Having foot odor and a smell coming from your shoes is a very common problem, but for many people, it can be a source of embarrassment and frustration. This condition is referred to as bromodosis and is primarily caused by sweat and shoes. Foot odor is a nuisance to both the person suffering with it and the individuals around that person. Luckily, the cure for stinky, sweaty feet just involves a small amount of prevention!
The first step to preventing foot odor is to wash and exfoliate your feet daily. Washing with warm water and soap while exfoliating away old dead skin will help remove the bacteria that causes foot odor. If you frequently work out or are very active, it may be beneficial to wash your feet multiple times throughout the day. Using a nail brush to clean your toenails and keeping your nails clean will also eliminate bacteria and keep your feet smelling better. After washing your feet, tea tree oil can be massaged into feet to kill bacteria; it is relatively inexpensive and studies have shown it is as effective as over-the-counter medications in treating athlete’s foot.
The second step to curing your smelly feet at home is to keep your feet dry and use proper footwear. Bring a backup pair of socks with you wherever you go, and if your feet start to get sweaty, switch them out. It is important to wear socks that are breathable, athletic socks are the best for preventing foot odor. Do not wear the same socks or shoes multiple days in a row, always alternate what shoes you wear and put on a clean pair of socks every day. Do not wear shoes without socks, specialty socks are made for every type of shoe so you never have to go without them. After you’ve worn your shoes for the day, get an anti-odor spray or powder to put inside. Powders will absorb sweat and oil, preventing the growth of bacteria, if you do not have a shoe specific powder, then baking soda can be an effective and useful neutralizer. Try to avoid shoes that are too tight or not made from a breathable fabric, and remember to wash them regularly.
The final step to better-smelling feet is to soak your feet regularly. In addition to washing them daily, it is wise to take half an hour every day to soak your feet in Epsom salts. Epsom salts are very affordable, and help fight odor and kill bacteria. Another benefit to soaking your feet is that it makes exfoliation even easier and more effective. After you soak your feet in salts, dry them off completely and refrain from putting on shoes for awhile. Maximizing your time spent barefoot will help prevent sweating.
There is no reason to live with an embarrassing smell coming from your shoes any longer when such simple prevention and easy home remedies are out there. By following these steps, not only will you prevent foot odor and get rid of smelliness, but your feet will actually be softer as well!