Baby sweaty feet is a rather common phenomenon and is attributed to factors such as temperature rises and overdressing the baby, and sometimes genetics. Here’s how to stop baby sweaty feet, why your baby has sweaty feet and cold hands and whether you can use baby powder for cold sweaty hands and feet.
Baby Sweaty Feet – Is it Common?
How common are baby sweaty feet? “My 6 months old baby has sweaty feet all the time. Is this common?” Angela. It is common for babies to have sweaty feet and hands, and sometimes scalp. Since babies are often overdressed, the sweat glands perspire off to regulate the temperature of the body. The sweating may also have a genetic aspect; some families tend to sweat more as a result of a condition known as hyperhidrosis.
Why Baby Has Sweaty Feet and Hands?
And then there is Ann who sought to know why her baby has sweaty feet and hands most of the times. Well, let’s start by stating that sweating is the body’s natural response to high temperatures in the environment. The body sweats allow your baby to cool and thus regulate her body temperature.
So don’t get surprised if your baby’s feet and hands break into a sweat when she is riding in the car seat, wearing warm clothes, or is bundled in blankets since all these may make her too hot. It only means that it is hot and the body needs to dissipate the excess heat.
Baby sweaty feet, or excessive foot perspiration, however, may be a sign of a condition known as hyperhidrosis. According to Medline Plus hyperhidrosis is a condition that is characterized by excessive and unpredictable sweating even when common triggers such as temperatures, exercising, or emotional stress are absent.
According to Donna Alessandro, MD, a professor of pediatrics at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, your little one could be having hyperhidrosis if she sweats even when the room is cool and has normal humidity, and she is not overdressed, more so if the sweating is limited to the feet and hands only.
It would be a good idea to talk to your pediatrician.
It is also advisable to seek medical attention right away if the sweating is accompanied by other symptoms such as pale skin, poor weight gain, or inactiveness.
Cold Sweaty Feet in Babies (Infants)
Sweating is the body’s natural way to cool itself down when temperatures in the outside environment increases. Sweating also helps to dissipates extra heat generated inside the body and thus helps to maintain regulate overall body temperature.
As the sweat evaporates from the surface of the body, it draws latent heat of evaporation from the body, leading to a cooling effect. Don’t be surprised therefore if your baby’s sweaty feet also feel cold, more so in the case of excessive sweating.
Although it is not uncommon for infants to have cold sweaty feet and hands, this problem clear around the age of 9 months in most cases. If it lasts longer than that, or if your baby normally sweats even when the room is cool, it might be the result of hyperhidrosis (a condition characterized by overactive glands and excessive sweating for no apparent reason). This may be treated at later stages of life.
Baby Powder for Sweaty Feet
Can you use baby powder on baby sweaty feet? While it won’t stop the action of sweat glands, applying baby powder can help to absorb excess sweat and keep your baby’s feet dry. A dilemma however comes in as to what brand of baby powder would work best for sweaty feet.
Well, any good baby powder will do just fine but Johnson’s Baby Powder is perhaps the best baby powder for sweaty feet if online reviews and feedbacks on online shopping sites such as eBay, Amazon, Walgreens, and Boots are anything to go by.
You may want to choose a baby powder from the following list:
- Johnson’s Baby Powder
- Soothe & Cool Non-Caking Body Powder
- Caldesene Cornstarch powder
- Magick Botanicals Baby Powder – Organic
- Gold Bond Baby Powder
- Burt’s Bee Baby Bee Dusting Powder
The WebMD recommends keeping baby powders away from the face as the Talc and cornstarch used in most baby powder brands can cause breathing problems in babies.
How to Stop Infant Sweaty Feet and Hands
It might now interest you to know how to stop infant sweaty feet and hands since it is not only worrying to any parent but also unsightly. Well, here are some measures on how to stop baby sweaty feet fast or at least reduce the sweating in infants’ hands and feet:
Keep your baby cool: Sweaty feet and hands is often a cue that your baby is overdressed and/or the environment is too warm.
The Baby Center website recommends dressing your infant in the same amount of clothes that you would be comfortable in without covering yourself with a blanket.
As for very high temperature, it not only triggers excess sweating but may also be a precursor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome according to Illinois Sudden Infant Death Services. This happens when overheating of the body makes your little one to fall into a deeper slumber that could lake it difficult for her to wake up.
The Baby Center recommends maintaining your baby’s room at 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, equivalent to 16-21 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkle some powder: Sprinkling a little powder on your infant’s palms and feet can also help to keep them dry.
What about hyperhidrosis in babies?
As we have already mentioned, hyperhidrosis is often to blame for sweaty feet and hands in infants. This condition is associated with overactive sweat glands and has been shown to have a genetic propensity.
Localized (occurring on specific parts of the body e.g. feet, hands, etc) and symmetrical (occurring on both sides) hyperhidrosis – primary hyperhidrosis is usually not serious – although it can be a social issue later on as your baby grows up – and doesn’t require treatment.
Nevertheless, several treatments may be used to improve the situation later on if it is deemed necessary including:
- Over-the-counter and prescription antiperspirants: Antiperspirants help to reduce sweating by targeting the sweat glands directly.
- Deodorants: Deodorants only helps to reduce the body odor that is sometimes associated with sweat due to bacterial metabolism of fatty acids and amino acid present in sweat. Some products feature both antiperspirant and deodorant ingredients
- Oral medications: These also help to reduce the action of sweat glands usually as a side-effect.
- Iontophoresis: Electrical stimulation treatment where a small current of electricity is passed through the feet or arms when placed in water
- Surgery: Usually involves removing some sweat glands or reducing the action of sweat glands by cutting some specific nerves. This is not ideal for treatment of plantar hyperhidrosis (excessively sweaty feet).
- Botox : Injection of Botulinum toxin into the feet, hands or armpits to reduce sweating and stop baby sweaty feet.
Sometimes, an infant may sweat a little, but if you notice that the problem of baby sweaty feet is persistent and too much, you should see a pediatrician as soon as possible to find ways to stop baby sweating feet fast.