Smelly feet downright stink – P-U! And it’s no laughing matter. The very troubling and very common problem of smelly feet is more than just embarrassing, it can reach a point where it interferes with your everyday life. If you are suffering from lingering foot odor that leaves you stuck covering up your feet and avoiding public situations – you don’t have to suffer in silence.
While many people experience hyperactive sweating of the hands and feet, some also deal with accompanying foul foot odor. Fortunately, if you are one of these people, there are many at-home remedies that can work for you.
Try these six simple, effective remedies for smelly feet:
1. Good Hygiene
The number one cause of smelly foot odor is excessive perspiration. However, practicing good hygiene every day can significantly reduce the severity of your stinky feet. Keep feet clean by soaking them in a lukewarm footbath infused with the antibacterial power of tea tree essential oil. This oil has been used for centuries to stave off infections of Athlete’s foot – a common problem for people with feet that perspire. Use about 10-15 drops of organic essential oils for every gallon of water. After a foot soak, towel dry your feet completely. You can do a footbath up to three times a day.
2. Add a Foot Powder
In order to keep offensive foot odors at bay, you’ll need to keep your feet dry. But that can be a challenge, especially for people who work on their feet. If you must wear closed toed shoes during the day, you can combat sticky foot perspiration with an in-shoe foot powder. The most popular and effective odor eating foot powders include baking soda, cornstarch, and arrowroot, as they are able to absorb extra moisture. Make the foot powder antifungal by adding 5-15 drops of tea tree oil.
3. Try a Vinegar Soak
Vinegar may seem like a malodorous solution to an already smelly problem, but it is one of the best at-home remedies for foot odor. Due to the high acidity of vinegar, it is able to slough off dead skin cells as an exfoliant. This is a great way to soften your skin and smooth away places where bacteria breeds. Also a powerful cleanser, vinegar can help to kill infectious pathogens between your toes and inside deep cracks. Use apple cider vinegar (ACV), as it contains the active compounds known as Mother of Vinegar, unlike other types. When creating a vinegar soak, use one part vinegar for every two parts water.
4. Cycle Your Footwear
When you are battling offensive foot odor, the proper footwear can make a big difference in the potency of your stinky feet. If you can, try to avoid wearing close-toed shoes during long workdays, especially if you are exposed to heat. Additionally, you should rotate the shoes you wear from day to day to avoid worsening your foot odor. As you cycle your footwear, wash the pair you wear the most at least once a month, to eliminate any lingering odor-causing bacteria.
5. Watch Your Diet
A healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is the best way to reduce body odor that causes foot odor. It may seem strange to think that the foods you eat can affect the smell of your body odor – but they do. In fact, here are the worst foods for stinky feet: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, coffee, curry, garlic, onion, and red meat. A deficiency in leafy green vegetables can also worsen stinky perspiration odors.
NOTE: The bacteria and fungus that cause smelly feet love to eat foods high in refined carbohydrates, so avoid processed foods whenever possible.
6. Always Bring Extra Socks
If you have to wear closed-toe shoes, always pack a pair of extra cotton socks. Feel free to change your socks during the day to avoid creating a moist and dark breeding ground for bacteria inside your shoes. Those little buggers love to hide in between your toes and under your toenails, worsening stinky feet and putting you at risk for infections. So, just change those socks out! Nobody will notice.
Sweaty feet are the number one cause of foot odor. But there are other causes as well, including genetics, age, and environment. So, try these six simple at-home remedies, and if your smelly feet persist, talk to your doctor. Your healthcare provider can perform a simple test to determine the cause of your sweaty foot problem, and provide an appropriate solution.