Smelly feet are not just a problem faced by adolescents. It’s an embarrassing issue that can stalk people well into adulthood. The situation becomes compounded when adults are trapped in dress shoes and office environments where foot odor is harder to conceal. Rather than spend a fortune on various products, many people would rather seek easy home remedies for smelly feet.
One Man’s Story of Smelly Feet
A 41-year-old man wrote in to South Africa’s Independent Online about his stinky feet complex. “I work as a tax lawyer and spend long days on my feet,” he wrote, adding that the company dress code prohibits him from wearing open-toed shoes. The writer says his foot odor is a “debilitating problem” that has him on edge day and night, as he anxiously fears offending others with his stench.
He’s tried the following home remedies for foot odor:
– Spraying deodorant on socks and shoes
– Scrubbing shoes weekly
– Leaving shoes outside overnight to air out
– Washing with quality soaps daily
– Placing powder in the shoes
– Trying different types of socks, including thinner socks
– Using foot creams, spa preparations, and athlete’s foot medication
Despite his best efforts, some of these cures for smelly feet come with problems of their own. “I thought that powder would absorb the moisture and make me sweat less… [but] sometimes my shoes get soggy and don’t dry out completely,” he explains. Also, the smell of the athlete’s foot medication was “disgusting” and “had a limited effect on the flaking.”
Understanding Foot Odor
Underlying causes of foot odor can be rather complex, but the general theory behind stinky shoes boils down to this:
Feet that are covered for long periods of the day sweat profusely. The foot contains 250,000 eccrine sweat glands, which release odorless moisture from the body. The thick, dead skin scales on the heels tend to act like a sponge. The sweat then mingles with dirt, sand and microorganisms. Pathogens like fungi and bacteria are happy to develop colonies in dark, damp places — like shoes and socks.
That’s why we recommend an aggressive shoe treatment, using a UV shoe sanitizer to kill up to 99.9% of these microorganisms in one 45-minute pass. It’s not a cure-all for foot odor, but it’s an important step in treating the condition. Without living, feeding, excreting organisms making a stink, there is just the problem of sweat to contend with.
Home Remedies for Smelly Feet
As the gentleman in our story has done, you will want cleansing and aerating the feet to be a part of your daily ritual. Socks are an important component for keeping the feet dry. Look for a moisture-wicking cotton blend. Thin socks are not always a good solution, as these are often made from nylon or other materials that cling to wet feet. Check out our post on choosing the best socks. Feet that sweat profusely may benefit from a more extreme treatment, like Botox.
Additional home remedies for foot odor may include:
– Tea tree oil foot soaks
– Honey preparations
– Epsom salt and bicarbonate soda soaks
Smelly feet are an embarrassing malady, but you can find relief with a combined approach that reduces bacteria and sweat. In addition to the aforementioned natural home remedies for foot odor, you can buy the SteriShoe UV light sanitization device here!