Get Rid of Foot Odor


Foot odor is a common foot skin issue that occurs when excess perspiration from your feet soaks the lining of your shoes and socks. Perspiration creates an optimal environment for bacteria which can grow and cause a bad odor. It can be very unpleasant and embarrassing. Many people describe it as a cheesy or vinegary smell that sticks to their feet, socks, and shoes.

Foot odor is caused by sweat mixed with bacteria from your skin. Most people have large number of sweat glands in their feet that produce a pint of moisture every day. Others have more than the average number of sweat glands, and sweat excessively. Some people sweat only during the hot months of the year, while others sweat year-round.

Shoes and socks are the perfect environment for sweat and bacteria to mingle, which is why it’s critical to maintain proper hygiene. You may not at first notice the odor, which may only be in your shoes. 


It is not actually the sweat that makes your feet smell, but the bacteria that thrives in the moist environment it creates. Sweat is actually odorless, for the most part, except for the kind that comes from the glands in the armpit/genital area. There are proteins and amino acids in sweat from those glands (called the apocrine glands) that feed bacteria, giving it a particular unappealing smell.

The bacteria on your feet give off a kind of gas as they eat, which is the source of your problems. If you can keep your feet dry, clean, and fight the bacteria, you won’t have to worry about letting them out to breathe in a room with other people around. The following are ways of preventing foot odor;
  • Scrub your feet after washing, The objective here is to get rid of any bacteria and dead skin cells that bacteria like to feed on. Wash and dry your feet every day and change your socks (ideally wool or cotton, not nylon) at least once a day. So when you wash your feet, exfoliate the entire surface of your foot with a washcloth, brush, or any other abrasive mechanism and use anti-bacterial soap. Don't forget to scrub between your toes, either.
  • Drying your feet is recommended, dry your feet completely. Moisture, whether it's water or sweat, is what creates a fertile breeding ground for bacteria, Dry your feet thoroughly and don't forget the space between your toes.
  • Wear open-toed shoes, Wearing open shoes lets the air flow around your feet, keeping them cool and keeping you from producing as much sweat. When you do sweat, it will evaporate quickly due to air circulation. In summer wear open-toed sandals and go barefoot at home in the evenings.
  • Change your socks often, some socks have ventilation panels to keep feet dry, and antibacterial socks are impregnated with chemicals to discourage the odour-producing bacteria that feed on sweat.
  • Use a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet – a normal underarm deodorant or antiperspirant works just as well as a specialist foot product and will cost you less.
  • Never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Instead, wear different shoes on successive days so they have at least 24 hours to dry out. Make sure teenage boys have two pairs of trainers so that they don't have to wear the same pair for two or more consecutive days.
  • Keep your toenails short and clean and remove any hard skin with a foot file. Hard skin can become soggy when damp, which provides an ideal home for bacteria

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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