We’ve all been there. You go to somebody’s house for the first time, they open the door and, oh no, they’re those kind of people. The kind that insist you remove your shoes before you enter their pristine, immaculate, likely expensive home. You groan to yourself and slowly take off your shoes, wondering now if your first visit here will also be your last. You either pray to whatever deity you believe in that you host has a weak to non-existent sense of smell, or if you’re strong enough to swallow your pride, you apologise to them, for having to be in the vicinity of you and your now-exposed feet.
Foot odour is rather common, and normal, so at least from a health perspective, there’s nothing you need to be concerned about if the smell is your only issue. Sweat and bacteria are the main culprits behind bad foot odour, and it’s particularly prevalent during puberty and pregnancy, due to hormonal changes happening in the body. However, no one likes having feet that smell like death, so what can you do to stop this from happening?
Luckily, in most cases, preventing your feet from smelling is easy! Here are our top tips:
- Regularly alternate the shoes you wear and, if possible, don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row
- Make sure to properly dry your feet after getting them wet, particularly between the toes
- If your feet are particularly sweaty, applying methylated spirits once or twice daily is good for drying them out, BUT don’t do this if you have any cuts or broken skin
- Use socks/stockings made of natural, breathable fabrics such as cotton or wool, rather than synthetic fabrics like nylon
- Thoroughly wash your feet daily, and if your foot odour is particularly persistent, use anti-bacterial soap
- It can be useful to spray your feet with antiperspirant deodorant (the same type you use on your underarms)
- Buy shoes that allow your feet to breathe (such as those made of leather) and aren’t too tight
- When wearing enclosed footwear, always wear socks or stockings
- Wear socks/stockings for no more than a day at a time, and wash them after every use
If foot odour is a particularly severe or persistent problem for you, it’s also best to come and speak to a podiatrist. We have experience handling many, many cases of bad foot odour, and we can advise you on medicated solutions if your own efforts to stop it aren’t working. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, so if you need help managing your foot odour, all you need to do is ask!
The Sutherland Podiatry Centre Team