Stinky feet? Learn why!

  • By Team TDO

Most of us have experienced a bad smelly foot at least once in our lives. We all have that one friend or relative who has such smelly feet that he can clear off a room as soon as he kicks off his shoes!

With more than 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, the feet are the most highly sweating parts of the body.

What causes this bad smell?

The feet contain thousands of sweat glands. During warm days or when you wear socks and tight shoes, the sweating increases in due proportion. The resulting sweat does not find an outlet and starts accumulating in the spaces available and this warm and moist area breeds bacteria.

The bacteria start feasting on your sweat and dead skin. They digest their food and release the waste products. These waste products are toxic organic acids that cause the feet to smell so bad.

About 10 to 15% of people suffer from this horribly bad smell. Why?

This is because their feet are extra sweaty and become a home ground for certain bacteria called as Micrococcus sedantarius. Along with stinky organic acids, the bacteria produce volatile sulphur compounds. Sulphur compounds are powerful and extremely awful smelling almost like a dirty rotten egg.

Teenage years also see extra amounts of sweating on the feet.

Medical conditions like Hyperhidrosis can also make your feet sweat more. If you are suffering from a fungal infection of the foot, then rest assured that your feet will smell horrible.

Smelly feet can be an embarrassing problem. It puts everyone in a spot. Hence, foot hygiene is important to avoid smelly feet.

  1. Always wash and dry your feet well every morning. Dab some antiperspirant powder on your feet and between the toes to soak the perspiration.
  2. Never wear the same shoes for more than 2 days in a row.
  3. Wear a fresh pair of socks daily.
  4. Keep your feet exposed to fresh air. Avoid tight-fitting shoes.
  5. Use an antibacterial soap to wash your feet if you have smelly feet.
  6. Visit your doctor if simple home measures do not prove very effective.

Excessive sweating is often considered the cause for foot odor. This is not true. Sweating in itself is harmless; it is the bacteria that grow there that are responsible for the awful odor.