Although we usually associate stinky feet with sweat, at Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS we want patients to know that chronic foot odor is a year round condition, not one just associated with warmer weather months. The average foot has 250,000 sweat glands—that’s more per square centimeter than any other part of your body! The sweat glands in your feet can create as much as half a pint of perspiration in a day. If you are experiencing a foot odor issue, our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, will want to determine if this is due to a medical condition or habits. Foot odor can have several different causes, including:
Once the foot doctor determines the cause of your foot odor, the proper cure can be prescribed. For feet that have a medical condition that causes excess perspiration and odor the podiatrist may prescribe a prescription ointment or even a minor surgical procedure to control the problem. Simple steps that you can try at home to minimize smelly feet include:
- Wash feet daily with soap and water and then dry completely.
- Choose shoes made of breathable materials that allow for air circulation around your feet.
- Make sure feet stay dry.
- Change your socks as soon as you feel that they are damp—even if this means changing them a few times a day.
- Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Bacteria can lurk in your shoes which, when mixed with sweat will give off a bad smell. Shoes need a chance to air out.
- Use a talcum or anti-fungal foot powder daily.
- Try a tea soak: Make a strong tea by using two black tea bags in a pint of water and boiling for 15 minutes. Add 2 quarts of cold water. Soak feet for half an hour. Repeat for 7 days. You can also use a solution of one part vinegar two parts cold water. These soaks can help kill odor-causing bacteria and also shrink pores.