For most of us, sandal season is over for the year. Which means our tootsies are going to be spending the next five months or so crammed into enclosed shoes. And for some of us that means sweaty, smelly feet.
No one likes to talk about it, but it’s quite common. And you don’t have to be a teenage boy to experience it. In fact, doctors even have a name for that odiferous body odor we all love to hate… bromhidrosis.
Millions of bacteria call our feet home. They live off dead skin cells and our sweat. And a byproduct of this process is an unpleasant odor.
Our shoes trap the sweat from our feet, and dead skin cells, inside them. This gives the bacteria something to feast on, and they end up stuffing themselves.
Then, to make matters worse, the warm moist environment inside your shoes can encourage fungal infections. And fungal infections can produce a foul odor of their own.
And if you suffer from any circulation issues, your risk for smelly feet is even higher. Which means if you’re battling heart problems or diabetes you may find staying ahead of embarrassing foot odor even more of a challenge.
Smelly feet fixes to erase foot odors for good
But you don’t have to live with smelly feet all winter long. Banish foot odor for good with these six stop the stink tips.
1. Ditch the plastic:
Plastics and feet don’t tend to mix well. They block air circulation making your feet sweat more. And they’re non-absorbent, so your feet end up stewing in the kind of warm, damp environment that promotes smelly feet.
Replace your polyester socks with breathable cotton ones. And ditch any shoes made from plastic too. Look for shoes made with foot-friendly materials such as cotton, hemp and leather instead.
2. Swap your socks:
Have you ever been tempted to wear the same pair of socks for a second day? Don’t. You should always don a fresh pair of socks in the morning. And if your feet sweat a lot, you might want to change them once during the day too.
3. Alternate shoes:
Just like with socks, wearing the same shoes two days in a row isn’t a good idea. After you wear a pair let them air out for at least 24 hours. This will eliminate one of foot bacteria’s favorite food sources, sweat.
4. Bring on the baking soda:
Baking soda (as well as cornstarch) makes a great natural food powder that can help fight off smelly feet. Sprinkle a bit into your shoes before putting them on.
And if your feet are already a bit stinky, you can combine around a tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of lemon juice to make a powerful natural deodorant. Simply spread the paste on the soles of your feet and between your toes. Wait for several minutes, rinse off and dry your feet well.
5. Soak them in saltwater:
Say goodbye to smelly feet with this home remedy that really works. A saltwater soak is a surprisingly effective way to drive away existing foot odor, and keep it from coming back.
Simply fill a large bowl or tub with enough warm water to cover your feet. Dissolve about one cup of kosher salt or Epsom salts in the water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and then dry them off.
The salt naturally pulls moisture out of your feet, reducing sweating.
6. Thoroughly dry your feet:
Bacteria and fungus thrive in warm wet environments. So it’s important that you always dry your feet completely. Try using your hair dryer on the lowest setting to whisk away any trace of moisture before putting on your socks.
Foot odor can be embarrassing. But the truth is we all suffer from smelly feet sometimes. Use these six tips to give stinky feet the boot once and for all.