Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's That Smell?

Did you know that each foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands? This means that your feet have the potential to sweat… A LOT! But why do they smell?

You might be surprised to learn that your sweat is not the source of the odor because sweat is only made of salt and water. The real cause of odor in stinky feet is the bacteria on your skin. The bacteria feed off of your sweat and dead skin, eventually excreting waste that has a strong odor. Bacteria love dark, warm, and damp places— sounds like your socks and shoes right? Your feet sweat and if the sweat is unable to evaporate, it comes into contact with your socks and shoes, the perfect place for bacteria to breed and thrive.

If you want to prevent smelly feet, wash and dry your feet every day! You can even use a pumice stone to help remove dead skin.  Do not wear closed toe shoes without socks. Also, try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. The rotation of shoes allows the first pair to dry out while you wear the second pair.

Be sure to wear a fresh pair of socks (preferably made out of a material that helps keep feet dry like wool or other moisture-wicking fibers). Another quick tip is to turn your socks inside out before you toss them in the washer to make sure that they are washed more thoroughly. Still, the main goal is to keep your feet clean, dry, and cool. If you lessen the amount of moisture in socks and shoes, you also prevent the growth of bacteria.

Another way to help prevent foot odor is your diet. After foods are broken down, their compounds are absorbed in the body and released through your skin. Some of these foods have been known to cause odors like garlic and onions. At the very least, try to eat a well balanced diet.

If you are currently a victim to smelly feet, you can reduce your foot odor by using powders like talcum powder, baking soda, or corn starch. They absorb sweat and some prevent bacteria growth. Also, you could soak your feet in black tea or apple cider vinegar. You can even wipe your feet down with a Vodka-soaked washcloth!

It is important to keep in mind that there are other reasons why your feet could smell:

  • Excessively sweaty feet (Hyperhidrosis )
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Hormone changes
  • Medication
  • Stress
  • Alcohol and drugs

If you have more questions about this topic and your foot health, contact your local podiatrist.

Community Foot Specialists

Community Foot Specialists - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500

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