Patient Education

Foot Odor and Sweaty Feet

Since the feet have over 250,000 sweat glands, problems with foot odor are quite common. The condition of smelly feet can arise from sweaty feet due to the accumulation of bacteria that feed off of the sweat. Since feet are prone to sweating, shoes and socks create a dark, damp environment that serve as a friendly host to the bacteria and fungus that live off of perspiration, sweat, skin and nails. Feet can become overly sweaty due to hyperhidrosis (a genetic condition) or as a result of stress, medications, body changes, or fluid consumption.

To conquer foot odor and sweaty, smelly feet, special care must be taken of the feet directly, as well as socks and footwear. Here are some helpful pointers to control sweaty, smelly feet:

  • Wear clean socks made of cotton or another absorbent material and change them at least once a day; be sure to always wear socks with closed footwear to absorb sweat
  • Wear clean footwear made of breathable materials to allow air circulation; alternate footwear and do not wear the same pair for consecutive days
  • Clean feet daily with warm, soapy water, then rinse and dry well
  • Apply powder to clean feet to help absorb excess moisture
  • Soak feet daily to help control odor (there are Epsom salt, herbal, black tea, and vinegar foot soak remedies that are recommended). Do not soak fee if there is an open sore.
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