A common problem that podiatrist are often consulted about is foot odor. Patients often say “I’m clean, I shower daily. So why do my feet stink?” There are many causes of this problem, and we hope to offer multiple treatments in our blog.  

First think of this: most of us wear shoes and some type of hosiery (socks or shear hose as nylons). With shoes the period of time that they are on our feet may range from 4 to 16 hours or more per day. Remember the normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. With shoes on we trap that heat and in-turn create “mini-ovens” on our feet. This produces sweat (prespiration) and the perfect environment for the growth of bacteria and fungus. Even with open shoes as sandals we still sweat. The most common cause of foot odor is bacteria and or fungal laiden sweat. Foot odor is medically termed bromhidrosis. While excessive sweating is hyperhidrosis.   

Ways to decrease foot odor: 1. Wash and dry feet thoroughly every day. This includes going between the toes. 2. If wearing shoes more than 8 hours a day, allow the feet time out of shoes may be during your lunch break. 3. Wear hose that use anti-bacteral materials and will wick, or pull sweat away from you. 4. Wear clean hose daily. 5. Rotate shoes, try not to wear the same shoes two days in a row. Allow them to dry out. Also, spray them with a disinfectant to kill bacteria and fungus.  If the shoes have liners repace them regularly, disinfect them after each use. Orthotics should also be cleaned on a regular basis. 6. For more intense cases of foot odor a topical antiperspirant may be prescribed. 

Additional treatments for foot odor are available. Please contact our office for information.