Skin Care

What causes it and how to stop smelling your feet

A not-so-rare phenomenon that can put us in an uncomfortable position is foot odor.

Like any problem, however, there is a solution as long as you incorporate some foot hygiene habits into your daily routine that will significantly reduce or even completely eliminate the smell.

In the rest of the article we will see what are the factors that make feet smell, tips for preventing and treating bad breath, as well as some suggestions for home remedies.

Factors that cause foot odor

Our feet, like our hands, are the parts of the body where there are the most sweat glands. This means that they sweat very easilyso as to keep the body cool and the skin hydrated.

It is a process that is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. And indeed the phenomenon is stronger in teenagers and pregnant women due to the hormonal changes they have.

Equally important factors for the production of sweat in the legs are intense standing, stress and some medical conditions that increase sweat productionin relation to other people.

Sweat, however, is not the factor, which by itself causes the unwanted “legs”.

THE moisture accumulation, especially on the feet, creates fertile ground for the growth of Kytococcus sedentarius type bacteria, which have as their natural environment the feet and toes. The specific bacteria break down the sweat when it is released.

However, if these bacteria in combination with sweat accumulate on the surface of the feet, they give off this strong stench. Therefore, although sweat is essentially odorless, the breakdown caused by bacteria produces an acid. This is the cause of the characteristic odor known as footsore.

In addition to the above, sometimes the stench can also be due to diet. There are foods that tend to give off a bad smell when one sweats.

The appearance of this bad smell is not necessarily accompanied by foot fungusbut this may also be the case.

What can I do to stop my feet from smelling?

Dealing with foot odor is not difficult. There are a few simple tips that by following them you can eliminate this bad smell and it will never appear again. Everything naturally starts with foot hygiene.

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No. 1 rule: The systematic washing of the feet

Do not neglect to wash your feet on a daily basis, even more than once if necessary. So as soon as you feel that they have sweated, use an antifungal soap to clean them.

For best results, make sure to take a relaxing and beneficial foot bath once a week.

Dry your feet well to keep them moist

Washing the feet alone is not enough to limit the growth of bacteria. It is very important, after cleaning, to ensure that any trace of moisture is removed from the soles of the feet and between the toes.

You can achieve this by wiping them thoroughly with a towel or cotton cloth. From there, you can also use the air from the hair dryer if you want to get even better drying.

Also, applying some alcohol with the help of a cotton ball between the fingers can help to evaporate the moisture faster.

Pedicure and removal of dead cells

Short, clean and well-groomed toenails, as well as the removal of dead cells with the help of a pumice stone or by exfoliating your feet, can further limit the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria.

After all, it is known that bacteria like to live under the nails that have grown long, but also in the areas where there are hardenings.

See how you can do a professional pedicure at home with simple steps.

Correct selection and care of shoes

During the warm months of the year, prefer open shoes that allow the skin to breathe and limit the appearance of sweat.

But if you have to wear closed shoes, don’t forget your cotton socks, which have the ability to absorb moisture and limit it. On the contrary, synthetic socks tend to increase perspiration. And of course we always wear clean socks, which we have washed inside out, so as to remove the dead cells that may have accumulated inside them.

Also, leather or canvas shoes are preferable. They let the feet breathe and don’t make them sweat as much. The same goes for comfortable (not tight) shoes.

It is also particularly important to avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day. So make sure to let them air out for 24 hours before putting them back on. In this way, the bacteria do not find the fertile soil they need to grow.

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In order to get moisture out of your shoes more easily, you can try the following:

  • Leave them in the sun to dry.
  • Place a tea bag or a piece of newspaper inside them.
  • Spray their insides with a little rubbing alcohol or a vinegar water solution.

Learn more about dealing with smelly shoes.

Products such as foot odor powder, deodorant and antifungal spray

There are many different products on the market that help absorb moisture from the feet, reducing the chance of foot odor.

The most typical are antifungal sprays, powders, talc and foot deodorants. All you have to do is apply one of these products to clean, dry feet before putting on your new socks and shoes.

They reduce perspiration and fight bacteria and fungi, thus preventing feet from smelling.

Washing smelly shoes or their insoles

If you notice that your shoes smell, do not wear them again unless you wash them, because the stench will be transferred to your feet. Washing shoes is usually done with soap and water by hand or in the washing machine. However, there are also shoes that cannot be washed. These should be avoided.

In case the bad smell persists, even after applying the above tips for some time, or is accompanied by redness, irritation or marks on the toenails, it is recommended to visit your dermatologist to give you the ideal treatment to deal with the problem.

Treatments to treat foot odor

Apart from the above habits and proper care of your feet, there are some simple home remedies that can help more in dealing with the bad smell.

These are the so-called doctor soaps or some foot baths with beneficial properties that fight bacteria and prevent foot odor.

Foot bath with salt

Salt water has the ability to remove the bad smell. More specifically, it reduces toxins and balances the levels of acids that are produced in the feet from sweat and create the annoying odor.

Simply pour 3 tablespoons of salt into a basin of warm water and immerse your feet in it. Let them soak for about 10 minutes, then wipe them thoroughly with a clean towel.

Foot bath with baking soda

Baking soda is known for its astringent properties and fighting bacteria and fungi that lead to the appearance of bad breath.

You can use it alone dissolved in water, taking a foot bath for 10 minutes.

Alternatively, you can mix it with lemon and water.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • The juice of a lemon
  • Hot water (as needed)

Method of application: Put all the ingredients in a basin and submerge your feet. Let them soak for 20 minutes. Then wipe them very well with a clean towel.

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Apple cider vinegar treatment to stop feet from smelling

The acidity of apple cider vinegar reduces the growth of bacteria and keeps the pH of the skin at normal levels. In this way, foot odor becomes a thing of the past.

Of course, this particular doctor’s shoe is not recommended for feet that have wounds, scratches, etc., because as expected, the stinging that will be caused will be intense, in combination with skin irritation.

You will need:

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 2 parts warm water

Method of application: After putting the 2 ingredients in a basin, soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. Then, be sure to wipe them very well so that no trace of moisture remains.

Black tea against foot odor

Another recipe to make your feet smell good and not give off that bad smell, take advantage of the beneficial properties of black tea.

It balances the pH of the skin, while minimizing the production of sweat, since its pores are closed. Also, tea acids, the well-known tannins, fight bacteria.

You will need:

  • 4-5 black tea bags
  • Water

Method of application: After you’ve made a strong black tea and it’s a warm, tolerable temperature for your foot bath, soak your feet in it. Leave them in for 30 minutes until the foot bath takes effect and then wash them off. Finally, wipe them very well with a clean towel.

Homemade recipe for treatment with sage

This herb has rich antibacterial and antifungal properties. For this reason, it can be a beneficial ally in dealing with foot odor, since it fights bacteria and prevents excessive sweating.

You will need:

  • 10 dried sage leaves
  • 1 liter of water

Method of application: After boiling the sage leaves for about 10 minutes and letting the liquid cool slightly, soak your feet for 15 minutes. Then rinse them and dry them very well.

Alternatively, you can combine sage with rosemary, which has similar properties.

You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1-2 teaspoons sage
  • Water

Method of application: Take a foot bath with warm water and the above herbs, soaking your feet for 30 minutes. Then remove them and wipe thoroughly.

By following the above tips you will be able to minimize or completely eliminate foot odor and you will never feel uncomfortable taking off your shoes while in public again.

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