Dealing with Foot Odor

March 24, 2017 • • foot carefoot conditionsfoot wear

When you have foot odor, it can be very frustrating since it’s not easy to hide it. After a full day of wearing shoes, the odor can rise up from your shoes and be obvious to anyone nearby. It’s embarrassing to be in public transportation or airplanes, and even worse when you’re asked to take shoes off at someone’s house.

What Causes Foot Odor?

There are a few ways that foot odor can develop.

  • When enclosed in socks and shoes, perspiration from your feet’s thousands of sweat glands becomes trapped. In these moist, warm, and dark environments, bacteria and fungi (like athlete’s foot) are able to thrive and multiply. Bacteria and fungi survive on the sweat and produce isovaleric acid, which causes the sour smell.
  • Also, there’s always the chance of an odor arising from the chemical reaction between sweat and the materials that make up the shoes.
  • Additionally, foot infections can also cause unpleasant odors – sweat, pus, and the bacteria or fungi causing the infection will all make for unpleasant food odor.

How to Treat Foot Odor

Here are some preventative measures to take, as well as solutions for ongoing foot odor issues:

  • Wash feet with warm water and antibacterial soap every day. Dry feet completely before putting on a CLEAN pair of socks. Never re-wear your socks.
  • Check your feet for any signs of infection: rashes, itchy spots, inflammation, redness. Treat any infections with appropriate medications. If you’re not sure what the infection is, contact our podiatrist.
  • If you sweat a lot (hyperhidrosis), take 1 or 2 extra pairs of socks with you to change throughout the day.
  • Rotate your shoes. Wearing the same shoes each day can keep shoes damp and smelly. Allow each pair to fully dry out so that bacteria and fungi die out. If necessary, use shoe spray to aid killing the bacteria and fungi.
  • Check your shoes to see if they are rotting from sweat and bacteria build up. If the material is wearing down, it may be time to throw them away.

Make an appointment today if you’ve got foot issues like foot odor that just won’t go away. We can help you find the right solution to your foot problems at Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group, at either of our Seal Beach, CA and Los Alamitos, CA offices in Orange County. One of our board-certified podiatrists, Dr. Douglas H. Richie, Dr. Jeremy L. Cook, Dr. Faye E. Izadi will assess your situation and provide medications and other treatment options as necessary.

Request an Appointment

Fill out the form below to reach Alamitos – Seal Beach Podiatry Group, or call Los Alamitos: (562) 203-6151 or Seal Beach: (562) 242-1559 for immediate assistance.

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