If you suffer from peeling, smelly feet, you know how embarrassing and uncomfortable this condition can be. The peeling skin and foul odors seem impossible to control at times. However, with consistent care and treatment, you can banish peeling, stinky feet for good. This article will explore the common causes of peeling, smelly feet and provide tips to resolve this issue once and for all.
What Causes Peeling, Smelly Feet
Several key factors can cause excessively peeling, foul-smelling feet:
Excessive Sweating and Moisture
Too much moisture from heavy sweating leads to the softening and breakdown of skin on the feet. This causes peeling and cracks in the skin that enable odor-causing bacteria to thrive.
Athlete’s foot and other fungal infections feed on keratin, a key protein in skin, hair, and nails. As the infection progresses, it causes increased skin peeling and a characteristic foul foot odor.
When feet are not washed regularly, sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria accumulate. This creates an ideal environment for foot odor, infections, and peeling skin.
Harsh Soaps and Scrubs
Washing with harsh soaps, medicated acne washes, or rough loofahs can strip away protective skin oils and irritate skin. This can worsen peeling and dryness over time.
How to Banish Peeling, Smelly Feet
While peeling, smelly feet can seem impossible to manage, with a simple routine of consistent foot care and hygiene, you can resolve this issue for good. Follow these tips:
Wash Feet Daily
Make a daily foot wash part of your self-care routine. Use a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. Be sure to scrub between toes and pat feet completely dry before putting on socks.
Apply Foot Powder
Sprinkle antifungal foot powder inside shoes and socks to help absorb moisture and body odors. Arrowroot, talc, and cornstarch powders also help dry excess sweat.
Use Antifungal Treatments
Over-the-counter antifungal sprays, powders, and creams can treat athlete’s foot and similar infections that cause peeling, smelly feet. Use daily as directed. Prescription options are also available for more stubborn infections.
Use a foot scrubber or pumice stone to gently remove dead, peeling skin. Focus on callused areas but avoid scrubbing too hard, which further irritates skin.
Massage moisturizer daily into clean feet, concentrating on cracked heels and peeling areas. Thick urea or salicylic acid creams work best to soften and hydrate feet.
Wear Moisture-Wicking Socks
Choose athletic socks made with moisture-wicking fabrics. These help keep feet dryer by absorbing sweat away from skin. Change socks at least twice daily if feet are excessively sweaty.
Use Antiperspirant Spray
Applying clinical-strength antiperspirant sprays or wipes to the feet can reduce sweating, which allows skin to heal and inhibits bacteria growth. Reapply daily, especially before wearing shoes.
Avoid Tight, Non-Breathable Shoes
Give feet a break from the rub of constricting shoes. When possible, wear leather or mesh shoes and sandals that “breathe” and allow airflow to feet to prevent excessive sweating and moisture buildup inside shoes.
See a Podiatrist If Needed
Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist if over-the-counter remedies do not resolve chronically peeling, smelly feet. The podiatrist can assess for underlying conditions and provide prescription medications that may be more effective. Custom orthotics may also help.
It can take several weeks of diligent foot care for skin to heal, fungi and bacteria to be killed off, and odors to dissipate. Stick with the treatment plan and know that banning peeling, smelly feet for good is an achievable goal!
The Path to Happy, Healthy Feet
Having peeling, foul-smelling feet can be embarrassing and seem impossible to fix at times. However, with the right foot care regimen, anyone can resolve this issue for good. Be patient, consistent about proper cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing, and use antifungal treatments as needed. With time, you will banish unsightly peeling skin and foot odors. You’ll be back to happy, healthy feet again!