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Smelly Feet!

Smelly Feet by David Webby


Did you know that feet have over 250,000 sweat glands?


And some people can perspire up to 600 to 1200mls of sweat a day!

But why do they smell so much?


Sweat is mainly water, but it also contains trace amounts of other chemicals like body oils, ammonia, different salts, urea and some sugars, (and anything else that you had for dinner, which is excreted through the skin, when not absorbed by the body). 


The water evaporates off leaving behind the residue. This residue and old skin cells becomes smelly because of bacteria working on it. 

The bacteria produces isovaleric acid as a by-product, which is what causes the odor.


Bacteria love warm damp places to live and thrive. Wearing synthetic socks or shoes does not allow your feet to breath. Instead, the sweat, skin cells and other residues remains within your shoes or socks, providing the source for which the bacteria to break down. 


What can you do? 


There are some simple yet effective ways to rid yourself of this problem. 


  • Wear cotton socks. (At least 80-90%cotton). Cotton allows your feet to breathe naturally. It also absorbs sweat really well. There are a range of other socks that may also be helpful. ie Bamboo or ones made with coolmax or other similar material that absorb the sweat, or allow feet to breath.


  • Wear natural or leather shoes that are not synthetic lined. This will allow the shoe to breath and the sweat to evaporate. You may need to throw out those shoes affected by the smell, even if they are your most treasured pair of shoes.



  • You may need to use some anti-fungal cream if you are suffering from a fungal infection, such as tinea. If you find your feet itching, it could be a sign of a fungal infection. You can use Lamisil, Daktarin, Clonea or Canesten for treating this condition. Solve easy tinea spray is a non-generitc brand of Lamisil, which is great to use to spray between your toes and inside of your shoes.


  • Some people like heavy duty, odour absorber innersoles. They absorb sweat, so that there is less chance for a moist environment for bacteria to breed in.



  • Use some Cornflour or Talcum Powder to soak uo the odour. (However talcum powder as it contains Aluminum, which can be a harmful heavy metal if it builds up to certain levels.)


  • When you are at home try and avoid wearing shoes to allow normal evaporation of sweat to occur. 



  • Give your feet a footbath once a week. It is not only relaxing, but it is effective in taking off dead skin cells. Epsom Salts contains Magnesium, which is great for muscle cramps, nerve conduction and other important body functions.


  • Sometimes sweaty feet can be a sign of abnormal foot biomechanics or when your feet pronate a lot, it causes the muscles of the feet to work overtime to try to stabiles your foot posture.



If you are unsure on any of these conditions and want a second opinion, feel free to come in for an assessment and/or advice.

Book an Appointment now

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