Sweaty and stinky feet is a common problem in summers, especially for people who tend to wear closed shoes for most part of the day (and repeat the same pair day after day). Who doesn’t like to smell fresh and sweet (not sweat) all the time, but if smelly and excessively sweaty feet cause embarrassment, it is a problem. Also, it can be a nuisance for those who have to put up with the ones suffering from this problem. Extra bacteria tend to form when a person sweats in their shoes, takes them off, and then puts them back on without allowing them to fully dry. Since there are thousands of sweat glands in the feet, some people tend to overproduce sweat and the stench is raised when this excessive perspiration isn’t allowed to dry. When sweat doesn’t dry up fully, bacterial and fungal colonies feed off the sweat and produce an acid which causes smelly feet. Whether you yourself suffer from this problem or you have your near and dear ones suffering from sweaty feet, here is an article on how to treat sweaty and smelly feet.
Medical Terms of Sweaty and Smelly Feet:
- Bromodosis – It’s the medical term which defines smelly feet. Excessive buildup of sweat leads to exponential growth of bacteria and they release bad odor and stench. Good foot hygiene and proper care can treat smelly feet.
- Hyperhidrosis – It’s a condition where a person tends to sweat excessively, either in one specific area or through the entire body. Hyperhidrosis is a problem because it can also cause social embarrassment and emotional distress.
Causes of Sweaty and Smelly Feet:
- Excessive sweat production
- Bacterial growth.
- Athlete’s foot.
- Hormonal changes.
- Poor personal hygiene.
- Wearing the same pair of socks and shoes every day.
- If you slip your feet into shoes and socks that are still wet from sweat.
- Lack of proper ventilation in shoes.
- Have you noticed how your hands and feet tend to sweat excessively when you are stressed out or anxious, so relax and stay calm.
Daily Routine to Treat Sweaty and Smelly Feet:
- Use a good quality anti-bacterial soap for the purpose of washing your feet. Dry your feet properly with a towel, focusing mainly on in the curves between toes.
- A variety of antiperspirant foot powders are available in the market these days. Get one for yourself and dust some powder on your feet before wearing them.
- Use socks that are made out of natural fibers like wool and cotton; also look for socks with moisture-wicking fiber. It is best to avoid wearing socks made of synthetic fiber because they can actually worsen sweating.
- Eat a healthy diet, cut down on junk food.
- Dry your feet completely before slipping them into shoes.
- Do not repeat the same pair of shoes and socks every day, keep multiple pairs and alternate them.
- Dust some anti-bacterial powder inside your shoes and then wear them.
- Choose shoes made up of leather or mesh if you have to wear closed shoes. Otherwise, you can go for open shoes which will allow your feet to breathe. Peep-toes, sandals and such other shoes are extremely helpful. Actually, the point is- ‘let your feet breathe!’
- If you have a persistent problem of sweaty and smelly feet, absorbent liners can be used in your shoes. This will help to absorb sweat and thus check the odour.
- Look for anti-perspirants with aluminium chloride hexahydrate (Drysol, etc.) which can bring down excessive sweating by a considerable degree.
- Make sure that you dry your shoes at the end of the day as sweaty feet tend to make your shoes damp.
- Wash shoes once a week and change socks every day.
How to Treat Sweaty and Smelly Feet – Additional Tips for Everyday:
- Wash your socks frequently. Never wear the same sock for days; one day is enough for a pair. Wearing used socks makes your feet more prone to sweat and smell.
- Use an antiperspirant foot spray or deodorant on your feet before you go to bed every night. You will get up in the morning with fresh feet. You should also do this after taking a shower.
- Wash your feet several times a day with plain water. Use deodorant soap two to three times.
- If possible, avoid wearing the same pair of shoes on consecutive days.
- Clip toenails once a week.
- Use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean your feet every night before going to sleep.
- Use medicated insoles with deodorizing benefits.
- Apply foot deodorant.
- Go for pedicure once in 15 days.
- Pamper your feet with Listerine foot soak once a week – here’s how you can make it (Homemade Listerine Foot Soak).
How to Treat Sweaty and Smelly Feet Through Homemade Foot Baths
Here are a few home remedies that you may like to try out in order to treat sweaty and smelly feet:
- Tea foot baths: Brewed tea has tannins that help in shrinking the sweat glands and acts as astringent. Put a few tea bags in a glass of boiling water and then, pour it in a tub of cool water. Soak your feet in it for half-an-hour! Sage tea is considered to be one of the best options for preparing tea foot soak as this soak can produce very good results. Your feet might look a little tanned after you get your feet out of the tea bath. There is nothing to worry as it fades off once you wash it with some soap and water.
- Vinegar foot baths: Add a cup of vinegar to lukewarm water. Soak your feet in it for half-an-hour. Do not rinse with lain water. Just towel dry the feet. Vinegar helps to fight foul smell effectively; no bacteria, no odour! Whether you use apple cidar vinegar or white vinegar, both are good.
- Salt water foot bath: Make a soak with the help of water and salts (preferably Epsom salts) and soak your feet in it. Just make sure you don’t have any open sores, injuries or cuts on foot, else it is going to be painful.
Home Remedies to Treat Smelly Feet:
- Crush some ginger and apply it on your foot to eliminate bacteria and prevent smelly feet. The toxins are made to sweat out and you would reap better results if you can keep the ginger for a long time.
- You can dust some baking soda on your feet to avoid sweaty feet.
- Extract out some radish juice, enough to make a foot bath. Soak your feet to control foot sweat.
Other Treatments for Sweaty and Smelly Feet:
Various treatments are also available to treat sweaty and smelly feet. Some of them are:
- Muscle relaxing toxins: It is a novel way of treating excess sweating problems on areas like feet and armpits by means of injections.
- Iontophoresis- It is a non-invasive treatment and makes use of mild electric current to treat excessive sweating.
- Topical applications- Various gels and solutions are available for treating sweating on feet.
- A doctor can also prescribe anti-fungal and anti-bacterial medications if the issue is severe.
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