Smelly Feet and Foot Odor

The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body, with roughly 3,000 glands per square inch. Smelly feet are not only embarrassing, but can be physically uncomfortable as well.

Feet smell for two reasons: 1) shoe wear, and 2) sweating of the feet. The interaction between the perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in shoes and socks generates the odor. Therefore, any attempt to reduce foot odor has to address both sweating and footwear.

Smelly feet or excessive sweating can also be caused by an inherited condition, called hyperhidrosis, which primarily affects men. Stress, some medications, fluid intake, and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration our bodies produce.

In general, smelly feet can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

  • Always wear socks with closed shoes.
  • Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Instead, wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh, or other materials that let your feet breathe.
  • Bathe feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
  • Change socks and shoes at least once a day.
  • Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed, get treatment right away.
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes.
  • Dust your feet frequently with a nonmedicated baby powder or foot powder. Applying antibacterial ointment also may help.
  • Practice good foot hygiene to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.
  • Wear thick, soft socks to help draw moisture away from the feet. Cotton and other absorbent materials are best.

Treating Foot Odor

The best home remedy for foot odor is to soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

Persistent foot odor can indicate a low-grade infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem.

Soaking your feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week can help. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

A form of electrolysis called iontophoresis also can reduce excessive sweating of the feet, but requires special equipment and training to administer. In the most severe cases of hyperhidrosis, a surgeon can cut the nerve that controls sweating. Recent advances in technology have made this surgery much safer, but you may notice sweating in other areas of the body after the procedure.

 

Foot Odor and Smelly Feet Foot Care

The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body (about 3,000 glands per square inch). Feet smell for two reasons: you wear shoes and your feet sweat. The interaction between your perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in your shoes and socks generates the odor. Any attempt to reduce foot odor has to address both your sweating and your footwear.

Smelly feet can also be caused by an inherited condition called hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, which primarily affects males. Stress, some medications, fluid intake and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration your body produces.

Prevention

smelly feet

Smelly feet generally can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

  • Always wear socks with closed shoes.
  • Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Instead, wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh or other materials that let your feet breathe.
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
  • Change your socks and shoes at least once a day.
  • Check for fungal infections between your toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If you spot redness or dry, patchy skin, get treatment right away.
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes.
  • Dust your feet frequently with a non-medicated baby powder or foot powder. Applying antibacterial ointment also may help.
  • Practice good foot hygiene to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.
  • Wear thick, soft socks to help draw moisture away from the feet. Cotton and other absorbent materials are best.

These preventive measures also can help prevent Athlete's foot which can flourish in the same environment as sweaty feet. However, Athlete's foot won't respond to an antibacterial agent because it's caused by a fungus infection. Use an anti-fungal powder and good foot hygiene to treat Athlete's foot.

 

See the Foot Doctor!

Services

Tenex Health TX™
  • Tenex Health TX™

    Plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis, an inflammation, irritation and swelling of the tendon, comes from an injury or doing the things you love or need to do—over and over again. Repetitive motions, no matter how ordinary, can cause small micro tears that occur each time you use your tendon. When the micro tears do not heal properly, tendinosis (tendon degeneration) can occur.

    Percutaneous tenotomy or percutaneous fasciotomy, using ultrasonic energy powered by the Tenex Health TX™ System, is a safe and quick procedure specially designed for those who are suffering from painful conditions associated with chronic tendon damage. The procedure treats tendinosis or fasciitis in the ankle and foot.

    Tenex Health TX is based on advanced technology developed in collaboration with the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

     

    Tenex Health TX™ benefits:

    If you have tried physical therapy, cortisone injections, medication, or just taking time to ice, stretch and rest and are still in pain, talk to us. We now have a solution that does not involve general or open surgery, may give you quick pain reduction and should have you back to enjoying the things you love in a few weeks to a few months.

    Patient benefits may include:
    ∙ Quick pain relief
    ∙ Rapid return to normal activities
    ∙ Local anesthetic used instead of general anesthesia
    ∙ No sutures, no stitches (requires only a small, adhesive bandage)
    ∙ 20­minute, minimally invasive procedure (not open surgery)
    ∙ Coverage by most insurances

  • How does Tenex Health TX™ work?

    Precisely targets your damaged tissue. Your doctor uses ultrasound imaging, just like the kind used to see babies in the womb, to visualize and identify the specific location of the damaged tendon tissue.

    Gently removes damaged tissue. Once the source of your tendon pain is identified, your doctor numbs the area with a local anesthetic, allowing you to stay awake the entire time. Many people say after the numbing process—which feels like a bee sting—they felt only a slight pressure during the procedure (if they felt anything at all). Your doctor then uses gentle ultrasonic energy designed to safely breakdown and remove the damaged tissue. The ultrasonic energy is applied with the TX MicroTip, which requires only a microincision to reach the damaged tissue. Because the incision is so small and the ultrasonic energy precisely treats only the damaged tendon tissue, the surrounding healthy tissue is left unharmed.

    Requires no stitches. When the procedure is completed, your doctor applies a small adhesive bandage; no stitches are required. Because you are awake during the procedure (no general anesthesia), many people are able to drive home after the procedure.

    Can offer nearly instant pain relief with a rapid recovery. Recovery is rapid with many people being back to normal activity within 6 weeks or less. Because the surrounding healthy tissue is not disturbed, and no stitches or general anesthesia is required, there is minimal downtime and less discomfort compared to open surgery. The speed of your recovery depends on the location of your tendinitis and your individual results may vary.

     

    What areas of the body does our practice treat with Tenex Health TX™?

    Our practice treats the ankle and foot with Tenex Health TX.

  • VIDEO: Learn more about Tenex Health TX™

    As a percutaneous tenotomy or percutaneous fasciotomy procedure, Tenex Health TX is typically covered by Medicare­approved and private health insurers. It is always recommended that patients consult the treating physician and individual health plan. For more information, visit www.tenexhealth.com.

    MKT112. Rev. C


  • LAPIPLASTY® Procedure Patient Education Video from Treace Medical Concepts on Vimeo.

Patient Portal

We are pleased to provide patients with secure, 24/7 access to their health records through the Pancholi Foot and Ankle Patient Portal. Patients can safely and easily:

  • Request prescription refills
  • Update insurance/demographic information
  • Review financial statements/make secure payments
  • View lab and test results
  • Access relevant health education materials

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