipment properly. Runners and other athletes are at risk because of the repetitive motion of the toes hitting the shoe end causing nail damage and easier fungus entry. Make sure your shoes fit properly, trade-off between shoes if you run daily, or purchase a SteriShoe+ Ultraviolet Shoe Sanitizer which can be placed in your shoes after your work out to eliminate 99% of all the bacteria and fungus that develop.

If you have questions or what to make an appointment to get rid of your ugly, fungal nails, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online. Meanwhile learn more about our laser treatment for fungal nails.

You may not be playing in the major leagues on opening day, but you can stress your feet just as much as a professional athlete in the course of your work week. In addition to having the right shoe for the right activity, the right socks can go a long way to keeping your feet happy and healthy. Here are some general principles to consider.

  • Socks with increased padding and some compression will relieve stress involved with prolonged standing. Good athletic socks will incorporate increased padding in the ball of the foot, some compression through the arch, and padding to protect your heels.
  • While cotton socks are plentiful and less expensive, they increase friction and become wet with moisture causing increased blistering. Socks containing Coolmax fibers or other synthetic blends designed to wick away moisture will help to decrease friction and prevent blistering. SmartWool Trekking Heavy Crew Socks (Gray) Large contains wool with nylon--this sock technology wicks away moisture and decreases friction. These socks can be particularly helpful if your feet tend to sweat a lot.
  • If you’ve tended to double up on your socks, you might consider the hiker’s approach which is to use a thinner sock liner against the foot which has wick away properties and an outer sock to absorb moisture. Wrightsocks are a brand of athletic socks with a double layer to reduce friction.
  • If you stand on your feet all day but need to dress in style, consider purchasing below the knee support stockings--these stockings now come in more stylish designs such as argyle and herringbone patterns and popular colors for men and women. You will be amazed how much less fatigue you will have if you wear support stockings. If you’re concerned about them being too hot, some even include the Coolmax fibers. Can be purchased througn www.rejuvahealth.com.

So, if your feet are giving you trouble while you work, knock your socks off and try some of the above suggestions to make them happier throughout the day.

Do you get complaints from your spouse or kids everytime you take your shoes off? Do they hold their noses, wrinkle up their faces, and leave the room? If so, you very likely have smelly feet.

There is help for this common problem.

The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body (about 3,000 glands per square inch). Feet smell for two reasons: you wear shoes and your feet sweat. The interaction between your perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in your shoes and socks generates the odor. Any attempt to reduce foot odor has to address both your sweating and your footwear.

Smelly feet can also be caused by an inherited condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, which primarily affects males. Stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration your body produces. 


  • Always wear socks with closed shoes.
  • Buy socks made of wool, acrylic, polypropylene, or polyethylene or some combination to wick away moisture and reduce friction. Some brands to try out include Nike, Asics, Injiji, Belega, Swiftwick, Feetures, Fox River Socks and Darn Tough Vermont. Avoid cotton socks as they retain moisture. 
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once a day
  • Check for fungal infections between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If you spot redness or dry, patchy skin, get treatment right away.
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes
  • Dust your feet frequently with a non-medicated baby powder or foot powder such Gordon’s Foot Spray.


  • Persistent foot odor can indicate a low-grade infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, our practice may prescribe a special ointment.
  • Soaking your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week can help. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.
  • Purchase a UV Shoe Sanitizer. Shoe Sanitizers kill 99% of the bacteria and fungus that cause foot odor.

If these treatments don't work or you have another foot problem, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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