This is something that we get asked about more often than you might think. How do we work with people who have smelly or sweaty feet? After all, your feet are bare when you work with us.
Here’s the good news. For the most part, smelly or sweaty feet, in general, is not a big issue with us. And it is usually not a sign of anything serious. Really.
But of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes, a persistent bad smell requires attention.
Regardless if this condition is serious or not, the problem stinks—literally. Here is some information that can help you if you’re experiencing persistently smelly or sweaty feet.
Underneath The Problem
Within your feet, underneath the sweat and the smell, there are 250,000 sweat glands. With these glands, there can be an incredible amount of bacteria. Unfortunately, these bacteria tend to latch onto water and sodium—your sweat—and often stay there, finding a home in your feet.
The bacteria then located in your foot glands are normally the reason for the odor since they consume sweat and dead skin cells. Although you might think they will leave after they’ve had their fill, you’re wrong there—the sweat and stench produced by the bacteria will turn into more sweat and bacteria, which makes for a very stinky, unfortunate cycle.
In general, the bacteria and stink often pop up in your feet because of your sweat, the footwear you use during the day, and even possible fungal infections already present.
There could be endless reasons why your feet are emitting this foul odor or if they are sweating much more often than normal. First, let’s take a look at some of the un-alarming reasons.
Bromodosis, or smelly feet, can be caused by:
An increased amount of sweat production, often caused by stress.
Hormonal changes in your system—often found in teenagers and pregnant women.
Lack of personal hygiene, as in not taking normal showers.
Wearing the same pair of shoes on a regular basis without washing them—especially if you wear them when they are wet.
Even though most of these reasons don’t qualify really as a significant health issue, there are rare instances, where smelly or sweaty can actually mean:
A diagnosed condition of hyperhidrosis, which makes a human sweat more than normal.
Fungal infections, which can show up as an appearance of dry or flaky skin, which is bacteria’s favorite food.
Now that it’s “diagnosed”, how do you deal with it?
How to Prevent and Treat Smelly Feet
There quite a few things you can do to help steer clear away from fungal infections and overly excessive sweaty or smelly feet. Even though some of the underlying reasons are genetic or cannot be avoided, there are certain things that you can do that will help keep the smell and the sweat to a minimum.
The easiest way to help prevent smelly feet is to maintain quality personal hygiene by washing your feet every single day. If you can, try not to wear the same shoes every day (especially if they are wet from sweat). You should also try to wear socks while you’re wearing shoes—and get a new pair of socks every time.
Some other, more practical things you can do to help treat smelly or sweaty feet are:
- Invest in a spray deodorant or antiperspirant that are specifically designed for your feet—you can even get away with using normal deodorant.
- Invest in sport socks that help increase ventilation so that your feet are kept as dry as possible.
- Once finished showering, take the time to dry between your toes and make sure they are dry before slipping on socks.
- Use deodorizing insoles in your shoes that can be taken out and replaced.
- Don’t be afraid to use open-toe footwear to let your feet breathe.
- Make sure that your feet don’t have any cases of Athlete’s foot or other fungi, which can be the underlying cause.
- You can even talk to a doctor about Botox injections, which can help reduce sweating in your feet!
If any of this preventative measures don’t seem to be working, you can also try some home remedies that can help take away the smell of your feet or shoes and can help prevent or minimize the sweating.
Some things you can do are:
- Invest in anti-fungal powders
- Invest in foot antiperspirants or deodorants
- Wash your shoes often and make sure you use a new pair of socks every day
- You can soak your feet in warm saltwater with vinegar or with tea bags since it’s antimicrobial.
In most cases, the root of your smelly or sweaty feet is nothing to worry about. However, there are some extreme cases where you should really contact your doctor.
If you’ve tried these home remedies and prevention techniques but still find that your feet are overly sweating or smelly, contact us today for more advanced treatments and their professional opinion.