Editorial

Keep smelly feet at bay

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,

  • PublishedJanuary 18, 2013

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 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.

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