Most people who suffer from foot odor are just as aware of the problem as those around them which makes it even more embarrassing for everyone concerned.
The medical name for this condition is bromhidrosis
and it is caused by bacteria that just loves to live in the moist, warm and dark home that has been made for them in socks and shoes.
There are thousands of sweat glands on the soles of the feet, producing perspiration made up of water, sodium chloride, fat, minerals and some acids.
Combining with the bacteria, a smelly stench can be the result
And it does not end there. These same circumstances can also lead to athletes foot
or nail fungus.
If foot odor is your problem, here are some simple rules and remedies to follow for sweeter smelling feet:
1. Bathe your feet several times a day with soap and water but if you notice that your feet become scaly and cracked, then cut back to less often. Another suggestion is to wash your feet in green tea or add baking soda with a few teaspoonfuls of vinegar to your foot bath.
2. After washing, try soaking your feet for a few minutes in a salt solution. Add half a cup of natural salt crystals (not processed salt) to a quart of warm water.
3. Always dry your feet very well, taking care to include between the toes. When they are thoroughly dry, apply a deodorant (natural rather than commercial if possible) to the soles of the feet to eliminate any odor that occurs when sweat meets bacteria. Once the deodorant is dry, you can powder your feet with a little cornstarch.
4. Whenever and wherever you can, go barefoot. Otherwise choose open shoes such as sandals to allow air onto the feet to evaporate any sweat and slow down the growth of any bacteria.
5. Wear socks that will let your feet breathe. This might take some experimenting but most people find that a cotton or wool sock is the best for absorbing moisture and keeping your feet dry. Keep extra pairs on you during the day so that you can change your socks at least once during the day. Never ever wear the same pair two days running.
6. If you have to wear shoes, then always choose leather or canvas that allow your feet to breathe and avoid any that are lined with rubber or synthetic materials. Put on a different pair of shoes each morning so that you are not wearing the same pair two days running. Never put on shoes that have got wet for any reason.
7. Let your shoes air between wearing rather than putting away in a dark cupboard. Loosen the laces, pull up the tongue and put out in the sunshine whenever you can. With trainers (or other canvas footwear) you can safely wash them frequently in the washing machine and then air or sun dry. Once they are dry, sprinkle the inside with some corn starch to help absorb any moisture and keep your feet dryer or you can make up a spray bottle of 50/50 white vinegar and water solution to deodorize shoes before leaving to dry.
8. What you put into your body via your mouth can also have repercussions when it comes to foot odor. Avoid strong-flavored foods such as garlic, onions, scallions and peppers because the substances that give them their powerful flavor and aroma can pass through the bloodstream and eventually concentrate in your sweat. Adding some fresh parsley and/or cilantro to your diet will help detox and even absorb body odors.
9. Make sure you drink plenty of water – that 8 glasses of water each day can help to rid the body of toxins. Even better is to add a slice of fresh lemon or lime to the water.
10. Stress is one of the worst causes of increased sweat production. Make some changes in your life if possible or at the very least, learn some stress-reduction ways.
Hairy feet (especially when hair occurs on the toes) can make a foot odor problem worse as they add an increased surface area in which that all important bacteria can thrive.