Smelly feet are a common problem that many people face. The odor can be embarrassing and negatively impact self-confidence. While there are many commercial products marketed to combat foot odor, natural solutions like essential oils can also be effective. One popular essential oil known for its pleasant floral scent is lavender oil. Using lavender oil is an easy and affordable remedy to help reduce smelly feet. But how long does it take to actually see results?
When using lavender oil for foot odor, most people can expect to notice improvements within 1-2 weeks of daily application. However, some factors like the severity of the odor and consistency of use can affect the timeframe. Here is an overview of how lavender oil works on smelly feet and what kind of timeline you can expect to start seeing results.
Why Lavender Oil Helps With Foot Odor
Lavender oil contains potent antifungal and antibacterial properties that help combat foot odor in several ways. The main causes of smelly feet are overgrown bacteria and fungi.
Some common foot bacteria like Bacillus subtilis are known to cause foot odor. The linalool and linalyl acetate compounds found in lavender oil have been shown in studies to inhibit the growth of these bacteria.
A type of fungus called dermatophytes that grow on the skin can also lead to foot odor. Lavender oil has antifungal effects against dermatophytes like T. rubrum that prevents fungal overgrowth.
In addition, lavender oil helps reduce excessive sweating which can worsen foot odor. The oil has antimicrobial and soothing properties that help control sweat and body odor.
By attacking the root causes, using lavender oil over time can start reducing foot odor and leave feet smelling fresher.
When Initial Results May Become Noticeable
Most sources suggest it can take 1-2 weeks of using lavender oil until noticeable improvements in foot odor occur. However, some people may begin noticing a difference sooner than that timeline.
After the first 1-3 applications of lavender oil, you may get hints that the oil is starting to work. The floral smell can help overpower unpleasant foot odors. But it will take longer for the antifungal and antibacterial properties to take effect and reduce the smell at its source.
Within the first week, if applying lavender oil to feet daily, people may notice foot odor decreasing slightly. But the smell may not yet be completely eliminated.
It can take a full 2 weeks of consistent, daily use before lavender oil significantly reduces foot odor and brings longer-lasting results. In some cases, it may take closer to 3-4 weeks before the antimicrobial properties fully kill the bacteria and fungi behind the smell.
To expedite results, apply lavender oil to clean feet 2 times a day. The antimicrobial compounds need time to soak in and work. Using it for 2 weeks should yield the best results. But even after, continue applying lavender oil regularly to control odor.
Factors That May Speed Up or Slow Down Results
Several factors can influence how quickly you notice lavender oil improving foot odor including:
- Severity of odor – For milder cases, results may come faster while severe foot odor may take longer.
- Consistency of use – Using lavender oil 1-2 times daily will produce faster results than occasional use.
- Type of lavender oil – Higher quality, pure lavender oils are more effective than perfumes or products with diluted lavender oil.
- Cleansing routine – Taking steps like washing feet with antibacterial soap and exfoliating can accelerate the effects.
- Foot hygiene habits – Consistently wearing clean socks, rotating shoes, and washing feet daily leads to better results.
- Medical conditions – Certain medical issues like hyperhidrosis that cause excessive sweating can delay results.
While it will take 1-2 weeks on average to see improvements, being patient and diligent with applying lavender oil for several weeks provides the best chance to combat smelly feet.
If after 1 month foot odor remains unchanged or gets worse, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist or dermatologist. An underlying medical issue could be contributing to the smell.
How to Use Lavender Oil for Smelly Feet
Using pure lavender oil is simple and straight-forward. Here are some tips for applying it directly to feet:
- Clean feet by washing with soap and water, then drying thoroughly especially between the toes.
- Pour a few drops of lavender essential oil onto palms and rub hands together.
- Massage oil over entire foot area, focusing on soles and toes where odors emit most.
- Allow feet to air dry rather than wiping off excess oil.
- Use twice daily for best effects, such as morning after showering and before bed.
- Store oil in a dark bottle away from sunlight to preserve its properties when not in use.
- Avoid using lavender oil undiluted right after shaving legs or feet, as it may cause irritation.
- Alternate between different pairs of shoes and socks each day to allow proper airing out.
While it takes some patience and discipline, using lavender oil can be an inexpensive and convenient way to combat foot odor issues. With regular use over 1-2 weeks, most people find their feet start to smell fresher and more pleasant. Combining lavender oil with proper foot hygiene provides longer-lasting relief from embarrassing foot smells.