Tackling Foot Odor

There are so many things that can make a plane ride unpleasant – cramped seating, stuffy recycled air, and crying babies. To make things worse, your neighbor might take off his or her shoes, releasing an odor that makes you want to gag for the next several hours. Don’t be that neighbor.

Maybe you’re already suffering from this embarrassing trait. Maybe it’s inevitable because you have hyperhidrosis (a condition of excessive sweating). After all, your feet have about 3,000 glands per square inch of feet, releasing heat through sweat. So it’s not surprising that your socks are drenched in sweat after a few hours of being in your favorite shoes that you wear almost every day, and that both socks and shoes smell at the end of the day.

Banish that odor!

Bacteria and fungi that release stinky odors thrive in damp and dark environments, which is why your socks and shoes tend to smell from sweaty feet. Here are a few tips for preventing smelly feet:

  • Wash your feet at the end of every day with soap and warm water to clean and kill off bacteria. Make sure to clean in between the toes and around the toenails. Afterwards, allow your feet to dry fully before putting on any (clean) socks, slippers, or shoes.
  • Check your feet for infections. If you have a fungal infection (rash or discolored toenails), it can be harder to get rid of. With inflammation or worsening symptoms, your feet can also have an odor. See your podiatrist to fight a fungal infection.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks when you wear shoes. This way, the socks will contain the sweat instead of keeping it on your feet or passing it on to the inner lining of the shoes.
  • Have a fresh pair of socks to change into, midday. If you sweat excessively, this will reduce the odor.
  • If it helps, you can use foot powder in your shoes to absorb some of the moisture.
  • Allow shoes to dry out completely before wearing them again to reduce bacterial growth. If they smell, use an antibacterial shoe spray to kill bacteria living inside.
  • Check your shoes for signs of rotting. Yes, this can happen if you wear down your shoes enough so that bacteria is setting up camp inside your shoes. If your shoes still smell after a few days of airing out, it may be time to throw them out!

Still having issues with foot odor? You should come see our board-certified podiatrist, Carl Ingrassia, DPM at Fords Foot and Ankle Care to get it taken care of. He will assess your feet to see if there are other underlying issues to your foot odor woes. Make an appointment at our office in Fords, NJ in Woodbridge Township, NJ by calling (732) 738-4441. Our team is happy serve all patients in the surrounding areas of Edison, Perth Amboy, Metuchen, Rahway, and Linden.