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Smelly Feet: Tips on Preventing Foot Odor

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It is embarrassing to take your shoes off when you have foot odor, especially in public places, such as a yoga or karate class or at the pool.

There are two reasons why feet smell. The first is sweating. There are more sweat glands in your feet and hands than in any other part of the body. There are actually about 3,000 glands per square inch.

The other reason is that you wear shoes. It is the interaction between the perspiration and the bacteria growing in your shoes and socks that causes the odor.

So, if you want to fix your foot odor problem, you will need to deal with both your footwear issues and your sweating.

Probably the best home remedy for smelly feet is a soak in black tea. You should soak your feet in strong black tea (a mixture of two tea bags for every pint of water) for 30 minutes every day for one week. Boil the tea bags for about fifteen minutes, then add two more quarts of cool water.

This works because the acid in tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, which keeps your feet dry for a longer period of time. Another option is to soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

Here are some other tips on preventing foot odor:

  • Dust your feet frequently with non-medicated baby powder or foot powder or apply an anti-bacterial ointment.
  • Wear socks with closed shoes.
  • Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Alternate pairs.
  • Keep your feet healthy and keep bacteria levels at a minimum by practicing good foot hygiene.
  • Wear soft, thick socks. They will draw moisture away from your feet.
  • Wear shoes that are made of breathable materials, like leather, canvas or mesh.
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once a day.
  • Bathe your feet daily. Use lukewarm water and use a mild soap, then dry your feet thoroughly.

These tips will not only help to prevent smelly, sweaty feet, but can also help prevent Athlete’s Foot as well. However, if you are suffering from Athlete’s Foot, it won’t respond to antibacterial agents. Try an anti-fungal powder instead.

If your feet sweat excessively, you may have another problem called hyperhidrosis. It is more common in men than in women and seems to be an inherited problem. According the U.S. National Library of Medicine, less than 40% of people with hyperhidrosis seek medical advice. However, if you believe you are suffering from hyperhidrosis, it is recommended that you see a podiatrist.

If you would like to set up an appointment with our office, you can contact us at 615-220-8788 or you can request an appointment online.

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