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Smelly Feet and Foot Odor

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What is a Foot and Ankle Surgeon?

When to Call A Doctor
 


Foot Problems

General Statistics


Achilles Problems

Achilles Tendonitis | Peroneal Tendon Dislocation| Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon


Ankle Problems

Ankle Sprain | Chronic Lateral Ankle Pain | Osteochondritis


Arch and Ball Problems

Flat Feet | Metatarsalgia | Plantar Fibromas | Sesamoiditis


Common Foot Injuries

Ankle Sprain Injuries | Broken Ankle | Fractures | Osteochondritis | Osteochondromas | Shin Splints | Sports Injuries


Deformities

Amniotic Band Syndrome | Bunions | Claw Toe | Clubfoot | DysplasiaFlat Feet | Gordon Syndrome | Haglunds Deformity | Hallux Limitus | Hallux Rigidus | Hallux Varus | Hammertoes | Jackson Weiss Syndrome | Mallet Toes | Metatarsalgia | Osteomyelitis | Overlapping or Underlapping Toes | Peroneal Tendon Dislocation | Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction | Sesamoiditis | Spurs | Tarsal Coalition


Diabetes and Your Feet

 

Diseases of the Foot

Arthritis | Cancer | Charcot Foot | Freiberg's Disease | Gout | Kaposi's Sarcoma | Kohler's Disease | Maffucci's Syndrome | Ollier's Disease | Raynaud's Disease | Seiver's Disease


Fungus Problems

Common Fungal Problems | Athletes Foot | Fungal Nails | Other Tips | Prevention


Heel Problems

Haglunds Deformity | Heel Callus | Heel Fissures | Plantar Fasciitis


Nail Problems

Black Toenails | Ingrown Toenails | Nail Fungus


Skin Problems

Allergies | Athletes Foot | Blisters | Burning Feet | Calluses | Corns | Cysts | Frostbite | Fungus | Gangrene | Lesions | Psoriasis | Smelly Feet and Foot Odor | Swelling | Ulcers | Warts


Toe Problems

Bunions | Claw Toe | Digital Deformity | Hallux Limitus | Hallux Rigidis | Hallux Varus | Hammertoes | Intoeing | Overlapping or Underlapping Toes | Subungal Exotosis | Turf Toe


Vascular/Nerve Problems

Acrocyanosis | Alcoholic Neuropathy | Chilblains (Cold Feet) | Erythromelalgia | Ischemic Foot | Neuroma | Spasms | Venous Stasis

Overview of Feet and Ankle Problems

Basic Foot Care Guidelines

 

Medical Care

Diagnostic Procedures

Computed Tomography | MRI | Ultrasound | X-Rays


Orthotics



Pain Management

General Information and Tips | Pain Management for Specific Conditions


Surgical Procedures

General Information | Achilles Surgery | Ankle Surgery | Arthritis Surgery | Arthroscopy | Bunion Surgery | Cyst Removal | Flatfoot CorrectionHeel Surgery | Metatarsal Surgery | Nerve Surgery | Toe Surgery


Therapies

Athlete's Foot Treatment | Cryotherapy | Extracorporeal Shock Wave | Fungal Nail Treatment | Physical Therapy | Iontophoresis | Neurolysis


Fitness and Your Feet

Exercise Those Toes | Aerobics | Fitness and Your Feet | Stretching | Walking and Your Feet | Jogging and Running


Sports and Your Feet

Baseball | Basketball | Cycling | Golf | Jogging and Running | Tennis


Foot Care

Basic Foot Care Guidelines | Athletic Foot Care | Blisters | Childrens Feet | Corns and Calluses | Diabetic Foot Care | Foot Care for Seniors | Foot Self Exam | Pedicures | Your Feet at Work | Bunion Prevention | Burning Feet | Ingrown Nails | Nutrition For Your Feet


Women's Feet

High Heels | Stockings? | Pregnancy | Women Over 65


Foot Odor and Smelly Feet

Prevention | Treating Foot Odor


Shoes

Facts About Shoes | Anatomy of a Shoe | Athletic Shoe Guidelines | Children's Shoes | Corrective and Prescription Shoes | What to Look ForMen's Shoes | Women's Shoes | Your Footprint | Wear Patterns


Links

Associations/Groups | GovernmentOnline Resources

 

The feet and hands contain more sweat glands than any other part of the body, with roughly 3,000 glands per square inch. Smelly feet are not only embarrassing, but can be physically uncomfortable as well.

Feet smell for two reasons: 1) shoe wear, and 2) sweating of the feet. The interaction between the perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in shoes and socks generates the odor. Therefore, any attempt to reduce foot odor has to address both sweating and footwear.

Smelly feet or excessive sweating can also be caused by an inherited condition, called hyperhidrosis, which primarily affects men. Stress, some medications, fluid intake, and hormonal changes also can increase the amount of perspiration our bodies produce.

In general, smelly feet can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

  • Always wear socks with closed shoes.
  • Avoid wearing nylon socks or plastic shoes. Instead, wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh, or other materials that let your feet breathe.
  • Bathe feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap. Dry thoroughly.
  • Change socks and shoes at least once a day.
  • Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of your feet. If any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed, get treatment right away.
  • Don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. If you frequently wear athletic shoes, alternate pairs so that the shoes can dry out. Give your shoes at least 24 hours to air out between wearings; if the odor doesn't go away, discard the shoes.
  • Dust your feet frequently with a nonmedicated baby powder or foot powder. Applying antibacterial ointment also may help.
  • Practice good foot hygiene to keep bacteria levels at a minimum.
  • Wear thick, soft socks to help draw moisture away from the feet. Cotton and other absorbent materials are best.

Treating Foot Odor
The best home remedy for foot odor is to soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer. Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution. Alternately, you can soak your feet in a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.

Persistent foot odor can indicate a low-grade infection or a severe case of hereditary sweating. In these cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem.

Treating Excessive Sweating
A form of electrolysis, called iontophoresis, has been shown to reduce excessive sweating of the feet. However, it is more difficult to administer. In the worst cases of hyperhidrosis, a surgeon can cut the nerve that controls sweating. Recent advances in technology have made this surgery much safer, but may increase sweating in other areas of the body.



 

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West Lawn Podiatry
Center for Foot & Ankle Care

25 Stevens Avenue

West Lawn, PA 19609

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