Foot odor may be annoying, but it usually isn’t serious. Most often the culprit is overactive sweat glands — excessive sweating creates the perfect environment for bacterial and fungal growth.
So what can you do about stinky feet? When my brother was in high school, I used to attack him and his friend Michael with a can of Lysol because their feet smelled SO BAD! That didn’t cure the problem, but at least the air freshener smelled better than their feet.
- Change your socks throughout the day. Bring extra pairs to work with you and switch for fresh socks every few hours. Bring an extra pair of shoes if your feet are really sweaty.
- Make sure your shoes can breathe. Pick shoes made from natural materials like leather to help let heat out and keep sweat at bay.
- When your feet are dry — before you put on socks and shoes — use a powder to help absorb moisture. An antifungal powder can help fight off stink producing bacteria or fungus.
- Use an odor absorbing insert. Charcoal is great for soaking up sweat and smells while you are wearing your shoes. Cedar is a sweet-smelling alternative that can soak up odor when you aren’t wearing your shoes.
- Watch what you eat. Spicy, pungent foods can make you sweat all over — including your feet! Some spices can give off odors through your skin hours after eating.
- Soak your feet in tea. Tannic acid in tea can help eliminate foot odor. Brew a pot of tea — don’t add milk or sugar — and pour it into a basin big enough for both feet. Let the tea cool, then soak your feet for ten minutes. Don’t worry about tea stains — soap and water should take care of any discoloration.
- A spray antiperspirant can help reduce foot sweat. Apply after showering, before you put on your socks and shoes.
Still have trouble with food odor? Talk to your doctor about prescription products that can reduce sweat and control odor.