Pwaaah what’s that smell?
We all dread hearing those words or worse, smelling something really bad when taking off our shoes in front of someone just in case we are wearing that pair of shoes that really make them pong! Smelly feet really can be embarrassing and not fun for anyone, for you or the people around you! A quick and easy solution to the problem is to shove your feet back into your shoes and then deal with the problem later in the privacy of your own home.
But it’s good to know that everyone suffers from smelly feet no matter what your age or the season, if you wear the wrong type of shoes or do not practice good foot care or hygiene. Can you believe there is even a medical term for this common condition, bromodosis.
There are around 250 000 sweat glands in the feet and all feet sweat. Some people may sweat more than others depending on age, changes in hormones or a medical condition called hyperhidrosis which causes excessive sweating of the feet as well as other areas of the body.
It is the bacteria in the sweat that make the smelly acids and awful sulfuric pongs.
Smelly feet can be easily avoided or minimized with good hygiene and footcare such as daily washing with soap and water and drying carefully especially between the toes to get rid of that odour-causing bacteria. Here are some more ways to help get rid of or avoid your feet smelling:
- Try to keep feet clean and dry. If they do sweat, allow feet to dry naturally and get some fresh air if sweaty instead of keeping them in enclosed shoes (of course this isn’t always possible if you are on your feet all day, in the middle of a work or school day or your exercise routine).
- Avoid wearing the same shoes every day so they can dry out between wears. Removing the insoles from shoes after use may help them dry more quickly.
- It is best to wear 100% leather shoes instead of synthetic materials or plastic which cause feet to perspire.
- Try to wear 100% cotton or wool socks instead of nylon which can make feet perspire. Remember always wear socks if you are wearing closed shoes, trainers or boots.
- It is also important to change socks every day and not reuse unwashed socks.
- Deodorised insoles can keep feet drier and smelling fresh.
- Drinking enough water and staying hydrated will help the body regulate its temperature and reduce sweating.
- Use a specially formulated antiperspirant foot spray like Kroko Foot and Shoe spray which contains alcohol and other active ingredients to help kill bacteria and keep feet and shoes fresh smelling.
- Use a talc powder in shoes and on feet like Kroko Foot Powder which is specially formulated with ingredients to help keep feet dry and hygienic.
Smelly feet are a harmless, albeit antisocial problem, but they can be mimimised or avoided with the right footcare routine. For persistent problems, athlete’s foot, fungal infections or excessive sweating please consult a footcare professional like a podiatrist or a medical doctor.