Have you ever noticed the unpleasant smell from your feet during an important event? If yes, then you probably know how embarrassing it can be. Your feet can stink because of various factors. Some of them can be eliminated with the help of home remedies and proper foot care while others may require proper medical care. In this article, we have gathered six causes of unpleasant foot odor and ways to get rid of them.

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6 Causes of Unpleasant Foot Odor and Ways To Get Rid of Them

Amelia Grant

October 16, 2020

Have you ever noticed the unpleasant smell from your feet during an important event? If yes, then you probably know how embarrassing it can be. Your feet can stink because of various factors. Some of them can be eliminated with the help of home remedies and proper foot care while others may require proper medical care. In this article, we have gathered six causes of unpleasant foot odor and ways to get rid of them.

1. Athlete’s foot

An athlete’s foot is a fungal overgrowth that occurs on your feet and can cause plenty of unpleasant symptoms. People who have an athlete’s foot usually experience:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Unpleasant foot odor
  • Rash
  • Blisters

An athlete’s foot usually occurs between the toes. If left untreated, it can affect your toenails and cause their discoloration. In the most severe cases, fungal infections can spread to your hand and groin. 

Even though there are a lot of OTC medications and home remedies for athlete’s foot, it is better to visit a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Fungi have a lot of types and the treatment should be aimed at the elimination of the exact type you have.

2. Poor hygiene

Unfortunately, many people don’t pay much attention to their hygiene. This results in unpleasant odors from many body parts and can even contribute to various health issues. It is essential to wash your body and feet daily even if you don’t feel sweaty and dirty. Additionally, when you wash your feet thoroughly, you may notice some signs of foot issues that may need treatment.  

3. A lack of ventilation

If you tend to wear closed shoes made from synthetic materials, your feet can smell awful during a long hot day. The reality is that such materials don’t let the sweat evaporate and this created a perfect environment for bacteria overgrowth. 

You should know that sweat itself doesn’t stink so much. So you should blame these bacteria for your foot odor because they produce the smell during their vital activity. Try to choose shoes made from natural materials that don’t interfere with necessary ventilation. 

4. Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis is a condition that means that a person suffers from increased sweating that is not related to high temperature or exercise. People with hyperhidrosis sweat constantly and this can cause a lot of trouble. For example, they are more prone to get a fungal infection and have to change socks and shoes more often. Medication or surgery can decrease sweating and help you get rid of unpleasant foot smell.

5. Ingrown toenails

Even though ingrown toenails seem not dangerous, they can lead to a lot of unpleasant and even dangerous complications. This condition occurs when your toenail punctures the skin and starts to grow through the tissues. 

If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected and fester. As a result, it can cause pain, swelling, redness, and an unpleasant odor. Visit a foot doctor to reduce inflammation and trim your toenail properly to avoid further ingrowth. 

6. Hormonal changes

Hormonal fluctuations can also change the smell of your sweat or increase your sweating. For example, teenagers and pregnant women usually have an unpleasant foot odor since their hormonal balance is impaired. In this case, you can use home remedies and maintain personal hygiene until your hormones normalize. 

The bottom line

Due to the fact that unpleasant foot odor can cause a lot of troubles, it is important to get rid of it. However, you should always know for sure what exactly causes bad smell since you can aggravate your condition with the help of the wrong treatment. That’s why it is better to visit a doctor to evaluate your condition and choose the most appropriate treatment options.

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Healthcare & Nutrition