Whether you have stinky feet or someone close to you does, it can be something that most people are embarrassed to talk about. Stinky feet can cause embarrassment, shame, or discomfort for the person who has it or the people around them. However, stinky feet have some underlying causes that tend to go unnoticed. The good news is that there is a way to completely get rid of stinky feet.
What Causes Stinky Feet
As it turns out, stinky feet aren’t actually caused by your feet. The real smell comes from the bacteria that live on the feet and the dirty socks and shoes that cover them. When you add in sweat, the bacteria can start to act up and release a smell that’s hard to get rid of. Much like people, bacteria also get rid of their waste which produces that odor that some of you might be all too familiar with. Most of the time stinky feet are not an indication to poor health and can be treated at home. However, stinky feet can also be caused by an infection.
Stinky Feet Treatment
When treating stinky feet, it’s important to remember you’re not actually treating the feet, instead, you are creating an environment where that smelly bacteria can’t grow.
Keep your feet clean. You should make it a habit to scrub your feet every day. All you need to do is use soap and warm water with a washcloth or loofa. Get in between your toes and on your heels. After washing you want to completely dry your feet. If your shoes are washable you should toss them in the washer and dryer as well.
Try a foot soak. If you notice that your showers aren’t enough to get your feet all the way clean, you can try soaking your feet once a week for 20 minutes in a solution of warm water and either Epsom salt or vinegar.
Keep your feet dry. The bacteria on your feet that produce a stinky smell thrive in moist areas like sweaty socks and shoes. If you keep your feet dry, the bacteria won’t be able to survive. What you can do is change your socks if they get sweaty, wear socks that are breathable and don’t create moisture, or use a foot powder.
Air your feet out. Spend some time without socks and shoes and give your feet a chance to breathe. Alternate between pairs of shoes so each pair has time to dry off before their next wear.
As we said before, having stinky feet isn’t the end of the world, but it can definitely be uncomfortable. If you tried the methods above and still are experiencing a strong odor, it’s time to see a podiatrist. It’s possible that recurring foot odor can be caused by plantar hyperhidrosis, otherwise known as excessive foot sweating. If you have any concerns about your feet, contact us or schedule an appointment so we can see you right away!