Home Remedies for Foot Odour: What Works, What Doesn’t. The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz
Smelly feet, technically known as “bromhidrosis,” are a fact of life, especially in winter when you have been in socks and shoes all day. Simply washing and drying your feet, while helpful, won’t necessarily take care of the problem. That’s because foot odour is caused by bacteria that breed in wet or moist environments on and around the feet; once your feet start to sweat again, the odour may reappear–especially if you slip them back into the same footwear that contributed to the smell to start with.
Can home remedies get rid of the foul odour?
There’s very little scientific evidence to support the use of home remedies for foot odour or for any other foot condition. Some strategies might work for some people, even if those strategies aren’t proven. However, certain remedies require caution because they involve potentially caustic substances, such as bleach. And in all cases, it’s important to focus not only on the feet, but the environment. This means shoes, socks and surfaces with which the feet come into contact.
Here’s a look at some popular home remedies for foot odour:
Antiperspirant deodorant: The ingredients work the same way on the soles of the feet as they do when applied under the arms, so although no studies support its use, some people do find applying underarm deodorant to the feet reduces odour.
Baking soda/corn starch: Both do reduce foot odour for many people, although again, there is no research to support their efficacy. Remember to change your socks and shoes after applying it. Adding either to your shoes may help absorb additional moisture where germs can breed.
Disinfecting shoes: Using a household cleaning/disinfecting agent in your shoes could help because the bacteria responsible for foot odour often live in shoes.
Salt soak: No clinical research suggests this soak is effective in preventing foot odour; however, salt has a drying effect on the skin and, by reducing moisture, it may have some benefit. People who use this approach say kosher salt is made of larger crystals than regular table salt, and tends to dissolve better in water.
Lemon juice mixed with water: Several studies show that lemon juice has antibacterial properties. It is also an astringent that can help to remove dead skin from the feet. No studies specifically show this approach prevents foot odour, but many people find it helpful.
Talcum powder: Like baking soda, talcum powder helps absorb excess moisture that can be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Scented powder can also disguise odours in shoes and on the feet. Again, there are no studies confirming this, but no harm in trying.
Tea soak: The tannic acid in tea acts as an astringent, meaning it cleans and dries the skin and contracts the pores. However, if you put clean feet back into dirty socks and shoes, the odour is likely to recur.
Many articles on the Internet give specific formulas for using these approaches. But since there is no clinical evidence that they are effective, keep in mind that what works for one person might not work for another.
The best year-round strategy for preventing foot odour and other foot conditions is to keep your feet and footwear clean; change socks daily or more often if you are active; rotate shoes every few days; and inspect your feet daily for signs of sores, cuts, cracks and itchiness between the toes, which could indicate athlete’s foot.
If foot conditions persist or if you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow to the feet, see The Podiatrist. We have an extensive range of products that can help you with foot odour.
Get started on resolving your foot problem today.
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Posted on September 15, 2014, in Contact a Podiatrist, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged antibacterial, Athlete's foot, auckland podiatrist, auckland podiatrists, bacteria, bromhidrosis, Caron Orelowitz, clean feet, clean foot, clean shoes, clean socks, corns, foot bath, foot health, Foot odor, foot odour, foot podwer, foot rot, foot soaks, gehwol foot bath gehwol foot creams, healthy feet, healthy foot, heel pain, moisture, odorex, odour, Podiatrist, podiatrists, podiatry, remuera podiatrists, remuera podiatry, Shoe, shoe odour, shoes, smell in in shoes, smelly feet, smelly shoes, smelly socks, smelly toes, sock odour, sore feet, The Podiatrist, toes, west auckland podiatrist podiatry nz, your feet. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.