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Smelly Feet – Causes, Cure, Remedies

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

If you know anyone or a family member with smelly feet, I am certain you have wondered what causes this terrible smell. The cause that is most common is too much perspiration of the foot which has many sweat glands.


By itself sweat is normally odorless, but when it develops on the skin surface, bacteria which is normally present on the skin, uses the sweat for nutrient and produces waste byproducts. It is these waste products that cause the offensive odor.

Smelly Feet Causes

Contributing to the causes of smelly feet beside waste products from bacteria includes skin disorders, conditions in the environment as well as hygiene habits. The smelly odor is isovaleric acid and the more moisture, the more bacteria will produce this waste product and the worse the odor will become. Several of the conditions that contribute to making the odor worse are listed below:

  • Outdoor or indoor temperatures may add to the sweating of the feet particularly when the individual dresses in thick heavy shoes and socks.
  • Wearing shoes and socks which are made from fibers that are synthetic for instance nylon or pleather trap moisture around the feet and also promotes odors.
  • Additionally, when an individual is stressed, the glands of the skin known as apocrine glands release a fatty matter into the sweat, which is also digested by bacteria and resulting in waste products with a smelly odor.
  • Wearing the same shoes cause odors and moistures to stay due to the fact that the shoes don’t have enough time between uses to dry out.
  • Bathing or showering infrequently allows fuzz, dirt as well as dead skin to gather on the feet and helps to also feed the bacteria that cause feet to be smelly.
  • Wearing socks and shoes all day traps moisture between the toes and lets bacteria build up and this also causes odors.
  • Hyperhidrosis is the term referring to excessive sweating. This is a condition that is common in males and it can affect the feet and also add to the obstinate smelly odor of the feet.

No matter what is contributing to the feet being excessively smelly it should be taken seriously as some of these problems can cause fungal infections which will make the matter even worse. The problem can be cured as there are many solutions but the individual needs to take the problem seriously.

Smelly Feet Remedies and Cure

Isovaeria acid or smelly feet can be controlled by using a few natural measures of prevention. Good foot hygiene also helps to keep the bacteria levels low and they include:

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  • Use insoles that are made especially to combat smelly feet. They can be found at any drug or grocery store.
  • Dry feet completely.
  • Wear socks when wearing closed shoes.
  • Change socks as well as shoes daily.
  • Do not wear plastic shoes or nylon socks.
  • Bathe the feet daily with mild soap and water that is warm.
  • In cases that are extreme, apply ointment that is anti-bacterial.
  • Let shoes air out for 24 hours or more between wearing them.
  • Wear shoes that are made of canvas, mesh, leather or other substance which allow the feet to breathe.
  • Dust the feet regularly with foot powder or baby powder.

Essential oils such as sage, bergamot, lavender as well as tea tree are great for foot odor. The have anti-bacterial properties so applying one of these oils to your feet each day work wonders.

Drink lots of water as water flushes out toxic material from the body and allows the organs to remain hydrate. Also fruit or vegetable juices are great antioxidant.

Several natural cures or preventions work great and they include:

  • Soak the feet in 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water for 30 minutes a day for a week.
  • Soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day as the tannic acid in the tea will kill the bacteria as well as close the pores. Use 2 tea bags per 1 pint of water and boil that for 15 minutes. Then add 2 quarts of cool water and soak the feet in the cooled tea solution.
  • Green tea is also good for killing bacteria
  • A common reason for smelly feet is zinc deficiency so zinc supplements are often recommended by doctors at 50 mg per day. Consume lots of foods that have zinc in them, including walnuts, peas, dairy products, lima beans, ginger or cashews.

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