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Why Do I Have Smelly Feet?

February 2, 2021

 

Smelly feet is a common problem, usually caused by sweating and the growth of bacteria on the feet. Each foot has around 25,000 sweat glands and produces about 500ml of sweat daily. This combined with bacteria, can cause offensive foot odour. Measure to eliminate foot odour revolve around minimizing sweaty warm conditions around the foot. Such measures include;

  • Wear shoes that allow good air circulation
  • Moisture wicking socks, or take an extra pair to school or work to change over
  • Change your shoes regularly to allow them to air and dry
  • Washing your feet daily with mild antiseptic solutions or soaps

 

 

In more severe cases, topical or oral antibiotics may be prescribed to kill off the bacteria.

However, not all foot odours are caused by bacteria. A good proportion of foot odour is caused by fungal infection. Fungus likes to grow in dark moist environments. A sweaty foot in a shoe is literally a perfect environment for fungal elements to grow.  Fungal infection of the feet, also known as tinea pedis, usually presents as a rash on the feet that involves the web spaces.  Treatment of tinea pedis requires the use of anti-fungal medications. Topical preparations may be used for localized infections. For fungal infections that are wide spread, oral medications may have to be used.

Foot odour is a common problem. Simple measures mentioned above may be sufficient to eliminate the odour. However, if those treatments fail, seek help from your doctor!

 

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