Bromodosis, or foot odor is a common problem and occurs to most people. This is because the feet sweat more than other parts of the body. When bacteria gather in the sweaty, damp spaces of the feet, it causes foot odor. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can also lead to bromodosis. Sometimes, it can be a sign of an underlying health issue.
For those who suffer from foot odor, it can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. The good news is that foot odor is usually simple to remedy. And there are easy, quick, and inexpensive ways to treat it.
Causes of smelly feet
The feet have over 250,000 sweat glands which is more than in other parts of the body. The feet also naturally have bacteria to help break down sweat on the feet as it is released. The mixture of bacteria and sweat build up causing smelly feet on any normal day. Some reasons why it can get worse includes:
- Hormonal changes(teenagers and pregnant women are more prone to sweaty feet because their bodies produce hormones that make them sweat more)
- Manual workers who are on their feet all day tend to have sweatier feet.
- Stress can cause excessively sweaty feet.
- Certain medical condition can cause feet to sweat more.
- Poor hygiene (unclean and unwashed feet can become a breeding ground for bacteria)
- Wearing unwashed socks.
- Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating even if you aren’t overheated. It may cause sweaty, smelly feet and be so severe that it interferes with your daily life.
- Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy and peripheral artery disease, and feet may get damaged without your knowing it. A strong odor could be a sign of a wound or ulcer, which needs immediate medical attention.
Tips to prevent Foot odor
- Wash feet everyday with mild soap and lukewarm water
- A regular pedicure can help keep your feet clean.
- Dry thoroughly, making sure all moisture between your toes is removed.
- Keep toenails short and clean.
- Wear clean, moisture-wicking socks every day.
- Consider getting two pairs of shoes and alternating them.
- Walking barefoot at home can help reduce foot odor as it helps the feet breathe.
- Wearing sandals instead of covered shoes airs the feet.
- Sleeping without socks can help avoid build-up of bacteria.
- Scrape hard, dead skin from feet with a foot file. The skin can get soggy and soft when damp, attracting bacteria.
The key to avoiding smelly feet is to make foot care a regular part of daily hygienic routine. But, the above tips can only do so much for a person who is suffering from a severe case of bromodosis. If the above home treatments and lifestyle changes don’t work, it is a good idea to consult a podiatrist. They will be able to prescribe stronger antiperspirants, foot soaps and better lifestyle changes that can take care of excessive sweating.