Can you smell your feet without trying to? Can other people smell them too? Stinky feet can be caused by many different things and can be especially worse or obvious when it’s hot outside. Heat means sweat, which means that your shoes are probably multiplying bacteria and fungi at a faster rate causing your feet to smell even worse than normal. But don’t worry, for most of you, there’s a few different things you can try to fix your foot odor before it gets too bad.
- Soak Your Feet – Try soaking your feet in common household products such as vinegar, salt, or even tea. Although it may seem silly, these relatively inexpensive items can make a drastic difference in your foot odor. Vinegar and salt both dry out your feet so the odor causing bacteria can no longer thrive. For vinegar, use a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to water. Soak for about 30 minutes once a week. For salt, use about a cup of salt (kosher is best) in whatever vessel you choose to soak your feet in. Soak for about 20 minutes about twice a week. Tea (an average black tea works well) helps shrink the pores in your feet so your sweat level goes down. It also has antibacterial properties that help kill the bacteria on your feet. Boil 2 tea bags in about a pint of water for 15 minutes to make a tea concentrate and add to your tub or foot bath. Soak for 30 minutes once a week.
- Corn Starch – Foot powders and sprays can get expensive, especially if you are an active person or happen to be very sweaty. Corn starch is a very effective alternative and won’t break the bank. Put a small sprinkle of cornstarch in your shoes before you put them on and the powder will absorb the sweat before it has a chance to stink. You can do this on a daily basis and without worrying about daily exposure to chemicals.
- Socks and Shoes – The right socks and shoes are important for many reasons. Foot odor can be better controlled if your socks are changed daily and your shoes are kept clean. For shoes that are already affected by odor, throw them away or salvage them with a lysol disinfectant. Open-toed shoes and sandals or even going barefoot for a little while is also good because your feet can breathe and the sweat can naturally evaporate before turning smelly.
If none of these methods work, or if you think you are dealing with something that is more serious, come to Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, VA. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, our board-certified podiatrist, specializes in foot and ankle issues and has been practicing for over 17 years. Give us a call at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.