At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, one issue we notice, our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area patients are often hesitant to bring up is foot odor. Smelly feet can be embarrassing, but it’s important that you discuss it with podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas because sometimes it can be a sign of a fungal infection or another medical problem that needs to be addressed.
The cause of the odor is usually a bacteria and/or fungus that is in your shoe and combines with the sweat on your skin to produce the foul odor. In some cases, a medical condition known as hyperhidrosis can be the source of year-round perspiration and stinky feet. If this is the cause of your smelly feet, the podiatrist can discuss treatment options with you. In most cases, however, some simple precautions can help you avoid the fungal infections that cause smelly feet.
- Wash your feet with soap every day and take the time to dry them completely. Be particularly diligent about drying the spaces between your toes as this is often the starting place for athlete’s foot.
- Don’t allow feet to stay in damp socks. Keep extra socks in your bag or desk and change multiple times a day if necessary. Moist, dark places are the ideal breeding ground for fungal infections.
- Never share shoes, socks, nail clippers, towels, or other items that touch another person’s feet.
- Avoid socks and stockings that are constrictive and trap moisture against your skin. Choose shoes made from breathable materials and have space to allow air to circulate around your feet.
- Alternate your shoes—don’t wear the same pair multiple days in a row.
- Keep feet covered by wearing flip-flops or shower shoes at the gym, community pool, nail salon or any other public place.
- If you notice red, itchy skin that’s scaly and/or blistering or toenails that are becoming thick and discolored, make an appointment at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800.