You may have heard that if you are not having a good night’s sleep, you may want to try sticking one or more feet out from under the covers. The feet become exposed to cooler air, which helps your overall body temperature to cool down as well. Why does this seem to work? Well, the feet have many special blood vessels that can open up and send heat out through them. Additionally, they have about 3,000 glands per square inch to release sweat and heat as well.
All the heat and sweat being released through the feet is great when barefoot, but what happens if they get trapped in socks and shoes? The increased heat and moisture together create an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria to flourish. If the situation is not treated properly, the situation can continue to cause embarrassing issues for you.
One way to fight foot odor is to prevent it from happening in the first place. We at suggest the following:
- When wearing closed-toed shoes, always wear socks. Even better if they are moisture-wicking socks.
- Try to wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe – e.g. leather, canvas, mesh.
- Clean your feet each day in warm water with soap. Let them dry thoroughly and check for signs of rash or infections.
- Rotate shoes from day to day and wear a clean pair of socks (or 2) each day. Allow your shoes to fully dry in between wears.
- Use baby powder or foot powder on your feet to absorb sweat.
Embarrassing foot odor can prevent you from going to social events and even cause discomfort for others in enclosed spaces, like planes. You may be embarrassed even to bring up your foot odor issues with your foot doctor. Dr. Brandon Macy, our board-certified podiatrist understands that you may have discomfort with this and will treat your foot issues with care and respect. Some options he may give you are:
- Home treatment: Soak your feet in a solution of strong black tea (plus cool water) for 30 minutes each week to kill off bacteria and close pores. A mixture of vinegar and water works as well.
- Ongoing foot odor can be caused by an infection or hereditary excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Dr. Macy may prescribe a prescription ointment, which you can use overnight with a wrap.
- Iontophoresis may reduce the sweating for those with hyperhidrosis.
- In the most severe cases, a surgeon can cut the nerve that controls sweat to stop sweating in the feet, but it may increase sweating in other areas instead.
If you are undergoing hormonal changes, taking certain medications, or enduring a stressful time in your life, you may be more prone to sweating. Whether this is a new or persistent issue, make an appointment today by calling us at Clark Podiatry Center: (732) 382-3470.