When your feet smell, you might not care why they get so stinky, but knowing the cause of the odor is actually useful when it comes to beating back the stench. Read on for the top 5 causes (and cures!) for smelly feet:
- Sweat: Sweat carries bacteria and, left unchecked, this bacteria breaks down your sweat and dead skin cells, sparking a nasty little scent. The best solution to this kind of odor? Wearing sweat-wicking socks and changing them frequently.
- Over Worn Shoes: Like socks, shoes absorb sweat, bacteria and odor. But, unlike socks, they don’t get washed on a regular basis. To keep smells from building up, try and gives shoes a day off to let fresh air in and smell-causing germs out.
- Stress: Pressure often makes you sweat (see point 1) but sweating when you’re stressed makes you extra smelly. Tale note and come armed with extra extra socks.
- Hormones: Hormones have been known to make you sweatier and stinkier—hello, teenage socks—but this kind of stink is also known to affect pregnant women. Know that this time will pass, though it may take a while.
- Infections: Of all the causes of smelly feet, this is one that should prompt a doctor’s visit. Infections such as athlete’s foot can leave feet itchy, scaly and—you guessed it—smelly. Fungal infections should be seen and treated by a podiatrist; over-the-counter treatments don’t perform as well as one might hope.
Foot odor is usually resolved fairly easily. If, however, your feet continue to smell after trying the remedies suggested above, it’s probably worth paying a visit to your local podiatrist, as persistent odor could be a sign of a more serious problem.