Podiatrist’s Tips for Preventing Smelly Feet

Tired of dealing with smelly feet? Foot odor, also known as bromodosis, is a common condition triggered by sweat production and bacterial growth. There are 2 million sweat glands in the body and half a million of them are found on the feet. Their function is to cool the feet, but sweating isn’t as effective when the feet are enclosed in shoes all day.

Wearing the same shoes and socks all daymares it difficult or impossible for sweat to evaporate. Bacteria on the skin will break down the sweat and dead skin cells sloughed off by the body, and this metabolism produces a foul smell. It is a natural process that takes place throughout the year, but temperatures and our footwear patterns have a lot to do with it. You can fight foot odor by following the tips below.

Fight Foot Odor with Better Hygiene

  1. Wash your feet daily – Washing your feet daily will remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria that causes foot odor. You can use an antibacterial soap such as Hibiscrub or Betadine to wash your feet. Pay special attention to the areas between your toes and around the nail beds. These are places that are prone to bacteria.
  2. Exfoliate your feet by scrubbing – Exfoliation helps to get rid of the dead skin that the bacteria feeds on to produce the odor. You can use pumice stones, or exfoliation creams to remove the dead skin cells. If the soles of your foot are thick and hardened layers of dead skin, scrub them off. Dead skin is also common in areas between your toes; scrub those areas gently. After scrubbing, moisturize your foot with lotion to keep them soft and healthy.
  3. Keep your feet dry – This is important because bacteria breed and thrive in moist environment. When you finish bathing, take time out to dry your foot thoroughly – especially the areas between the toes – to remove excess moisture that bacteria would thrive in. Before putting on your shoes, you can also apply an antiperspirant product to your feet, which will further help keep them dry.

Shoes and Socks

No socks? Recipe for smelly feet!
  1. Wear leather or canvas shoes and change them regularly – Leather or canvas shoes allow your feet to breathe. You can also wear open-toed shoes or sandals to allow for greater air flow around your feet. Go barefoot at home whenever you can. Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes for two days consecutively – especially if you are an athlete – as sweat may not fully dry from one day to the next. When you exercise, you sweat more, making you more susceptible to foot odor. For people who exercise, this means having two pairs of trainers to alternate between.
  2. Use odor-fighting powder in your shoes – When your shoes are not in use, sprinkle baking soda or talcum powder on them. In addition to absorbing odors, these powders are astringents and they can help keep it dry. They also neutralize the pH of sweat and can kill the bacteria on your feet. You can brush the powder on your feet before putting on your socks.
  3. Wear the right socks – When you wear shoes, especially boots and sneakers, don’t fall into the habit of skipping socks. Socks help absorb moisture. If you don’t wear them, sweat will be transferred directly to your shoes and isn’t wicked effectively, keeping the surface of the foot sweaty.Which types of socks are best? Try wearing thick, absorbent socks made from natural fibers, such as cotton or wool. Synthetic materials like nylon don’t wick away moisture as well. However, the construction of the sock can also affect its effectiveness in preventing odor, so look for socks that promote breathability and wicking. Each day, were a fresh pair of socks. You can also turn socks inside out in the laundry in order to better remove the dead skin and sweat left on the inside surface.

At Houston Foot and Ankle Care, we know that while foot odor may appear to be a fairly cosmetic condition, it can be very embarrassing. Also, the conditions that lead to stinky feet can just as easily lead to other conditions, including athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. Are you losing the battle with smelly feet? You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Maislos, a leading Houston foot doctor. He can offer recommendations, or alternatives such as prescription medication or surgical treatment of hyperhidrosis. Dr. Maislos also treats a wide range of foot and ankle issues, including ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis and heel pain, bunions and more. Call (713) 541-3199 for more information.

Houston Foot and Ankle

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