Wondering what to do about foot odor or how do you get rid of foot odor? Well, you are not alone; having smelly feet is a problem that affects million of people. Foot odor can embarrass or stigmatize you in public. Read on to learn how to get rid of foot odor. We’ll discuss home remedies, treatments and a lot more.
How to Get Rid Of Foot Odor
Technically referred to as bromhidrosis, foot odor can be embarrassing for people suffering from it. It is typically caused by excessive sweating leading to excessive bacterial growth on the feet.
This can occur when you put on closed shoes for an extended period of time. This prevents evaporation of sweat, thus creating a suitable medium for bacteria growth. Bacteria produce awful smelling gases as a by-product of breakdown of amino acid found on the dead skin on your feet.
Here is how to get rid of foot odor:
- Use appropriate socks and change them daily: socks are in direct contact with the feet and their composition affects how likely your feet are to get smelly. Ideal socks should be made of absorbent materials such as cotton or wool. This reduces the level of moisture coming into contact with the skin.
- Apply Methylated spirit on the feet twice a day (one time before bedtime). This helps to get rid of foul smell by drying out the feet, thus creating an environment that is not suitable for bacterial growth.
- Practice proper foot hygiene: you should wash your feet daily. You can consider using a warm salty water solution for the purpose. After washing your feet, it is a good idea to dry them thoroughly with a towel. You should place particular emphasis on the areas between the toes.
- Use mild antiseptic soaps: Any antiseptic soap out of the many available on the market today may help alleviate foot odor.
- Always wash your socks inside out: This eliminates the flaky dead cell remnants that collect on the inside of the socks. This is important considering that bacteria in the feet feed on these dead cells.
- Use appropriate shoes: if you are having a challenge with smelly shoes, the first culprit to look into is the type of shoes you are wearing. Plastic and lexin shoes are known to trigger foot odor since they are less effective in allowing air circulation. Leather and canvas shoes make for a better option.
- Alternate your shoes: you should also avoid wearing the same pair of shoes to work everyday as this can lead to a bacterial buildup and result in smelly feet and shoes.
- Use moisture absorbing and antibacterial powders: when your shoes are not being used, consider adding a small amount of powder e.g. talcum powder in them to remove moisture and create an unsuitable environment for bacterial growth.
- Use topical and oral antibiotics: Topical creams (applied directly on the feet) can be used to get rid of foot odor. These can be obtained from a pharmacy. In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.
Home Remedies for Foot Odor
There are many home remedies for foot odor out there that you can consider. The ultimate goal of any home remedy is to create an unsuitable environment for bacterial activity.
For example, soaking your feet in a baking soda bath creates an alkaline environment on your feet that is not suitable for bacterial activity.
Black tea bath on the other hand dries out the skin around your feet to such an extent that bacterial activity is minimized. That way, the production of offensively-smelling gases that result from such activities is minimized.
How to Remove Foot Odor
If you are wondering how to remove foot odor, then you should consider adopting the measures we have discussed above in your daily lifestyle. It all starts with your own personal foot hygiene.
Nothing is more important than your own personal hygiene, most notably taking daily showers. However if you are having a challenge with foot odor, you may consider taking it a bit further by using an antiseptic soap instead of regular soap or adding some Epsom salt into the water you use to wash your feet.
As you can see from the list above, there are many options that you can use to remove foot odor depending on what you have in your home and what you can easily obtain.
How to Cure Foot Odor
Most of the above foot-care best practices will not only prevent foot odor but also cure it. For example, using talcum powder or baby powder in your shoes creates a dry environment inside the shoes that doesn’t support bacterial growth.
If these practices however doesn’t seem to cure the foot odor, you should seek the intervention of a doctor or podiatrist. The doctor may prescribe some topical or oral antibiotics and in some cases, surgery might need to be done on the nerves that control the sweat glands in the feet.
How to Get Rid Of Shoe Odor – Foot Odor in Shoes
Shoes usually get smelly after putting them on for long periods of time. This is because having shoes on limits the evaporation of sweat and this coupled with the high temperature inside the shoes create a great environment for growth of bacteria.
The bacteria that naturally exist on the skin on the feet, feeding on dead skin cells, grow rapidly in such an environment and the methanethiol gas that they produce as they break down amino acid found in the dead skin cells is what causes the shoe odor.
Here is how to get rid of shoe odor before your girlfriend or roommate start complaining or making those suggestive twists of the nose.
- Put on open-toed shoes or sandals whenever you can: This allows ample circulation of air around your feet. In addition to minimizing sweating, this also increases the rate of evaporation of sweat from your feet.
- Always wear socks and change them daily: putting on some well absorbing socks especially those made of cotton are usually better at reducing the amount of sweat that come into contact with your feet and the resulting bacterial activity. It is also advisable to wash your socks inside out to ensure better removal of dead flaky skin that usually collects on the inside.
- Apply powder or baking soda: before keeping your shoes, powder in a little talcum or baby powder to dry them out. This is a great way to reduce bacteria activity and eliminate foot odor in shoes
- Rotate your shoes and wash them regularly: Sparing a shoe for a few days allows it to dry up and thus reduce the bacterial activity in them. Alternatively, you cans tuff some old newspaper into the shoes overnight to make them dry off.
- Dry the shoes with a shoe dryer: Shoe dryers are yet another splendid way to keep foot odor in shoes at bay. These are usually low current electrical appliances that blow air current into the shoes to dry them completely.
- Remove your shoes occasionally if possible:
That is what it takes to get rid of shoe odor (or smelly feet if you like). Combating foot odor ultimately rolls down to eliminating or reducing bacteria on your feet and minimizing the amount of sweat on your feet.
Suggested Further Reading
- Foot Odor – Causes, How to Stop, Home Remedies, Foot Spray
- Stinky Feet – What Causes Stinky Feet, Girls
- How to Get Rid of Smelly, Stinking or Shoe Odor, Shoe Deodorizer
- How to Get Rid Of Stinky Feet – What to Do, Treatments, Cures & Home Remedies
- How to Cure Stinky Feet & Home Remedies for Stinky Feet