Causes of Smelly Feet and Tips To Get Rid Of It!

smelly feet

Has it ever happened to you that the moment you remove your shoes, your entire room stinks?

Do your feet stink even if you wash your feet regularly and kept it clean? 

Do you feel embarrassed to remove your shoes in front of your colleagues because of the foul odor from your feet? 

If yes, then you are a victim of smelly feet! 

Smelly feet, medically known as bromodosis, can be caused due to various reasons right from bacterial infection to fungal infection. It could also be due to not following proper foot hygiene or wearing improper shoes. Off the many reasons that cause smelly feet, we are here to discuss about some of the common causes of smelly feet along with tips you should follow to get rid of it. 

What Causes Smelly Feet?

The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body. Shoes and socks can prevent sweat from evaporating that can attract bacteria. This bacterial growth in most cases leads to smelly feet There might be many other reasons why your feet stink. It could be due to:

-Hyperhidrosis, a genetic condition, which causes excessive sweating, leading to bacterial growth thereby causing smelly feet.

-Wearing the same shoes every day, which acts as a breeding ground for bacteria due to the humid condition.Not changing your socks daily after a hot day at work which can lead to soaking up of sweat by the socks, thus causing smelly socks and feet.

-Wearing closed or tight shoes which not only causes pressure on the feet and makes your feet prone to injury but also cause smelly feet due to excessive sweat.

-Not maintaining your foot hygiene on a regular basis or not cleaning your feet properly every day after coming back home.

Whatever is the cause of smelly feet, it an embarrassing and awkward situation for a person whose feet are the source of the odor. However, what you need to understand is the fact that ignoring this condition can not only worsen the condition but also put you at risk of skin infections. If you are someone suffering from diabetes, then it goes without saying that consulting a dermatologist is the first thing you should do to get rid of it. The reason being uncontrolled diabetes can affect the nerves which in turn may not only increase the risk of diabetic foot but can also lead to gangrene. Also, diabetics are at a high risk of suffering from fungal and bacterial skin infections due to high blood glucose levels in the body. And hence, it is important to find the right solution to get rid of it. 

**Consult India’s best doctors here**

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet (Foot Odor)?

What is the best part about foot odour is that you do not have to shell out a bomb on maintaining your foot hygiene nor do you have to try foot sprays, which only burn a hole in your pocket and not provide long-lasting results. Instead, you can follow a few simple foot care tips on a regular basis to get rid of smelly feet and keep your feet healthy. However, it is wise to consult a doctor if you have diabetes or recurring foot infections. Rest assured, here are a few tips you can try at home.

– Wash your feet with antibacterial soap and water. Ensure you clean the area in between the toes as it can harbor sweat and bacteria.

– Pat the skin dry properly after washing your feet. You can use a clean towel to dry the feet and spaces between the toes.

– Try not to wear the same shoes every day. Allow shoes to air out at least 24 hours after a single use.

– Avoid using closed and tight shoes as it increases the risk of foot odor. Try and wear open shoes and sandals that allow air circulation and prevent sweat accumulation.

– Keep your shoes in the sun from time to time to remove sweat and moisture in the shoes. Keep your shoes in open as it prevents the growth of bacteria in the shoes, thus helping you to prevent smelly feet.

– Try simple home remedies for your skin such as lemon juice, baking soda, aloe vera or talcum powder to prevent sweat and keep your feet dry, clean and odor-free.

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Smelly feet could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. So if these foot care tips fail to show any improvement in getting rid of smelly feet, seek medical help. Also, if you have itchy feet or if you have foot pain along with smelly feet, then it is wise to consult your doctor to know the cause and address the underlying cause of the condition.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

Recommended Reads:

Happy Feet: 8 Home Remedies To Tackle Foot Odour

Here Is How Wearing The Wrong Footwear Can Harm Your Feet


1. Ara K, Hama M, Akiba S, Koike K, Okisaka K, Hagura T, Kamiya T, Tomita F. Foot odor due to microbial metabolism and its control. Can J Microbiol. 2006 Apr;52(4):357-64.

2. Ramsey ML. Foot odor: how to clear the air. Phys Sportsmed. 1996 Aug;24(8):91-2.

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