If you suffer from smelly feet, you know how embarrassing and uncomfortable it can be. Foot odor, clinically known as bromodosis, is a very common problem caused by sweat-loving bacteria that thrive in the warm and damp environment inside shoes. While there’s no cure for stinky feet, there are plenty of over-the-counter products that can help banish foot odor for good. Keep reading to learn about the best solutions for blasting away even the stinkiest of feet smells.
The Best Deodorants and Antiperspirants for Feet
Just like the underarms, the feet have apocrine sweat glands that produce sweat rich in proteins and nutrients that bacteria feast on. The more these bacteria munch, the more they multiply and produce pungent foot odor. The best defense is to use an antiperspirant or antimicrobial deodorant formulated specifically for the feet. These products stop sweat production and bacterial growth on contact, preventing odors before they start.
Look for products containing aluminum salts like aluminum chloride, which plug sweat ducts to temporarily stop perspiration. Aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex gly is another excellent sweat-blocking ingredient. Other beneficial ingredients include antibacterial actives like triclosan to inhibit bacteria growth. The best foot deodorants and antiperspirants are available as sprays, powders, creams, roll-ons, and convenient on-the-go wipes. For best results, apply them to clean, dry feet and between the toes daily after showering and before putting on shoes and socks. Reapply as needed throughout the day if your feet get sweaty.
Antifungal Shoes, Socks, and Insoles
Along with bacteria, yeast like candida albicans can also flourish in the damp foot environment and contribute to itching, burning, and foot odor. That’s why using antifungal products is crucial for preventing smelly feet. Look for shoes, socks, and insoles embedded with silver particles, activated charcoal, copper, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and other ingredients with anti-fungal properties to inhibit yeast and bacteria growth.
Replace your old shoes regularly with fresh pairs made of breathable, odor-resistant materials. Alternate between different pairs to allow them to fully dry out between wears. Choose moisture-wicking socks made of synthetic blends or wool over cotton, as they inhibit microbial growth by keeping feet dryer. Replace insoles every few months or when they start smelling. Disinfect old shoes by sprinkling antibacterial foot powder inside before storing. These preventive footcare habits will keep your feet fresh all day long.
Soaks and Scrubs for Treating Odors
When pesky foot odor strikes, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Soaking feet in an antimicrobial solution followed by scrubbing with a pumice stone removes bacteria, dead skin cells, and calluses where smelly microbes can hide. Look for soaks containing Epsom salts to draw out impurities, as well as eucalyptus, tea tree oil, menthol, and other essential oils to neutralize odors and cool and revive tired feet. For an intensive foot detox, apply an exfoliating foot scrub or mask after soaking to slough off layers of dead skin and deeply cleanse pores. Follow up with an alcohol-free toner filled with antibacterials like witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to prevent future odor issues by restoring skin’s pH balance.
For on-the-spot odor relief, foot wipes and sprays containing alcohol, witch hazel, and antibacterial essential oils conveniently cleanse and deodorize feet anytime, anywhere. Stash them in your bag, car, gym locker, or office desk drawer for a quick refresh when funky foot smell strikes. Some products also contain mint, eucalyptus, menthol, or tea tree oil for an instant cooling effect that provides additional odor-fighting benefits.
Oral Supplements and Probiotics
Would you believe that what you ingest can majorly impact how your feet smell? Well, it’s true! Certain oral supplements and probiotics support healthy foot odor by fighting microbes from the inside out. Chlorophyll supplements purportedly neutralize odors by binding to compounds that cause smelly feet. Probiotics balance gut bacteria tied to body odor when overgrown. Zinc regulates sweat glands and reduces foot sweat that feeds odor-causing bacteria. Magnesium salts and B vitamins soothe stressed feet and may inhibit microbial metabolic processes that produce foul foot smells.
While research is still emerging in these areas, preliminary studies show promise for various oral supplements in combatting bromodosis. So if you’ve tried every topical foot product out there with no lasting luck banishing your foot odor woes, experimenting with internal odor fighters could help get to the root of the smelly feet problem. Just be sure to check with your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially in large doses.
Blast Away Foot Odor for Good
If you’re tired of hiding your embarrassing foot smell, give these proven solutions a try to show stinky feet the door once and for all. Consistently using antimicrobial foot products, moisture-wicking shoes and socks, exfoliating scrubs, and supplements establishes preventive foot care habits that inhibit microbial growth behind foot odor. Don’t let smelly feet hold you back another day—take control of bromodosis and feel confident in your own shoes again with these dermatologist-recommended tips and products!