December 01, 2019

Foot odor may not seem to be a big problem, but it may lead to infections. Not to mention the embarrassment that comes with stinky feet. As the temperature increases, your body, including your feet, perspires more than usual. Hot weather and closed-toe shoes make your feet sweat excessively.

Sweating eventually leads to foot odor, and sometimes to severe infections. While many people experience the nuisance of stinky feet in summers only, not all people are lucky enough; stinky feet are a continuous battle for people with sweaty feet all year round.

However, you don’t have to live with that embarrassment throughout your life. It is easy to get rid of stinky feet forever. Yes, you read it right. But before we delve into the details, let’s quickly look at the root cause of foot odor.

Why Do Your Feet Stink?

Human feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, but the sweat does not cause your feet to stink. Rather, there are many “key players” involved in the process.

Just like you, your feet also need proper ventilation and some room to breathe and. Wearing closed-toed shoes for long periods without socks block the air. The enclosed environment inside your shoes does not allow sweat to evaporate.

The sweat keeps accumulating and eventually gets trapped in your socks and shoes. The damp, warm place becomes a breeding ground for odorous bacteria. When the bacteria come into contact with your sweat, they produce an unpleasant smell.

Say Goodbye to Your Stinky feet Forever

Besides bacteria, poor hygiene habits also contribute to stinky feet. For instance, not washing your feet daily, wearing light socks, and repeating the same pair of shoes consecutively, all may lead to foot odor.

Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stress, and hormonal change, make you more prone to stinky feet. So, to get rid of smelly feet forever, you have to tackle moisture and its main sources, i.e., your socks and shoes.

1. Wash Your Feet Properly

Even if you shower daily, it is not enough for “happy” and pleasantly scented feet. You have to pamper your feet with a rigorous cleansing regime and wash them properly.

The area between the toes needs special attention –that is where the moisture accumulates. New York College of Podiatric Medicine recommends washing your feet thoroughly with an antibacterial soap regularly.

2. Scrub off Your Feet

We spend a lot of time of the day up and about. As a result, our feet collect a lot of dirt and grime. It is important to scrub off your feet daily. For proper and smooth scrubbing, let your feet soak in a mixture of vinegar and water or Epsom salt and water.

Soaking your feet helps to loosen the impurities, dead cells, and layers of dirt settling on your feet. Here is a quick method to prepare salt soak for your feet.

Put half cup Epsom salt in your bath or a bowl of lukewarm water. Let the salt dissolve and then soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. Epsom salt absorbs the moisture in your skin, thereby preventing the growth of bacteria.

3. Air-Dry Your Feet

Whether you wash your feet or soak them in water, it is important to dry them properly afterward. Moist or wet feet serve as a breeding ground for infections and bacteria. So, make sure to air-dry your feet after every wash, especially the area between your toes. Apart from your feet, keep your shoes and socks dry as well.

4. Kill the Odor with Antiperspirants

After washing and drying your feet, slather them with an antibacterial powder. It helps to remove the remnant moisture that you can’t see with the naked eye. If your feet sweat and produce an unpleasant smell, an antiperspirant is a quick remedy to kill that odor.

Antiperspirants (even an underarm antiperspirant) and deodorant sprays are safe for your feet. You can either use an over-the-counter foot antiperspirant or try home remedies. For instance, sprinkling a little corn starch into the shoes absorb the moisture, thereby keeping your feet dry.

5. Invest in Good Socks and Shoes

You cannot get rid of stinky feet with poor foot hygiene and dirty socks and shoes. In fact, people who perspire more profusely need to go the extra mile when it comes to foot hygiene. Despite your efforts, your feet will not remain dry if you don’t have the right gear for your feet, i.e., socks and shoes.

Make sure to buy cotton-made socks and leather shoes to prevent your feet from moisture. Your feet need ventilation, and natural materials, like cotton, allow the feet to breathe. Unlike natural materials, nylon or plastic traps the moisture and causes foot odor. Remember to:

  • Change your socks daily and even twice a day if you have sweaty feet.
  • Keep at least two pairs of shoes for regular use and wear them on alternate days.
  • Prevent your shoes from collecting moisture and sweat by keeping your feet clean and dry.
  • Put the wet shoe or shoe insoles out in the sunlight to let them dry.
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes/ footwear on consecutive days. Switch between different pairs of shoes.
6. Use Natural Essential Oils
  • Feet odor is essentially caused by bacteria. Some essential oils have a potency to kill the fungus and bacteria living on your feet. Essential oils get absorbed in the feet through the several absorption points.

    Unlike your face or arm, the area surrounding the feet is not that sensitive. So, it is safe to use essential oils on the feet to get rid of bacteria and foot odor.

    Smearing a few drops of essential oil on your feet helps you get your fragrant feet back. Besides stinky feet, you can also use essential oils over the inner lining of your shoes to prevent shoe odor.

7. Zinc

Zinc deficiency is an important factor that leads to stinky feet. Some studies suggest that zinc oxide helps with stinky and sweaty feet. Medicated foot powders and sprays often contain zinc oxide as a base. You may also use zinc cream for stinky feet.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and foot hygiene is all you need to keep bacteria and sweat at bay.