Some experience it worse than others, and for some, it’s an embarrassing and uncontrollable condition. We’re talking about foot odor, and it can be a real problem sometimes. Even with the proper foot care and the absence of disruptive foot conditions, you may experience foot odor. The trick is to knowing what causes this issue and how to prevent and reduce your chance of pesky foot odor.
Causes of Foot Odor
The human foot has around 250,000 sweat glands and can produce up to a pint of sweat a day. That’s a lot of sweat to be confined within your shoes. However, the sweat on your feet doesn’t cause the odor; it is merely a catalyst. The real cause is a bacterium on your feet that feeds off of dead skin and thrives in warm, moist environments. This bacterium produces isovaleric acid—this acid is the cause of the “locker room” smell and strong foot odor.
Other causes of foot odor include:
- Infection (such as Athlete’s Foot)
- Certain medications
- Poor hygiene
- Some diseases
- Poor-quality footwear
Prevention and Treatment for Foot Odor
- Proper socks and shoes. Wear well-made shoes that are breathable and socks that provide ventilation for your feet throughout the day.
- Check out your insoles. Some insoles or arch supports may have anti-bacterial or odor-eating top covers that you can insert into your shoes that you may wear frequently.
- Be aware of the time and place. Try to avoid excessive amounts of sweating if you can. Avoid wearing boots and thick socks when it’s warm out, and let your feet “breath” as frequently as you can.
- Mix it up. Don’t wear the same shoes every day.
- Practice good hygiene. Take extra care in washing your feet with anti-bacterial soap, and make sure they are dry before you put on your socks.
- Deodorize. You can use regular antiperspirant as well as antifungal foot powders, creams or sprays.
Don’t hide your feet! Foot odor is a common and natural occurrence. With extra emphasis on your foot care, you can keep your feet looking, feeling and smelling better than ever.