Posted By Lisa Green on November 11, 2013
Smelly feet, also known as bromodosis, is a common and embarrassing problem that affects many people at one time or another. Due to hormonal changes, pregnant women and teenagers are especially prone to smelly feet. Some health conditions and medications can also make people more prone to smelly feet.
What causes smelly feet?
Smelly feet can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain medical conditions and treatments, but the main cause of smelly feet is a build-up of bacteria on the skin. The feet contain a large amount of sweat glands and, when feet sweat, the moisture soaks into the socks or shoes, providing an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
Smelly feet and personal hygiene
Keeping your feet clean and dry is essential for preventing smelly feet. Wash your feet once or twice a day, paying particular attention to the area between the toes, and dry thoroughly with a clean towel. For persistent smells, soak your feet in a bowl of warm water containing 5-10 drops of tea tree essential oil, which contains powerful antibacterial properties. For excessively sweaty feet, use a soft cloth soaked in surgical spirit to wipe over your feet, especially between the toes, as this helps to keep your skin dry. Antiperspirant can also be sprayed directly onto your feet to help prevent sweating and bacteria growth. Some medicated powders can be of use as well.
Smelly feet and footwear
When sweat is absorbed into your shoes and socks, it creates the right conditions for bacteria to multiply. Allow your footwear the chance to dry out before wearing them again. Alternate the shoes, boots or trainers that you wear and allow at least one day, preferably two or three days, for your footwear to dry out after wearing. Leather shoes, canvas shoes and open-toe shoes or sandals allow your feet to breathe, unlike plastic shoes that can cause your feet to sweat. For extra freshness, try using medicated or antibacterial insoles in your shoes and trainers. If you have a condition that necessitates having to wear a device while working out, such as orthotics for flat feet, be sure the top-cover is antimicrobial. Avoid nylon socks, opting instead for wool or cotton socks, as nylon causes sweating.