Have you got a problem with smelly feet and no matter what you do or have tried to rid the foot odor, the smell remains? Are your smelly feet more of an embarrassing issue for you, or a problem you see as unhealthy. Normally, feet smell because they sweat inside shoes; bacteria then break down the sweat, producing compounds responsible for the offensive odor.
Bromodosis, or foot odor, is a type of body odor that can affect the feet of humans and is generally considered to be an unpleasant smell. Sweat itself is odorless, but it creates an environment where bacteria can grow and produce bad smelling substances. Feet may begin to smell when bacteria on the skin breaks down the sweat as it comes from the pores, resulting in a cheesy smell as the sweat decomposes. You are more likely to have sweaty feet if you're on your feet all day, if you're under a lot of stress, or you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, which means you sweat more than usual.
Facts About Sweaty Feet
- In one day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat!
- Fungal infections of the feet like athlete's foot can lead to bad foot odor.
- If you perspire more than usual you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis.
- Teenagers and pregnant women are more prone because hormonal changes causes them to sweat more.
- There are more sweat glands in human feet than anywhere else in the body. With more than 250,000 sweat glands each, your feet are among the most perspiring parts of the body.
(For other interesting trivia see our list of amazing human body facts.)
Funny picture of cat knocked out by smelly shoe odor
Tips to Help Get Rid of Smelly Feet
- Try soaking your feet in mouthwash.
- Try putting medicated insoles in your shoes.
- Drink a lot of water. It is a better way to fight body odor.
- Wear open toe sandals in summer and go barefoot at home in the evenings.
- Wear leather or canvas shoes, as they let your feet breathe, unlike plastic ones.
- Fill a bowl with warm water and oatmeal, squeeze oats till water is milky then soak for 10 minutes and pat dry.
- Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts in two quarts of warm to clean and freshen up the feet, this solution will also help keep feet dry.
- It is best not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row - they need time to dry out. Remove the innersoles from to help with the drying.
- Dab between your toes with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit after a shower or bath. Surgical spirit helps dry out the skin between the toes.
- Take some turnip juice or radish juice and try rubbing your feet with it. Being natural deodorants, these juices are excellent mediums of fighting body odor.
- Sprinkle talcum powder all over the feet or dust with baking soda to help reduce heavy sweating. Alternatively soak your feet in 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water.
- Taking a bath with some ginger for a long time helps one to sweat and rid body of toxins buy some ginger root-mash it up and use the juice and rub it on your feet.
- Use a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. A normal underarm deodorant or antiperspirant works just as well as specialist feet products - and costs less!
- Some sports socks have ventilation panels to keep feet dry, and antibacterial socks are impregnated with chemicals to discourage odor producing bacteria that feed on sweat.
- Try soaking your feet in strong black tea for half an hour daily for 7 days. The tannic acid in the tea destroys bacteria and closes the pores keeping the feet dry for longer periods.
- Try placing dryer sheets in each shoe. It helps covers the smell, however this is not an ideal solution as you are looking to rid your problem of smelly feet and not disguise them.
- Some foot smell is caused by the same bacteria that cause acne so consider using 10% benzoyl peroxide. Likewise, use some acne soap on your feet. It is a special soap that is anti bacteria and helps to fight with body toxins.
- If the above tips don't help with your foot odor problem, see your family physician or a podiatrist, who may prescribe a solution of aluminum chloride hexahydrate.
Commercial Products for Smelly Feet
Gehwol Medicated Foot Deodorant Cream - Contains a highly effective combination of manuka oil and activated zinc oxide for long-lasting eliminating of strong foot odor. The tangy,skin-friendly manuka oil acts on bacteria and fungus and is particularly suitable for foot hygiene. Zinc oxide is kind to sensitive skin and it has an antimicrobial, mildly astringent, skin protecting effect.