Smelly feet can be quite embarrassing, especially in public gatherings. Smelly feet – called bromhidrosis by doctors – are caused by excessive sweating into enclosed shoes. This provides the perfect moist, warm environment for the growth of bacteria, including fungus, causing a proliferation of stinky microbes. These bacteria produce isovaleric acid, which is what causes the odour. Your feet have as many as three million sweat glands, producing a lot of moisture, but excessive sweating can be a genetic problem.
To prevent the embarrassing smell:
- Rotate your shoes so you are not wearing the same pair two days in a row.
- Clean the shoes each day with a cloth dipped in soapy water and ensure the shoes are aired in an open place.
- Wear 100 percent cotton or wool socks and avoid synthetic fibres.
- Let your feet breathe by going barefoot as often as possible.
- Bathe your feet in lukewarm soapy water daily and dry thoroughly, particularly between the toes, and dust lightly with a foot powder.
If you have severe odour problems, see a doctor who may prescribe anti-sweating medication. Here’s to odourless feet.