If you have smelly feet, you may want to tell people you actually have bromodosis – the medical term for, well, stinky feet. No matter what you prefer to call it, it’s safe to assume you just want your odorous tootsies to become less of a nasal distraction. Luckily, there are some ways you can achieve this goal. Here are five of them.
1. Don’t Go Sans Socks
Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body. So, it should come as no surprise that excess sweat is a common source of foot odor. Even thin, breathable socks can effectively soak up sweat and prevent germs from spreading. Also, consider socks designed to wick away perspiration from your feet if you want some added foot sweat protection.
2. Soak Your Feet in Tea
For days when your feet are really reeking, treat yourself to tea bath. Black tea has acid in it that’s capable of killing tiny microbes. The acid also closes up pores, which helps your feet stay dryer and become less likely to develop odorous infections.
3. Make Antifungal Foot Spray Your Best Friend
You’re not going to avoid all instances of foot odor. But what you can do is get into the habit of regularly spraying your feet with antifungal foot spray. If you prefer not to use aerosol sprays, go with antifungal foot powders. Just remember to dry your feet after you apply your preferred spray or powder.
4. Switch Up Your Shoes
It’s easy to get into the habit of slipping on the same pair of shoes practically every day without giving it a second thought. Unfortunately, doing this increases the odds that odors from your feet will get trapped in your shoes. Your shoes also need time to sufficiently dry out between wearings. And be sure to choose shoes appropriate for your various activities. For example, you don’t want to wear more restrictive work shoes to the gym, where it makes sense to wear something more breathable and stretchy.
5. Let Your Feet Go Bare When You Can
Your feet are more likely to stay dry, healthy, and odor-free if you give them to bask in fresh air and oxygen. Of course, it’s not always appropriate or safe to slip your shoes and socks off. Instead, look for opportunities throughout your day when it makes sense to let your feet go au natural, like when you’re at home or spending long hours with your feet under a desk.
Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, can also be a source of persistent foot odor. If the odor management methods discussed here aren’t helping, see a podiatrist to find out if there’s another source of the offending scents you are noticing that needs to be treated.