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How Do I Stop My Feet From Sweating and Smelling?

If you deal with uncomfortably sweaty feet and the resulting embarrassing odors, take heart that this frustrating issue can be controlled. While some sweating in feet is natural, excess moisture paired with smelly feet usually indicates a problem requiring targeted intervention. Fortunately, by understanding root causes of excessive foot perspiration and odor and consistently applying the right hygiene and treatment methods, you can successfully tame this issue. Learn what triggers overactive sweat glands in feet, smart prevention techniques, best moisture wicking products, and when to pursue advanced medical options for lasting relief. With diligent foot care, you will stop excess sweat and odor in their tracks.

Diagnosing the Problem

When assessing the reasons behind excessive foot sweat and odor, consider factors like:

  • Genetics: Those with a family history of sweat issues often struggle too due to high concentration of sweat glands already.
  • Weight and Fitness Level: Excess weight or poor cardiovascular fitness stresses the sweat gland system.
  • Age and Hormonal Changes: As hormone levels fluctuate from puberty to menopause, increases in foot sweat can occur.
  • Diet and Hydration Status: Consuming spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine can spark sweat, as can dehydration. Pay attention after intake of these items.
  • External Triggers: Heat, humidity, and anxiety also over-activate the complex sweat response, including in feet. Notice when environmental shifts or stress precede sweat and smell flare-ups.

Once you identify your specific triggers, you can start avoiding or managing them appropriately to rein in moisture and odor issues before they start.

Prevention Basics

Fortunately, a consistent daily foot care regimen focused on prevention goes a long way towards stopping excess sweat and smell at the source. Key steps include:

  • Washing feet thoroughly with antibacterial soap, especially between toes
  • Drying feet completely after every wash, even between toes
  • Applying antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride to soles nightly
  • Using antibacterial and anti-fungal foot powder inside shoes and socks
  • Wearing moisture-wicking socks whenever possible
  • Allowing shoes a full 24 hours to dry out between wearings
  • Alternating pairs of shoes daily to facilitate drying time
  • Replacing insoles regularly to avoid bacteria and odor build-up

Pay special attention to proper drying in between toes and using products containing ingredients that battle odor and infection-causing bacteria and fungi.

Advanced Moisture Control Options

Over-the-counter antiperspirants and powders provide an accessible first line of defense, but you can up your arsenal with prescription-strength treatments for more troublesome cases of foot sweat.

Prescription Antiperspirants

Your dermatologist can prescribe heavy-duty antiperspirants containing up to 30% aluminum chloride for hand and foot application. By temporarily plugging sweat ducts, these stop excess sweat at the source for longer lasting dryness compared to low-dose drugstore varieties. Reapplication is key for ongoing effectiveness.


This medical device uses mild electrical current to minimize activity in sweat glands. Guided by a dermatologist, you place feet in shallow water, then run electric current through for around 15 minutes per session. After consistent sessions, excess foot sweating reduces substantially in most patients.

Oral Medications

If you experience whole-body hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) along with smelly and sweaty feet, your doctor may explore medications like anticholinergics in pill form to address overactive sweat signals from the nervous system. These work to curb overall sweating.

Botox Injections

As a final resort, targeted Botox injections stop sweat and odor issues at the glandular source for some months at a time. However, this requires very precise administration to foot sweat gland zones by an experienced dermatologist or podiatrist.

Be Prepared to Stick with It

All foot odor and moisture reduction regimens require diligent adherence and consistency over time to yield lasting results and zero in on your optimal plan. Pay close attention to how your feet respond to lifestyle changes, hygiene techniques, various products, and advanced treatments should you add those to your regimen. Don’t give up too quickly before seeing a measurable change. With coordinated effort and patience, you will hit upon the right sweat and odor obstruction formula tailored to your situation. Take back confidence and comfort by stopping excess foot sweat and smell for good. Your feet will thank you!