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It’s Embarrassing But … Do Your Feet Smell?

“Summertime, and the living is easy …” – unless you suffer from feet that have unusually unpleasant odors. In other words, they smell!

This common but embarrassing problem is called bromodosis and is most often caused by sweating. Together your 2 feet have 250,000 sweat glands – more than in any other place in your body!

Most sweat glands work to keep your skin supple and moist and also help regulate your body temperature. But those in your feet work all the time at secreting sweat. When bacteria breaks down the sweat as it emerges from your pores, you’ll notice a cheesy smell.

Common Causes of Smelly Feet

Feet that are extra sweaty and smelly are frequently caused by poor hygiene, as in not washing regularly and not drying the feet thoroughly before putting on shoes. If the same shoes are worn every day – remember your son’s favorite sneakers that he refuses to take off? – they can generate odor. Sweat soaks into the shoe material and will cause odors if they are worn again before drying completely.

Some men and women suffer from hyperhidrosis, a condition where they sweat more than usual in the soles of the feet, the palms and the underarm areas.

Hormonal changes can also cause sweaty feet. Pregnant women and teenagers may notice more odor because of these changes.

Take Steps To Prevent Foot Odor

Unless there is an underlying problem, it’s easy to prevent smelly feet. Wash your feet every day (antibacterial soap is best) and dry thoroughly – don’t forget between the toes. Change your socks and shoes every day and don’t wear shoes that are wet or damp.

If you feel you need extra help, try these home remedies:

  • After washing and drying, wet a cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and apply between the toes.
  • Opt for shoes that breathe – leather or canvas work well. Wear comfortable, supportive open-toed sandals for full ventilation.
  • Wash socks inside out to get rid of dead skin cells.
  • Remove excess skin each time you bathe by rubbing gently with a pumice stone.
  • Spray your feet every night with an antiperspirant product.
  • Look for medicated insoles that are available over-the-counter.

Try a foot soak in black tea or vinegar – these are inexpensive and natural ways to combat foot odor.

Inspect your feet carefully. Do you see any skin condition that resembles athlete’s foot? This problem can cause foot odor. If you believe you have any symptoms, please come visit Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for professional, effective treatment of this foot fungus.

Don’t Suffer Needlessly from Excessive Foot Odor

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist can accurately diagnose your foot odor problem and begin effective treatments. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. Don’t hide from this embarrassing condition – ask us about the best solutions!