Are your feet smelling and you are looking for a solution to it? In this article, we are going to discuss the causes, prevention, and the solution to smelling feet. Therefore, sit tight, grab a bottle of cold drink and read through this article.
Firstly, let us consider what smelly feet is.
Smelly feet, medically known as bromodosis, is a common problem. This is usually due to a buildup of sweat, which causes bacteria to grow in the skin. Smelly feet are not usually a medical problem, but they can affect a person’s relationships with others and cause self-consciousness.
People naturally have bacteria that live on their feet. When bacteria get rid of waste by breaking down oils and dead skin cells, bad odors can occur. Also, fungal infections such as athlete’s foot can also cause bromodosis.
The good news is that bromodosis is easy, quick and economical to treat. Understanding the causes of smelly feet will help you determine what you can do to prevent or treat it.
Causes of Smelly Feet
As stated above, the primary cause of smelly feet is lack of ventilation for the feet. Nevertheless, there are other causes. Deciphering the cause of smelling feet is helpful in determining the solution to it.
Your feet produce a lot of sweat. The feet have about 250,000 sweat glands, more than any other part of the body. These sweat glands release perspiration throughout the day to help cool your body and keep your skin moist.
Everyone sweats, but teens and pregnant women are more prone to very sweaty feet because their bodies produce hormones that make them sweat more. People who stand up all day at work, under a lot of stress, or have a health problem that makes them sweat more than others tend to have more sweaty feet.
However, Dr. Antonopoulos says that it is not really perspiration that causes the odor of the foot. There are many bacteria that normally live on the feet, which feed on sweat and produce a particular acid that actually causes the odor¹.
Additional bacteria tend to form when a person sweats in their shoes, takes them off, and then puts them back on without letting them dry completely.
Poor hygiene can also play a role in the cause of bromodosis. Washing your feet rarely or not changing your socks at least once a day can allow additional bacteria to grow on your feet. This can worsen the smell of the feet.
Smelling Feet Solution
To find a solution to smelling feet, you can try out the following methods listed below:
- Changing Shoes
- Changing Socks
- Toggle Shoes and Socks
- Using Antiperspirant
- Replacement of the Insoles
- Soaking in Salt
- Soaking in Vinegar
- Exfoliate the skin
Shoes that have some breathability can help reduce the incidence of perspiration and humidity. People can look for shoes that have mesh panels that allow breathability.
It is almost certain that plastic shoes (such as “jellies”) contribute to the smelling of the feet because they are not breathable and promote sweating of the feet.
Wearing socks at all times can relieve smelly feet. Socks, especially those made of materials that absorb perspiration, can absorb perspiration and reduce odors.
They can also be easily changed, reducing odors that might otherwise remain inside a person’s shoes.
3. Toggle Shoes and Socks
Allowing shoes to dry completely between each use can help reduce particularly smelly feet.
Wearing a pair of shoes one day and another pair the next day can give the shoes enough time to dry.
A person may also wish to have an extra pair of socks on hand for changing during the day. This can help reduce sweating and odor.
4. Using Antiperspirant
Deodorant can be used to mask the smell of the feet.
Another solution to smelling feet is to use an antiperspirant on the feet. Although traditionally used for the armpits, the application of antiperspirant on the feet can reduce the incidence of perspiration.
If necessary, a doctor can prescribe more powerful antiperspirants suitable for the feet. Another option is to use cornstarch, which is very absorbent.
5. Replacement of the Insoles
A person can also change the insoles of there shoes with antibacterial or odor-reducing insoles.
Another option is to buy an antibacterial spray or disinfectant to use on the insoles. However, this option is generally not as effective as letting the shoe soles dry completely.
6. Soaking in Salt
Soaking is potentially useful as part of an exfoliating routine or alone.
Prepare a bowl or bathtub with lukewarm water and dissolve half a cup of Epsom salts in it. Soak your feet for 10 to 20 minutes, then dry them completely.
7. Soaking in Vinegar
Add 2 parts warm water and 1 part vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar is suitable) in a bathtub and soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes.
However, a person should not use a vinegar bath if they have cuts, sores or scratches since vinegar has the potential to irritate open areas of the skin.
8. Exfoliate the feet
Using a scrub or pumice stone can help remove dead skin cells that bacteria like to feed on.
A person with particularly smelly feet may wish to use a pumice stone 2-3 times a week to prevent buildup.
One solution to smelling feet is a process called iontophoresis. This is an approach that involves the delivery of a light electrical current through the water to the skin to reduce the incidence of sweaty feet.
Another option used in some cases is botulinum toxin or Botox injection. This medicine is injected into the feet by a mechanism known as plantar injections.
However, these injections can be particularly painful. The results usually last between 3 and 4 months, and a person will need additional treatment.
Botox has also been used for excessive underarm sweating.
To treat sweaty or smelly feet, you can also try:
- washing your feet with antibacterial soap once a day (a pharmacist can advise you on different products).
- Drying your feet well after they get wet, especially between the toes.
- Keeping your nails short and clean, and remove any hard skin with a foot file.
- Use foot powder to absorb perspiration (a pharmacist can advise you on foot powder).
When to See a Doctor
Smelly feet are a harmless problem that usually goes away. Sometimes, however, it can be a sign of a medical condition.
Consult your general practitioner if these simple steps to reduce the odor on your foot do not help, or if you are concerned that your level of sweating is abnormally high.
Also, a person can place a mirror on the floor and examine the soles of the feet for any abnormalities. If your feet show signs of injury, a person should consult their doctor. If they don’t, they can try over-the-counter and home-based measures to reduce the incidence of smelly feet.
Your doctor may suggest a powerful prescription antiperspirant or refer you to treatment.
Summary and Recommendation
Although this is a common condition, bromodosis can make you feel embarrassed. The good news is that bromodosis is fairly simple to treat. With daily attention, you should be able to reduce or eliminate the odor from your foot within a week.
These simple, yet effective techniques can present a powerful solution to smelling feet.
The key is to make foot care a regular part of your hygiene routine. Home treatments are generally very effective, but in severe cases, your doctor may prescribe more powerful treatments.
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Just Health Care Tips.