How To Stop Foot Odor
Just how to stop foot odor: a contentious issue for many people. Are you ashamed to take off your stilettos or shoes because of your excessively smelly feet? With longer and hotter summers it can become an issue for many.
Often taking great measures to avoid being chastised by peers, people are often in denial that they have an issue with foot odor. Sticky and smelly feet can be prevented and treated effectively. It is not the sweat but the bacteria on your feet which are the problem.
Feet bacteria, such as brevibacterium, exist on the skin of your feet as they do in cheeses such as the Limburger. When you perspire, you release sweat onto the surface of your skin, especially if your feet need to be cooled down – it’s a natural way for the body to regulate it’s temperature and there is nothing wrong with sweating. However, it can become a problem if this sweating is excessive.
The feet are a source of sweat glands which release fatty substances onto the surface of the skin, which are then used as food by these bacteria and broken down into odorous by-products. Bacteria also feed on your dead skin cells, as it is also a source of protein. This is what causes our feet to smell. The combination of sweat and bacterium causes a biochemical reaction, releasing odorous chemicals.
It is important to wash very well and dry well between the toes. Special foot powders, or even talcum powder or bicarbonate of soda can be used to keep the perspiration in your feet and shoes to a minimum.
Bicarbonate of soda also creates a hostile environment for bacteria, as it alters the pH of the local environment, making it difficult for bacteria to grow, multiply and feed on the surface of your feet.
Astringents can also be used, containing aluminum chloride, zinc chloride and magnesium chloride. They can reduce your levels of perspiration. Benzoyl peroxide, available from the local drugstore, can kill bacteria.
A bigger factor which causes foot odor problems is your shoes. You may want to make sure that you rotate your shoes frequently, giving them time to dry and air themselves, perhaps using shoes which are well ventilated.
Using foot insoles with activated charcoal helps to absorb sweat and render it odorless. Leather shoes are breathable, and it is possible to buy shoes which are ventilated. Plastic, rubber and artificial leather shoes do not breathe and contribute to a humid environment around your feet. Socks made of cotton or wool are preferable to those made of artificial materials such as polyester or nylon and also allow your feet to breathe. It is possible to buy socks which have a copper lining or meshing, which helps to kill some of these odor causing bacteria. Copper has been found to kill bacteria and fungus.
Making sure that pedicures are done using sterile methods and equipment also ensures that feet do not become infected with other species of anaerobic bacteria.
You can sterilize your shoes using equipment in the shape of a shoe tree which slips inside, such as a Sterishoe, which contains UV light, killing almost all bacteria and fungus. Antibacterial and antifungal shoes sprays are also available, which destroy pathogens on contact, and are easy and convenient to use. However, careful use is limited as spraying strong chemicals inside shoes can cause joints sealed by glue to become weak and compromise the life of your shoe. Botox injections can decrease sweating. This treatment is non-surgical and works effectively for several months. It involves using numbing cream on the treatable area in addition to pain medication. However the procedure only takes about an hour in total. Nerves which innervate the feet can be severed to prevent the nervous system from causing feet to keep perspiring, this treatment being used in the most severe cases of hyperhidrosis, or excessive general sweating.
When you reflect on how to stop foot odor in its tracks, there are many options available, from those you can find in your kitchen, such as bicarbonate of soda, or your bathroom such as talcum powder. There are also specific remedies which can be bought over the counter, including foot powders and sprays. It is also possible to resort to non-invasive surgical procedures such as botox, or invasive ones where nerves innervating the feet, causing them to sweat are severed. Considering the breadth of options available, it is possible to address this problem of foot odor and feel confident taking your shoes off without fear of reprisal, ridicule or embarrassment.