Our feet are truly amazing parts of the human body, but when they stink it can be fairly embarrassing. Often described as smelling bitter or cheese-like, foot odor is a common condition that can affect anyone, regardless of age.
Although unpleasant, the good news is that smelly feet are treatable. Sometimes hygiene changes, prescription treatments, or other preventative methods are all that’s needed to get the odor under control. Many patients turn to help from the podiatrists at our Long Beach office to ensure that they get the most suitable products and medical care for their specific situation.
What Causes Feet to Smell?
The main cause of foot odor is a combination of sweat, bacteria, and the bacteria breeding ground that’s in our shoes and socks. With the number of sweat glands in each foot equalling hundreds of thousands (more than any other area of the body), a lot of moisture can be produced each day. Commonly, this moisture evaporates, but when captured in shoes and socks, the perspiration is then able to mix with bacteria on the skin. When the bacteria breaks down the sweat, the result is a foul smell. Other possible causes of foot odor include:
- Poor personal hygiene
- Certain medications
- Hormonal changes like menopause or puberty
- Hyperhidrosis: a condition where people sweat excessively
- Athlete’s foot
How to Prevent Foot Odor
Thankfully, there are several basic things that can be done in order to prevent your feet from smelling. For a start, one of the best things you can do to help keep foot odor at bay is to always wear clean socks and keep feet clean and dry. To do this, after washing daily with soap and warm water, make sure feet are dried thoroughly with a towel.
It’s also recommended that you don’t wear the same shoes every day. Allowing at least a day in between wearing the pair again can give the perspiration time to dry out. Here are some additional ways to possibly prevent smelly feet:
1. Wearing quality footwear that’s breathable such as leather uppers (not synthetic leather), canvas shoes, and sneakers with mesh.
2. If your feet are prone to sweating, wearing open-toed shoes or sandals and going barefoot (when safe and appropriate), may also be beneficial.
3. Choose socks made of certain materials like cotton or wool. Socks with ventilation panels, or made from materials designed to wick away moisture can also help maintain dryness.
Treatment Options for Stinky Feet
The in-your-face symptoms of chronic foot odor are difficult to miss. Once you realize the condition has affected your feet, treatment can be done in various ways. For some people, creams, anti-perspirant sprays, powders, and medicated or odor-eating insoles have been known to help.
If the odor continues, the best remedy is to meet with an experienced podiatrist so that he or she can prescribe the most appropriate method of treatment that fits your specific needs. All-in-all, this may involve topical antibiotics or prescription medications that address the dryness of the feet or bacterial growth.
Foot Odor Freedom
The fact is that no one enjoys the feeling of having to hide their feet due to foot odor, or being embarrassed to remove their shoes when others are nearby. If you are struggling with this common foot problem, the expert staff at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center can help. Our ultimate goal is to help all of our patients with their foot care issues so that they can enjoy the benefits living life with feet that are healthy and happy in every respect, and that includes feet that aren’t plagued by pungent odor. To get on track to freedom from smelly feet, please call us at 562-420-9800 or schedule an appointment today.