Foot odor, or bromodosis as it is known in the medical field, is an embarrassing problem and one that patients come to us for at Great Neck Family Foot Care. Stinky feet generally have to do with perspiration. Sweat is odorless but when it mixes with bacteria it creates a foul smell. With over 250,000 sweat glands in your feet there is plenty of opportunity for sweat and bacteria to meet. There are a number of reasons why this happens:
- Hygiene—if you don’t clean your feet daily or you re-use your socks without laundering them you greatly increase the chance of smelly feet.
- Hyperhidrosis—with this condition, your feet sweat excessively and the sweat gets trapped in the glands (rather than quickly evaporating) where it has a greater likelihood of mixing with bacteria and causing stinky feet.
- Hormones—during times of hormonal change, such as puberty or pregnancy, you are more prone to foot odor
- Lifestyle—believe it or not, stress can cause foot odor as can the use of alcohol or drugs
- Medication—certain medications are linked to body odor.
- Bacterial or fungal infection—athlete’s foot and other infections can cause foot odor.
What You Can Do
If foot odor is an ongoing problem, consult one of our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Alec Hochstein or Dr. Diana Gagliano. If there is a medical reason for your bromodosis it will be necessary to treat the source of the problem. There are also some steps you can take on your own. Make sure that you wash your feet daily and dry completely. You can try spraying feet and shoes with a foot spray or even a regular underarm deodorant. Wear cotton socks and change them more than once a day if your feet are prone to excessive sweating. You can also try soaking your feet in tea or Espsom salts and water to help dry feet and eliminate bacteria.
For more information on how to care for your feet, contact our Great Neck office. If you have a medical condition that prevents you from getting to our office, ask about a home visit.