Feet are not expected to have a pleasant aroma, but a foul, strong odor is an issue that needs to be addressed. Ideally, you want to prevent a funky foot smell from happening in the first place. Here at Capital District Podiatry, we know that you don’t want to be embarrassed when you take your shoes off on account of offensive odor. A closer look at this condition shows options you have for dealing with it.
Causes of Foot Odor
A variety of factors can play a role in strong, pungent odor that drifts up from the feet. The main contributor is sweat, which is interesting because human perspiration is actually odorless. The smell actually comes from bacteria that reside on the body. These microorganisms digest our sweat and, in their process release the odor as a byproduct.
There are other causes for smelly feet, including certain medical conditions, medications, and even the food that you eat. The ones most likely to contribute to funky odor are foods made from refined carbohydrates, those containing sulfur, or those that induce sweat.
In other cases, a foul smell coming up from the feet is the matter of an infection that needs to be treated. If the smell is accompanied by redness, swelling, red streaks, pus, drainage, fatigue, and/or fever, be sure to schedule an appointment so we can diagnose the condition.
Treating Foot Odor
Even though this condition can be a source of embarrassment, the good news is it can be treated and prevented. Treatment options include disinfecting creams, sprays, and odor-eating products that can be purchased over-the-counter. These products often work well in treating mild to moderate cases of smelly feet.
If you are looking for an alternative route, some home remedies use salt water, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and tea to treat the condition. As is always the case with home remedies, check with our office to find out if it is something we would recommend.
When it comes to severe cases of odor, we can prescribe stronger products to remedy the condition.
Foot Odor Prevention
Treating a case of smelly feet is good, but preventing the condition is even better. Measures you can take to reduce the risk of this embarrassing issue are to:
- Wash your feet daily with warm water and mild soap.
- Wear a pair of fresh socks every day, especially ones that wick moisture and keep your feet dry and cool.
- Spray your shoes nightly with a disinfecting spray (like the kinds used in bowling alleys).
- Do your best to keep your feet dry throughout the day.
- Start with two pairs of shoes and alternate between them every other day.
- Kill odor-causing bacteria that can reside in your shoes with the use of baking soda.
- Turn your socks inside out before washing them to better remove dead flakes of skin.
How to Care for Funky Smelling Shoes
In addition to your feet, shoes that have a funky odor also should be addressed. If you have the money for it, you can simply discard a pair that smells bad, but it is best to tackle the root cause in order to avoid ending up in the same situation again. Instead of tossing your footwear away, give the following tips a chance to salvage your shoes:
- Before going to bed, stuff the insides of your shoes with newspaper. Leave them be overnight and then remove the paper in the morning. The shoes will smell better than they previously did.
- When not wearing your shoes, place dryer sheets inside of them.
- Insoles that are composed of cedar material will eliminate funky smells from your footwear.
- Take a cotton ball saturated in rubbing alcohol and wipe down the shoes, inside and out. Leave them sit for a while to improve the scent.
Comprehensive Foot Care in Troy, NY
Our patients know that Capital District Podiatry provides effective care for many common foot and ankle issues that cause pain or impair mobility, but we also don’t want you to face conditions that are embarrassing or make you self-conscious. Find out what we can offer you at our Troy and Clifton Park, NY offices by calling (518) 273-0053 today.