Sweat doesn’t have any odor. So, why do your feet sweat so much and smell so bad? It comes down to the fact that your feet are trapped inside your shoes all day, and the moisture they give off creates a hot and damp haven for bacteria.
Smelly feet are often a fact of life, but you can take steps to freshen things up. In most cases, you can sweeten the deal with home care, but if your foot odor refuses to yield, contact Errol Gindi, DPM in Valley Stream, New York.
As a podiatrist, Dr. Gindi specializes in every affliction of feet, including the way they smell. Here are his best tips for keeping foot odor under control.
Your feet and hands have higher concentrations of sweat glands than anywhere else on your body. So why aren’t smelly hands a thing? They could be if you wore gloves that trapped you in sweat most of the day.
It isn’t the sweat alone that causes the issues or even your footwear. Together, they create an environment that’s ideal for bacterial and fungal growth.
Shoes and socks protect your feet from the harsh conditions they’d otherwise face, so it’s a trade-off. Foot odor is the price you pay for the cuts, bumps, stubs and other physical damage you’d suffer if you were always barefoot.
Controlling foot odor means dealing both with sweat and the environment inside your shoes.
Beyond the shower
Your feet get a rinse in the shower, but that alone isn’t enough if you have a foot odor issue. The first step is dedicated scrubbing with a washcloth, soap, and water, followed by careful drying, especially between your toes.
When that’s not enough, you’ll need a weekly soak of between 10 and 20 minutes. Use about one-half cup of Epsom salts in warm water in a tub big enough for your feet. Alternatively, try a vinegar soak made with one-part vinegar to two parts warm water. Rinse and dry your feet thoroughly after either soak.
Dry as dust
You can’t stop your body from sweating, but you can help it out by letting your feet breathe. Cotton socks help to dispel moisture, and shoes made of natural materials like cotton and leather also help wick wetness away.
Changing socks through the day can also improve conditions inside your shoes. Try a specially made foot powder or go old school with corn starch to aid the drying process.
Spare your shoes
If your shoes have a funky foot smell, use a general household disinfectant to kill the accumulating bacteria. A kitchen spray with ethanol will do the job. Just make sure your shoes are completely dry before you wear them.
Your feet go through a lot as you live your life. Give them the attention they deserve when you develop foot issues and contact Dr. Gindi and our team.