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Foot odour


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The moment you take off your shoes, the repulsive smell from your feet spreads everywhere. Foot odour is indeed embarrassing. It lingers on your socks and shoes and unless you wash your feet, the odour doesn’t escape.

So why does your foot stink and how do you get over it? We explain you below:


What causes foot odour?

It’s a fact that your feet is made up of about 250,000 sweat glands or precisely the eccrine glands that produce great deal of sweat which is basically salt and water and is odour free naturally. However, if your feet or the sweat is subjected to bacterial activity then bad smell is inevitable. Certain bacteria release odorous substances which mix with sweat to emit the bad smell.

The common circumstances that create favourable environment for bacterial growth in foot are:

  • Wearing tight fitting or closed shoes block air circulation over your feet
  • Wearing nylon and polyester socks block ventilation and increase sweating of your feet
  • Lack of hygiene- not cleaning feet and soles every day, exchanging shoes and socks with others


Understanding foot odour

Several microbial species make up the flora of your foot. Among them Staphylococcus epidermidis and Bacillus subtilis occur most abundantly. They use salt and amino acids of your sweat as substrate and produce isovaleric acid, which is responsible for cheesy stinky smell from your foot. Another bacteria known as Brevibacterium linens emit gassy smell of sulphur and ammonia after its activity.

Thus, the characteristic and intensity of the smell differs from one individual to another and depends on the sole culprit i.e. the bacteria.


How to manage foot odour?

If you do not take care of the odour, it will increase to such an extent that a trail of bad smell will be left behind wherever you pass by. Thus, you need to manage foot odour with the solutions explained below:

Do not compromise on hygiene of your foot

  • Make sure you wash your feet with soap and water every time after returning home.Pat dry them thereafter.
  • Do not wear socks and shoes over dirty feet. Clean them and then wear
  • Get some isopropyl alcohol from a local pharmacy. Dilute it with water or dab it on your soles and feet with cotton ball before going to bed
  • Buy an antibacterial powder, dab it on your feet and then wear socks or shoes

Socks and shoes- how to choose?

  • If you need to wear closed shoes then make sure they have in built breathing technology in them.
  • Avoid wearing absolute synthetic socks. Opt for cotton and woollen varieties during winters

Pamper your feet

Apart from the following the aforementioned anti-food odour techniques, dedicate a little time to pamper your feet in order to manage the odour. Some wonderful home remedies for foot odour are:

  • Add lemon juice and rock salt or sodium bicarbonate to warm water. Soak your feet for half an hour daily to control the smell
  • Add deodorant or cologne or some essential oils of rosemary, lavender, etc to your bathing water. Dip your feet for some time, dry and then wear your shoes
  • Visit parlour occasionally for foot spa and pedicure. Removing dead skin from feet also helps to control odour

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: October 11, 2014

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