Smelly feet are frustrating and embarrassing at best! Various culprits can be to blame, including bacteria or fungus that live on your feet, in socks and shoes, or hyperhidrosis [excess sweating]. If left untreated, a slew of problems can arise, including athlete's foot, blisters and toenail fungus. I’ve even treated injuries from slips and falls due to excess moisture on someone’s feet. This is a real inconvenience in everyday life for sure, but one that can be treated and easily managed. And who wants to be shy or scared to take off their shoes in front of people?
What Causes Smelly Feet
The odor associated with smelly feet is usually linked to bacteria or fungus that thrive and spread in dark, damp, tight spaces. Our shoes, therefore, are the perfect breeding ground! Wearing tight, ill-fitting, constricting shoes that don't allow your feet to breathe adds to the problem. Another cause may be your diet - spicy food smells can seep out through our pores (garlic fries anyone?)- our hands and feet being the most affected. Genetics can also be to blame; if smelly feet run in your family, there is a chance you are predisposed.
Who Gets Smelly Feet
Recently I was featured in this article on Eat This, Not That! Worst Habits for Smelly Feet, Say Experts- A few other specialists and I explain everything there is to know about smelly feet. I shared that many athletes deal with this issue because they are constantly in cleats or athletic shoes, and those warm, moist conditions create a perfect living environment for that bacteria and fungi I mentioned before. Another interesting tidbit is that hormonal teens also battle this problem; many parents come to me seeking treatment. Really though, that funk we all know well is something anyone can be affected by.
Preventing and Treating Smelly Feet
Here are a few simple methods I suggest:
- Change your socks often - even throughout the day
- Wear shoes and socks made out of breathable materials – 100% cotton for socks
- Rotate shoes so you aren’t wearing the same pair every day – if damp or stinky, let them air-dry outside
- Try over-the-counter antiperspirant creams specially formulated for footcare
- Wash your feet and between your toes in the shower with soap, don’t just rely on residual trickle-down water
If these methods don't get rid of your funky feet, call me! Or see your local doctor because there could be a more serious problem or infection that needs medical attention.
Botox® for Your Feet- End Excessive Foot Sweating
There are treatments and injections available now that are used to prevent sweating altogether on your feet. SOLE Podiatry N.Y.C. offers Botox® for example to block the nerves that trigger sweat glands. This is a great treatment option for those dealing with hyperhidrosis and excessively stinky feet not caused by bacteria or fungi.