Smelly feet is a condition which occurs due to an accumulation of sweat that results in bacterial growth on the skin. Anyone may get sweaty feet, but pregnant women and teenagers are the most likely demographic due to hormonal changes.
According to podiatrists, feet become smelly when sweat soaks inside our shoes and they do not dry up before we use them again. Bacteria on the skin breakdown amino acids from our sweat into volatile fatty acids which are responsible for a cheesy odor. Until you get rid of the bacteria causing reeks, the funk will continue each time you sweat. If you suffer from smelly feet, it would be a good idea to act now by considering the following home remedies:
1. Practice Good Hygiene
Having smelly feet could be one of the most embarrassing and worst situations which you may face. It might be hard for you to find the stomach to put on your shoes or take them off. For some individuals, the reason for having smelly feet is improper hygiene habits, such as wearing worn-out
shoes, putting on dirty socks, or simply not washing properly.
Based on CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports, practicing improper hygiene may result in athlete’s foot, a foot infection caused by different kinds of fungi. To further prevent infection, you may need to clip and clean your nails.
2. Watch Your Diet
Eating fresh citrus fruits, like oranges, limes, and lemons may significantly cut down the musky smell which might be lingering on your skin. Due to their high acidity and fiber count, they can help your body rid itself of the toxins which contribute to feet odors.
Although it may sound counterintuitive to add fish to your diet in order to smell fresh, eating delicate fish, such as tilapia, cod, and halibut can help cut down body odors. The reason for this is that your gastrointestinal tract breaks down fish differently than heavy meat, such as beef. Therefore, rather than satiating your diet with hot soup, caffeine, and hot pepper, you should consider eating other foodstuffs, including:
• Leafy greens
• Pumpkin seeds
• Dark chocolates
3. Wear Leather Shoes Made with Tannins
The biggest culprits are shoes, especially those that do not allow your foot to breathe. Usually, feet do not benefit from being enclosed for more than eight hours a day, and it can even get worse if you do strenuous work.
If you are afraid of having smelly feet, you should consider using vegetable tanned leather shoes made with tannins. Tannins are natural molecules found in plants which are known for their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and which have been used for millennia to preserve animal hides and turn them into leather.
When in contact with our feet, the tannins inside the leather actively absorb and move moisture away from our shoes, preventing the formation of bad odors by creating an unsuitable environment for bacterial proliferation.
Therefore, rather than buying shoes made of synthetic materials, getting a pair made of vegetable tanned leather with tannins could prove to be a major factor in eliminating funky smell. You can visit Tannins.org to learn more about how tannins can help you to fight bad odors.
4. Apply Lavender Oil
Our feet have many absorption points. For this reason, when you use essential oils, like lavender oil, your foot can absorb them to get rid of bacteria, bad smells, and fungi. Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, so once applied, it reduces inflammation and unclogs the pores.
You can apply the oil before bedtime to kill odorous bacteria, but remember to put on your socks. Make sure you avoid using this oil if you have low blood pressure.
5. Bath Your Feet with Vinegar
Vinegar carries acetic acid which has antimicrobial properties. These properties help improve certain conditions, including warts and foot odor. Warts are growths on the skin caused by a virus called HPV (human papillomavirus). It is possible to infect another person through close contact, and it may also be found on feet.
On the other hand, foot odor may occur from sweat which builds up around your feet. To get rid of bad odor, you can soak your feet for around 20 minutes in vinegar to kill the fungi or bacteria which contribute to the development of foot odor.
6. Use Alum Powder
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, there are more than 200,000 sweat glands on our feet. Perspiration from these glands causes odor-producing moisture, which can invade your shoes, socks, and feet.
Alum powder, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate, is a salt which comes from naturally occurring aluminum ore. This powder has antiseptic and astringent effects on the feet. Its ability to absorb sweat or moisture makes it a great home remedy to fight foot odors. Therefore, you can use alum power to get rid of odors on your feet and keep them moisture-free and fresh.
7. Soak in Salt Water
Unknown to most people, Epsom salt is a common remedy that helps to kill fungi and bacteria on the foot. Dissolving the salt in warm water can also help reduce excessive sweating. Many podiatrists usually recommend soaking your feet in Epsom salt to soothe and reduce odors. You may also add essential oils, such as peppermint, which can help Epsom salt kill bacteria.
Alternatively, you can use kosher or rock salts with large crystals. After soaking your feet, you should wash them using cold water or rub them using ice cubes to further stop the sweating.
The Bottom Line!
Although having smelly feet is a very common condition, it can understandably make you feel self-conscious. The good news is that it is easy to fight bad odors through these simple home remedies. Whether you prefer putting on leather shoes made with tannins or practicing good hygiene and working on your diet, home remedies can help eliminate or reduce bad smells on your feet within a week or less.