Why are Your Feet So Smelly?

We get it, river region friends. Feet smell. Sometimes they smell a great deal. If you’ve got especially smelly feet, you may be wondering if there’s something abnormal going on. But you can’t even talk about your stinky feet because they’re so embarrassing. Podiatrists Heidi M. Christie, DPM, and Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists can help.

The #1 reason feet smell

Your feet contain thousands of sweat glands – more per inch than any other part of the body. So when you trap your feet in socks and shoes, they get hot and sweaty. But sweat all by itself is odorless. You need another element to explain foot odor. You need bacteria.

Human skin is essentially crawling with bacteria. As unpleasant as that may sound, it’s completely normal. Your feet begin to smell as soon as the bacteria on your skin mingle with the sweat pouring out of your pores. The combination of bacteria and sweat causes all kinds of chemical reactions to occur. The result is smelly feet.

The #1 way to fight the stink

The obvious answer to avoiding foot odor is to prevent sweaty feet! Here’s how:

  • Wear cotton socks to help draw moisture away from your skin.
  • Change your socks daily; you may find it helps to change them even more frequently than that.
  • Dust your shoes with powder.
  • Spray your shoes with disinfectant; disinfect the insoles and your orthotics as well. Let them dry overnight.
  • Give your shoes a chance to dry out by alternating pairs each day.
  • Tight shoes trap in moisture; wear shoes with enough room.
  • Use antiperspirant on your feet – the same kind you use on your underarms. Experiment with applying it at night to see if that makes a difference.

If you can’t get your sweaty, smelly feet under control at home, contact our Montgomery County podiatry office. Our doctors may need to treat you for a medical condition called hyperhidrosis.  Make an appointment online or call us in Montgomery, Alabama, at (334) 396-3668.