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16 Tips to Get Rid of Smelly Feet

Written: 11/10/2007

Who has never been the victim or more embarassing the "cause" of smelly feet at one time in his/her life? Smelly feet, known more scientifically as Bromhydrosis, can be very embarrassing and uncomfortable to family members, friends and especially to oneself. It is not a disease and can be treated in most cases by maintaining good feet hygiene.

What causes malodorous feet?

Each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands. Sweat is secreted by the body for cooling purposes. But certain people tend to sweat excessively, especially in the feet. This condition is known as hyperhydrosis. Actually, it is not hyperhydrosis which causes the odors. The dampness caused by the sweat and darkness around the foot skin produce a fertile environment that causes bacteria to go into a feeding frenzy. Their waste products produce a pungent confined sweat smell which is not friendly to the human nose.

The more you sweat, the more likely your feet will emit foul odors. This explains why everyone does not smell from the feet. It is the amount of sweat which stagnates around the foot that is important.

Other causes of smelly feet include obesity, menopause, excessive anxiety and some psychiatric disorders.

How to fight smelly feet?
  1. Wash your feet with antibacterial soap and cold water everyday.

  2. Dry your feet with a dry and rough towel without forgetting the spaces between the toes. This is where most bacteria accumulate.

  3. Trim your nail and brush them well especially the lateral portion where the nail enters into the skin.

  4. Use thick and light colored socks made from absorbent material like cotton.

  5. Avoid socks and foot wears manufactured from synthetic material like nylon or plastic. They cannot absorb sweat.

  6. Change your socks daily or twice in a day depending on the amount you sweat.

  7. Never wear shoes without socks.

  8. Wear shoes that allow air to circulate around the feet. Trainers shoes and shoes made from canvas and leather allow the feet to breathe.

  9. If these shoes do not work out for you, then wear sneakers or sandals whenever possible. Limit the use of shoes for special occasions only.

  10. Never wear the same shoes twice in a row. Aerate them for at least 24 hours.

  11. Use changeable insole. This will limit bacterial accumulation in your shoes.

  12. Dust your feet with baby powder or foot powder. This will absorb extra sweat and give your skin a smooth texture.

  13. Avoid restrictive footwear like boots. Your feet cannot breathe inside them.

  14. Apply anti sweat lotion. This will limit sweat secretion.

  15. Once a week do a footbath. Use a foot stone or a rough brush to remove dead skin cells.

  16. Soaking your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week can help. The tannic acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer.
If none of these tips work, then the best thing is to visit a doctor for treatments. They include the surgical method to section the nerve controlling the sweat glands or the use of electrolysis.


When the foot is exposed for long periods of time in damped environments, its skin becomes fragile and weak. People wearing tight shoes or improper foot wears can cause tearing and wearing of the skin. This leaves the internal structures exposed. Bacteria can cause inflammation.

If fungus enters these bruises, athelete foot occurs. Athlete's foot is a common fungal infection that affects many people at some time in their lives. The condition easily spreads in public places such as communal showers, locker rooms and fitness centers.

Athlete's foot usually affects the spaces between your toes, but it can spread to your toenails and the soles and sides of your feet. Often, athlete's foot responds well to over-the-counter treatments you can apply to your skin. More severe cases may require prescription medications.

The first step towards treating smelly feet remains foot hygiene and proper foot wears.

- Harry

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