Got smelly feet? Or, even worse, live with someone who does?
The good news is there are things you can do to remove or reduce the smell from your feet and they aren’t that hard. The Sockery gives you the low down on the why and how of smelly feet.
There are a number of factors that contribute to smelly feet. The official term for smelly feet is bromodosis and people who suffer from it host a certain bacteria on their feet called Kyetococcus sedentarius that create sulfuric compounds. These compounds can cause sweat to smell like bad eggs. While this can happen to anyone it’s estimated that 10% to 15% of all people have smellier feet than average. Hormone changes can also play a part in this unwanted condition, so women and teens can be more susceptible at different times of life. People with hyperhidrosis are also more likely to have sweaty feet therefore needing more care, as can some people who just have a natural sweaty default!
On the upside we have the low down on how you can remove smelly feet from your life, or reduce the severity of it.
So it’s not actually your feet that smell, it's the bacteria living there so hygiene is key. The bacteria causing the issue is normal and naturally occurring – it’s the imbalance in the breeding ground that causes the smell. Dirty socks, dirty shoes, wet conditions in the socks or shoes, all create the perfect environment for these bacteria to thrive and create their stink!
A common misconception is that the time of year that is a key factor – but this is incorrect, so feet can smell no matter the weather.
Environmental factors that can exacerbate sweaty feet, and therefore in turn the odour, are standing for long periods of time, wearing shoes that are too tight or small, synthetic fibre heavy socks and shoes and even… stress!
So what can you do about it?
Thankfully, there are ways to get rid of the bacteria overload and that awful smell that goes with it. In fact, anything that stops your feet and shoes from becoming breeding grounds for bacteria will help.
The Sockery recommends you change your socks often, choose socks with moisture wicking properties – these are often easily found but keep a look out at quality sport socks as they are great in this department. If your problem is significant, until you can get on top of it, consider carrying a spare pair of socks so you can change during the day to keep the feet dry and fresh.
Ensure you wear shoes that breathe and also avoid synthetic fibres that don’t allow the feet to get the ventilation they need. Alternate what shoes you wear – try to give your shoes a ‘day off’ so they can dry out and the bacteria doesn’t get a chance to take over. Changing innersoles can also help in the same way.
Also consider giving your feet some time to ‘hang ten’ – walk around bare footed to give your feet a chance to dry off and create a bacteria free environment naturally with ventilation.
If you changing your routine as suggested above and still want to add some more measures to kick the stink we recommend having a foot soak in Epsom salt with a dash of apple cider vinegar. Soak once a week for around 20 minutes, maybe with a bit of an exfoliate and, added in, and some attention to any neglected toe-nails. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly when you are done, and anytime you bathe.
Foot odor is rarely a sign of a serious health problem, but sometimes an infection can cause it so keep a look out for any sores or blemishes while you are tending to your feet. The Sockery are the specialists in socks, not medicine, so if your issue persists or gives you any concern see a doctor for further options and a good old foot check up!
Wishing you happy, fresh tootsies!