YOUR FEET STINK!

Your foot odor may stem from any of several causes. You can get sweaty feet because it’s hot outside or you’re exercising vigorously. Still, your feet can also sweat excessively for other reasons like: Being pregnant, Wearing ill-fitting shoes, Stress, Spending long hours on your feet, Taking certain medications and Underlying medical conditions such as thyroid disease or diabetes. Hyperhidrosis is a condition that involves extreme sweating. It can affect any area of the body, including the feet. When sweat isn’t cleaned off and gets trapped between your toes, bacteria can start to proliferate, creating a smelly situation. Fungal foot infections are common causes of smelly feet. Your feet are a favorite spot for fungi. The moist crevices between your toes are the perfect home for fungi to thrive. Fungal infections can be hard to get rid of, which means the smell can stick around. Some fungal infections that can affect your feet include athletes foot and nail fungal infections. Unsurprisingly, not washing your feet can cause them to start to smell, too. The same goes if you’re regularly wearing unwashed socks or shoes. Your foot odor may stem from wearing smelly shoes. Sweat can soak into your footwear and cause bacterial growth that eventually leads to odor The key is to let your shoes or boots dry out completely before wear them again. Hormonal changes, like those that happen during pregnancy, can also cause smelly feet. Increased hormone production during pregnancy can cause you to sweat more, which, in turn, can lead to bad foot odors. Smelly feet are a common problem and nothing to be embarrassed about. The issue is also very treatable. You can try various home remedies, but if those don’t solve the problem, a podiatrist can help you find a solution. There are several steps you can take at home to improve your foot odor problem. Keeping your feet clean by washing them daily with soap and water can help keep them from getting smelly. Other good hygiene tactics to use include: using antibacterial soap to prevent bacterial buildup, always thoroughly drying your feet, changing socks daily, keeping your toenails clean and trimmed, removing dry skin and callouses. If you sweat excessively, you can also try changing up the shoes you wear. Wear a bigger size if your shoes are too tight. Opt for open-toed shoes, if possible. Foot powders and antiperspirants can also help keep your feet dry and bacteria free. If sweat gets into your footwear, it can cause bacteria to grow in the nooks and crannies and lead to a smell. Changing your socks every day and wearing socks made of materials that wick sweat can help prevent smelly feet. Cotton socks retain sweat, while socks made of synthetic fibers like polyester, nylon, and polypropylene will wick moisture away from the skin. If you sweat a lot, you may want to strike preemptively and apply antibacterial powder in your shoes to sop up the sweat and keep them dry. Rotate your shoes (alternating days that you wear a given pair), especially during times of the year when wet or hot weather is the norm. Medical treatments are also available. Iontophoresis is a type of electrical therapy where current is applied to the skin along with topical medications to reduce sweat production. Although effective, the results are temporary and need to be repeated regularly. Botox (botulinum toxin) can also be used to treat excessive sweating. Research suggests that it can reduce sweating by up to 87%. Results can occur within a few days after treatment and last several months—sometimes up to a year. The biggest drawback is that injections to the feet tend to be quite painful. And some evidence suggests that it’s less effective for foot sweating than for other types of excessive sweating, such as under the arms. Prescription medications call anti cholinergics can be prescribed to block sweat production Smelly feet are nothing to turn your nose up to. If you or a loved one has this problem, don’t be ashamed. We can help. Come in for a visit. Your feet(and nose) will be glad you did

Author
Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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