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Fix Your Foot Odor

By on July 19, 2016

Foot odor is a very common complaint. It is also can be a very unpleasant and frustrating experience, since it bothers others as well.

What Causes Foot Odor?

The medical term for foot odor is “bromhidrosis”. Foot odor is due to bacteria breeding in the moist and humid conditions provided by sweaty feet and socks. Did you know that the soles of your feet have almost a thousand sweat pores that shed about a half cup of perspiration every day? This sweat is made up mostly of water, fat, sodium chloride, minerals, and acids, which represent waste products of the body.

The accumulated sweat acts as an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which break down the secretions. This process involves the release of odorous by-products that contribute to that familiar odor of sweaty feet.

Here are a few simple, effective home remedies.

Regular Cleansing – Keeping your feet clean by cleansing and washing them is one of the most important steps toward avoiding and treating foot odor. Wash your feet with a mild antibacterial soap to remove the smell-producing bacteria. Rinse off the soap with warm water, rather than cold, since the heat opens the pores and cleanses the skin thoroughly. Pamper your feet with a thorough warm water soak once or twice a week to prevent foot odor from developing. If your feet already have odor issues, you will need to follow the daily routine of washing and rinsing as previously outlined. However, don’t obsess about this! Too much washing can damage your skin still more.

 Use Kosher Salt* – Kosher salt is an immensely effective natural sweat absorbent. If you have excessively sweaty feet, you could dissolve about half a cup of this salt in a quart of water and soak your feet in the solution for some time. Afterwards, dab your feet dry with a clean towel, without rinsing them. You will be astounded by the results. Your feet will remain naturally dry because the salt has a drying effect on the skin. This way, you can control your perspiration naturally to a large extent without any side effects. However, if you plan to do this, you must first make sure that you do not have any open wounds, cuts, or skin inflammation on your feet, since the salt could corrode them, leading to more damage.


Wear Healthy Fabric – It is always best to wear socks made from light natural fabrics* like cotton and wool. These are both comfortable and breathable. However, you may prefer to choose from the array of other fabrics available, including rayon*, nylon*, and acrylic*. In that case, you should be careful to select those that suit the needs of your feet. Lighter materials are always better for sweaty feet, as they allow the free passage of air and thus keep your feet dry and clean.

Avoid tight socks because they can restrict circulation in your feet, making them cramp and sweat even more. Make it a practice to pick out fresh, clean socks every night for use the next day, while tossing your old socks into the laundry. This will make you feel happier, smell better and be way more comfortable.

Shoes – If you have sweaty feet, it is important that you choose footwear for summer that is open and allows free ventilation, so that your feet can breathe. This includes sandals, slippers, flip-flops, and floaters. All of these allow sweat to evaporate so that your feet remain dry, thus curbing bacterial growth on your feet.


If you prefer closed shoes, opt for canvas and leather shoes because they allow some air to pass through. For those with a high number of sweat pores on their feet, synthetic hard rubber footwear is an absolute no-no. If you use sneakers or canvas shoes, make sure you wash them at least once a week and let the air naturally dry them. This will keep your shoes clean and also inhibit microbial growth inside them.

If moisture is trapped inside your shoes, try dusting some baking soda or cornstarch powder inside them. This will absorb the moisture and prevent microbes from growing.

De-Stress – Stress is an important factor in the genesis of heavy perspiration. Anxiety disorders can lead to excessive sweating and a resulting offensive odor both from the body and feet. You need to practice a stress-free lifestyle. Learn to use simple positive meditation, yoga*, or breathing techniques to defuse stress when you are in a tense situation. Releasing stress has immense benefits, not only in relaxing the tension in your mind and body but greatly improving your overall health as well.


Dr. Maasi J. Smith is the author of Feet Naturally and can be reached at drmaasi@drmaasi.com.