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Why do my feet smell?

The culprits in foot odor are sweat-eating bacteria.

The problem begins when bacteria become attracted to the sweat on your feet and start feeding on it.

The bacteria's excretion has a strong odor that causes your feet to smell bad.

Since each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands in it, and produces over a pint of sweat a day there's a lot for the bacteria to eat.

What makes the situation worse are shoes and socks which trap the sweat on your skin. Now the bacteria have their favorite kind of environment: dark and damp, causing them to go into a feeding frenzy. More waste is excreted, and when you take off your socks and shoes, your nose is presented with the results!

Why do some people's feet smell more than others?

The simple answer is, some people sweat more than others. That's also the reason why your own foot odor can vary. You might sweat more at different parts of the day. The more you sweat, the more your feet will smell.

How can foot odor be reduced?

Since more sweat equals more bacteria and more odors, the amount of sweat that collects on your feet must be decreased. This will lessen your bacteria load as well.

  • Always wear clean socks. It is even recommended you change sock throughout the day.
  • Wash your feet with anti-bacterial soap. This won't lessen the sweat, but it will kill bacteria.
  • Give a pair of shoes 24 hours to air out after every wearing. The sweat will evaporate.
  • Avoid restrictive shoes like, boots. Well-ventilated shoes whisk away sweat.
  • Wear socks made of absorbent materials, like cotton. The sock will soak up the sweat leaving the bacteria nothing to feed on.
  • Apply antiperspirant to you feet.

Putting inserts in shoes will mask part of the problem, but they won't solve it as they fail to kill bacteria. If your foot odor is really strong, the best method of prevention is to see a doctor. There are several prescriptions available to treat foot odor.

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