Avoid Stinky, Nasty Feet This Summer

Stinky feet are a common problem among most of us. It can get very embarrassing to take shoes off with people around. Smelly feet are can happen anytime of the year but the situation is more aggravated during the hot summer months.

Why Feet smell

This happens because we sweat more in summer and the sweat present in the feet gets mixed with the bacteria present in the skin of the feet. Hence making the feet produce an odour when the sweat is decomposing. To add up to the misery, poor ventilation and wearing socks for many hours may add to this problem aggravating the condition.
According to podiatrists, you are also more likely to have foot perspiration if you are on your feet all day, and if under a lot of stress. Feet also become smelly if sweat soaks into shoes and they don’t dry before you wear them again. Your feet sweat into your shoes all day so they get damp and bacteria start to grow. The bacteria continue to breed once you have taken your shoes off, especially if you put them in a dark cupboard. Then, when you put your shoes back on the next day, even if you have just had a shower, putting your feet into still damp shoes creates the perfect conditions for the bacteria to thrive – warm, dark and moist. Luckily you can reduce the bacteria by creating a drier habitat for your feet.

Other causes of smelly feet are poor personal hygiene, stress and hormonal changes (teenagers and pregnant women are especially prone to the latter).

Treating Smelly Feet

Soak In Saltwater

Salt pulls moisture out of your skin, reducing the amount of bacteria that can survive there.In a tub or large bowl of warm water, dissolve 1/2 to 1 teaspoon course salt. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. Do this every day for two weeks.

Add Some Vinegar

If you want to create an inhospitable environment for bacteria, bathe your feet in vinegar. It has a drying effect so the bacteria starve. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water in a tub or large bowl. Soak your feet for 30 minutes once a day for a week.

Preventing Smelly Feet

The best way to prevent smelly feet is good personal hygiene and not wearing the same shoes 2 days in a row. It’s important to wash your feet every day and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Teenagers especially should be discouraged from wearing the same pair of trainers all the time. You should also wear clean socks every day. Cotton or wool socks are much better than nylon.

If your feet are prone to sweating a lot, you could:

  • Dab between your toes with surgical spirit after drying your feet.
  • Use a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. A normal underarm one will work just as well as a specialist foot product.
  • Wear open-toed sandals. Go barefoot at home if you can safely.
  • Keep your toenails short and clean and remove any hard skin with a foot file. Hard skin can become soggy when damp, which provides an ideal home for bacteria


The above mentioned steps usually help in preventing sweaty and smelly feet. However If they don’t and your feet sweat a lot and produce a strong odour, you may be suffering from Athletes foot. It would be best to seek medical advice.

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