Foot Odour

Foot odour is a strong indication of a surface bacterial infection of the feet. While some odour is normal and perfectly harmless, a persistent foul order indicates an overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria. If left too long this may progress into a condition like pitted keratolysis, a foot ulcer, or athlete’s foot.

Foot being sprayed with freshener

Typical causes include

  • Hormone/sweat gland imbalance.  Overactive sweat glands, particularly in adolescents can lead to foot odour.
  • Feet enclosed in shoe wear for lengthy periods.
  • Continually wearing the one set of shoes for prolonged periods.
  • Occupations involving work in warm moist environments.

What can you do?

Anything that reduces exposure of the feet to warm moist environments is good.

  • Cotton, or other natural materials help wick moisture away from the skin.
  • Should be changed frequently.  Take an extra pair of socks to work or school for changing during the day.
  • Wear socks whenever you wear shoes.
  • Wear shoes that breathe or are well ventilated.  Examples of these are sandals or perforated top materials.  Most leathers breathe well.
  • Rotate the shoes that you wear.
  • Wash shoes with soapy water, and leave to dry.
  • Consider discarding those with a noticeable odour.
  • When showering, scrub your feet with an antibacterial soap.  Thoroughly dry your feet, particularly between your toes.
  • Spray your feet with underarm deodorant containing aluminum chlorohydrate  or aluminum chloride.
  • Use odour eaters insoles and preparations from your chemist designed to minimize or soak up excess foot perspiration.

Take the first step towards happy and healthy feet.

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