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Why Do My Feet Smell?
Everybody’s feet are capable of stinking. The stink can range from mild to horrible. For example, there are certain people whose feet produce a very offensive odor that can drive everybody from a room as soon as they take off their shoes. This is an example of a severe case of foot odor. Would you believe it if I told you that there are other cases of smelly feet that are far worse than this? Well, believe it or not, there are far worse cases of stinky feet than this!
Having smelly feet is a very embarrassing problem that needs to be solved right away. This article focuses on two very important things, namely, why our feet stink and how to stop our feet from stinking.
Let us start with the first, which is why our feet stink. Do you know why your feet stink? If you don’t know, then read on.
Why Your Feet Stink
There are two major reasons why your feet will stink. Before your feet can stink, two things must take place. First, your feet must sweat. Second, bacteria must be produced on the feet. When these two things occur, your feet are sure going to smell very bad. Your feet will never smell bad if you do not sweat and if bacteria is not produced. The feet happen to be one of the most hardworking parts of the body, which is why, whether we like it or not, they are going to get sweaty and produce bacteria and give off some bad odor.
In the medical world, the official name for smelly or stinky feet is bromodosis. Virtually everybody in this world suffers from bromodosis or smelly feet from time to time. The main cause of bromodosis is bacteria.
According to doctors, the reason the feet get sweaty all the time is because of the fact that of all the parts of the body, it is the feet that have more sweat glands. This is why they constantly sweat, regardless of the temperature, although they may sweat more on hot days.
The more your feet perspire, the higher your chances of stinky feet. This is simply because bacteria love damp places; they basically thrive very well there. The moment your feet become damp as a result of perspiration, bacteria quickly inhabit them. Having made your feet their home, they quickly start to multiply and grow. They survive on eating things such as the dead skin cells on your skin. They also feed on the oils produced by your feet. As the bacteria feed on your feet, they produce waste material, which comes in the form of organic acids. According to experts, the organic acids that bacteria give off cause the feet to stink. In severe cases, the bacteria on the feet can produce very smelly compounds called volatile sulfur compounds, which even stink more than the organic acids. Now, can you imagine that?
This is basically the reason why your feet will stink. It is also the reason why the longer you wear your shoes and sweat in them; the more your feet shall smell bad. Remember, bacteria is the reason your feet will smell, and bacteria totally love damp places. The inside of sweaty shoes is their favorite place to thrive.
Why do some people have smellier feet than others?
The reason this happens is simply that their feet sweat more than the average person’s feet. Below is a list of the category of people who tend to have sweatier feet than others:
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- Teenagers—teenagers sweat more because of hormonal changes that they go through. This is why teenagers tend to have smellier feet than other groups of people.
- Pregnant women—pregnant women are also more prone to suffering from sweaty feet because they also experience hormonal changes which make them sweat more. This is why a woman is likely to suffer more from smelly feet when she is pregnant than when she is not.
- People who stand up frequently while working. If your work involves standing up all day, then you are going to sweat more on your feet, and this will lead to smelly feet.
- People suffering from fungal infections. People who suffer from fungal infections are also highly prone to bad foot odor.
- People suffering from too much stress can also increase their chances of suffering from bad foot odor.
- If you also suffer from a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, you will likely suffer from bad foot odor. Hyperhidrosis is a medical condition that causes a person to sweat a lot.
How to Prevent Smelly Feet and Smelly Foot Remedies
What are some of the things that can be done to prevent your feet from smelling bad? The answer is you can do a lot of simple things to prevent stinky feet. Some of the best remedies for smelly feet include the following:
- Do not wear shoes without socks. You should religiously avoid this if you want to make your feet smell good. When you wear shoes without socks, you make your feet perspire more and cause sweat to soak the shoes, creating a very conducive environment for bacteria to thrive and give you stinky feet. But when you wear socks, the socks come between your feet and the shoe to absorb the sweat.
- Do not wear the same shoes or sandals every day. Wearing the same pair of shoes repeatedly is one of the major reasons many people experience bad foot odor. For instance, don’t wear the same pair of shoes you wore to work yesterday, today, and certainly not tomorrow. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, you will definitely have very bad-smelling feet. What happens here is that when your feet perspire, the sweat drains into the shoes and makes them damp. As soon as this happens, bacteria begin to grow inside. Now, if you pick that same pair of shoes the following day and wear them, you’d be doing yourself a huge disfavor simply because the shoes are not dry, and the bacteria in them are still alive and multiplying fast. When you put your feet in these shoes to go to work or school, then you worsen your case; you have just created a perfect environment for the bacteria to multiply faster and give you bad foot odor. You can prevent this from happening by simply drying the shoes in the hot sun or by not wearing the pair of shoes for a couple of days. If you do this, the sweat in the shoes will dry, and all the bacteria in them will die.
- Also, you can prevent smelly feet by changing your socks every day. Do not wear the same pair of socks every day. Change your socks every day to avoid smelly feet. It is advisable to also wear cotton socks because they allow air to circulate around your feet, and they are very good at absorbing sweat from the feet.
- After a shower, you should make sure that you have thoroughly used your towel to dry your feet and between your toes before wearing your socks and, subsequently, your shoes. The more water that you leave on your feet, the damper the insides of your shoes will become. As we all know right about now, damp shoes are very good places for bacteria to dwell and cause bad foot odor.
- After drying your feet and between your toes with a towel, you can also use clean cotton soaked in methylated spirit to clean between your toes. The spirit keeps the skin on the feet dry all the time. This will prevent your feet from becoming sweaty and smelly.
- Another very good remedy for smelly feet is to use antiperspirant on your feet. This will help prevent your feet from sweating. There are some very good antiperspirants that you can get to purchase from stores around you that are very good in preventing your feet from producing too much sweat. In place of antiperspirants, you can also use the normal spray deodorant that you use on your body to spray your feet and between your toes. This will also keep sweat at bay and keep your feet smelling fresh all day.
- Take off your shoes when you are in the house, especially on hot days. In the house, you can wear slippers or even walk barefooted. You do not need to constantly wear shoes. Your feet need to breathe!
- Last but not least, make sure that while bathing, you thoroughly wash your feet. While bathing, not too many people spend a great deal of time properly washing their feet and the between their toes. We tend to take this part of the body for granted, which is not a very good thing. You need to spend some time washing your feet very well, especially between the toes.
The above are some of the very effective remedies for stinky/smelly feet. Put them into practice if you are one who constantly experiences this problem. You'll notice that your smelly feet problem will start diminishing rapidly until it gets to a point where it completely ends. This is the point where you can comfortably take off your shoes after work and not bother about polluting the air around you with the offensive smell emanating from your shoes. There simply will not be any bad foot odor!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
VICTOR R DE LA RIVA SR on February 08, 2019:
My feet stink but my friend likes the smell of them why
myvenn (author) from Ghana on June 28, 2014:
I am glad that you enjoyed reading this article. Although I have never been there, I hear that Florida can be quite a warm place.
Dianna Mendez on June 28, 2014:
You made this topic interesting. Living in South Florida allows me to go barefoot or wear simple sandals when outdoors. Guess that makes a good difference in keeping feet fresh. Thanks for the facts.