Foot odor, also called bromodosis, is a common condition caused by excessive sweat in the feet. The sweat causes bacteria to grow, leading to bad odors. Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections can also cause bromodosis.
Obviously, unpleasant foot odor is the main symptom of bromodosis. The smell may be observed when the shoes and socks are removed or, in more serious cases, even when shoes are left on.
Treating Foot Odor
Most cases of bromodosis can be treated right at home with careful, regular foot care.
- Wash feet every day with an antibacterial soap and a brush or washcloth. Dry carefully, especially between the toes to avoid bacteria growth.
- Keep toenails trimmed short and clean under the nails each day.
- Use a pumice stone or foot file to remove hard, dead skin from your feet.
- Wear clean socks every day and change them during the day if they get wet or sweaty.
- Choose moisture-wicking socks made of natural fibers or sports socks.
- Alternate your shoes. It’s important to let your shoes dry out for 24 hours between wearings. Take any insoles or custom-fitted orthotics out as well so they have a chance to dry.
- Opt for open-toed shoes or sandals whenever possible.
- Applying rubbing alcohol to your feet at night can help dry them out.
- Use an antifungal foot powder or spray daily.
If these home treatments don’t work, visit your foot doctor stronger prescription soaps and antiperspirants and advice on treating excessive sweating.
Preventing Foot Odor
Most cases of bromodosis can be prevented by keeping the feet and footwear clean and dry.
Follow the above treatment steps ongoing to minimize your risk of smelly feet.