If you notice an odor drifting upwards from your feet to your nose, you may begin to wonder what’s causing it . . . and if you’re not the only one in the room, you may feel embarrassed by being the confirmed source of the less-than-fragrant smell. 

Foot odor that’s unpleasant to you and to others should not be ignored. We are not suggesting that your feet need to smell like roses, but they should not be drawing unwanted attention, either.  

Let’s discuss the causes of foot odor followed by some remedies that may be helpful to you.

Foot odor can be distracting to you and the people around you.

Understanding the Causes of Foot Odor

Human feet lack oil glands but contain thousands of sweat glands. These glands prevent your feet from getting dry, but the downside is that the sweat produced by your feet mixes with the bacteria naturally present on your skin. The bacteria break down the sweat and emit an odor that can be as unpleasant as it is embarrassing. If there is some itchiness and/or redness around the toes, you might have athlete’s foot that needs to be dealt with as well.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of foot odor, you have to reduce the number of bacteria lingering on your feet. Bacteria and sweat each serve a purpose, but together, they’re bad news for all the nostrils in the room.  

10 Useful Remedies to Get Rid of and Prevent Foot Odor

Now that you know how foot odor develops, you can learn some ways to eliminate it. Here are our suggestions:

  • Regularly wash your feet with antibacterial soap and water. 
  • Soak your feet in water and Epsom salts and/or water and vinegar.  
  • Every day consider using an antifungal spray or powder that you can find over the counter in the shoes you wore. If nothing else you can sprinkle some baking powder into your shoes to help rid them of smells from the day.
  • Switch out shoes on a day-by-day basis so you allow each pair to rest for 24 hours before wearing them again.
  • Shop for a roll-on antiperspirant that contains the ingredient aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine—it serves your feet in the same way antiperspirant serves your armpits. 
  • Purchase socks made of synthetic, moisture-wicking fibers that will keep your feet dry. 
  • Buy a pair of breathable and, if possible, waterproof shoes.
  • Regularly disinfect your shoes with an antifungal spray or powder. 
  • Consider buying inserts for your shoes that have moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties.
  • A new, somewhat expensive option on the market is shoe sanitizers, which can reduce bacteria by sanitizing your shoes using UV lights.

If none of these remedies seem to be working for you, we invite you to book an appointment with us at Foot Specialists of Long Island so our friendly and knowledgeable podiatrists can help. Get your foot in the door and call us at 844-899-8658 or submit an appointment request via our online contact form.


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