What To Do About Smelly Feet
By Irving M. Luftig, BSC, DPM
February 15, 2021
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Smelly Feet
It’s an embarrassing problem. Smelly feet can make you feel self-conscious. You can’t get comfortable or take your shoes off without worrying that everyone will notice your stinky feet. Have you ever wondered what might be going on to cause this problem in the first place? While some people are more prone to smelly feet than others, your podiatrist can provide you with some tips to get rid of offensive-smelling foot odors.
Did you know that there are about 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet? Sweat glands are more heavily concentrated in the feet than any other part of the body so it’s not too surprising that you may deal with smelly feet at some point. Common causes for stinky feet include:
Poor ventilation: If you wear shoes all day, or you choose shoes made from non-breathable materials, then you may find yourself dealing with some pretty offensive feet at the end of the day. Give your feet some time to breathe or look for shoes made from more breathable fabrics.
Bacteria: Just like the rest of your body, there are bacteria on your feet that also thrive off sweat. Unfortunately, when the bacteria feed off sweat they also produce acid, which is responsible for that unpleasant odor.
Fungus: Unfortunately, our feet are also a popular place for fungus because they are warm, moist, and prone to sweat. Even if bacteria aren’t to blame, it could be a fungus. If you are dealing with a red, itchy rash on your feet, you could have Athlete’s foot, which can also cause smelly feet.
Hormones: Sometimes hormones can play a role. That’s why teens and pregnant women are more likely to deal with this problem.
How to Treat Smelly Feet
If you are dealing with smelly feet, some simple remedies help. Some of these home remedies include,
- Wash feet at least once a day with soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after.
- Make sure to dry feet as soon as possible after dealing with sweaty or perspiring feet.
- Choose socks made from materials that wick away sweat and improve ventilation.
- Apply deodorizing sprays or powders in shoes every day after wear, and make sure to wait 24 hours before wearing the same shoes again.
If you’ve tried the at-home options above and you’re still dealing with smelly feet, then it’s worth turning to your podiatrist for more effective solutions. Some prescription-strength medications and sprays can help target bacteria and fungus, and also reduce perspiration.
Those dealing with hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating, may find electrical stimulation to be an effective way to reduce severe and heavy sweating caused by this condition.
We know that even though bromodosis isn’t dangerous, that it can still be embarrassing. If you are having trouble getting your smelly feet under control, your podiatrist can help.