The issue of smelly and stinking feet is scientifically known as bromhidrosis. There are two factors that contribute to foot odour – sweat and bacteria. When your body sweats to cool itself, you not only lose water, but proteins and fats. The moisture, proteins and fats, combined with a low to no light environment breed bacteria. Sweat itself does not lead to foot odour, it is the bacteria that grow in the sweat that cause the foul smell because they give off a kind of gas as they feed on the dead skin cells of the feet, proteins and amino acids in the sweat.
It’s not just your body sweating and the bacteria that makes for the smelly cocktail, there are many other reasons too. Your body’s overall condition, or your health, determines body odour. Studies show that body odour is actually a sign of toxicity. This may be an indication of liver or intestinal congestion, or dietary imbalances resulting in constipation. When elimination is not sufficient, your body is holding on to toxins, and those toxins find a way out, one way or another. Deficiency of magnesium and zinc may be other causes of body odour. Another culprit is anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria flourish when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen. As the body’s metabolism goes to work, it gives off odours that are the body’s way of ridding itself of waste products. Any imbalances to metabolism will result in stronger odours.Also things like using the same shoes over a long period or reusing your socks caused the bad smell. Then there is the actual maintenance of your feet. Washing, drying, powdering regularly are necessary care measures that many leave unattended, yet have a serious impact on your overall cleanliness, and stinking feet.Here is a list of time-tested home remedies that can help eliminate foot odour without causing any side effects.
Epsom salt is widely used in foot soaks in order to achieve soft and smooth skin. It is one of the best home remedies which fights microbial infections and neutralizes foot odour. The astringent properties of the salt reduce sweat in the feet. The detoxifying properties of Epsom salt also help in relieving aching feet by driving out the toxins from the body which include bacteria, fungus, and dead skin cells. Add 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in half a bucket of warm water. Immerse your feet in the soak for 15 minutes every night.
Sage and Rosemary
Both sage and rosemary have powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties which help in killing foot odour causing bacteria. The tannic acid found in sage has astringent properties which reduce the production of sweat from the sweat glands. Less sweat means fewer bacteria. Sage is also used as a remedy for hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.Fill a bucket with hot water and add 1 tablespoon each of dried sage and rosemary to it and let it steep till you can put your feet in the water in a comfortable way. Soak your feet in this infusion for 20 minutes. You can also put a few dried sage leaves inside your shoes to cut out the smell from the shoes.
Baking Soda and Lemon
Baking soda stabilizes the pH of the skin and prevents the growth of odour-causing bacteria and fungus. It also helps in making the skin of your feet soft and smooth. Lemons have astringent properties that reduce sweat production and also provide a refreshing scent to your feet.Add 1/4th cup of baking soda to 8 cups of lukewarm water and add the juice of 1 whole lemon to it. Soak your feet in this infusion for 20 minutes.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It is one of the best natural foot odour remedies that show immediate results. The acidic environment created by apple cider vinegar makes it difficult for the bacteria to survive. It also helps in regulating the pH level of the skin and getting rid of the odour-causing bacteria permanently.Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to 5 cups of warm water and soak your feet in this concoction for 15 minutes.
Black tea not only provides your body with useful antioxidants and works as one of the most potent hair fall home remedies, but it is also a powerful remedy to remove foot odour. The tannic acid in black tea kills the odour-producing bacteria, and its astringent properties shrink the pores so that the mouth of sweat is reduced, which usually functions as the breeding ground for bacteria. You can refresh your feet with a black tea soak.Put 2 black tea bags in 3 cups of boiling water and boil till the tea is strong. Add it to half bucket of normal water and soak your feet in this tea solution.
Apart from these foot soaks, good foot hygiene is very important.
* Clean your feet on a daily basis by washing them with soap and lukewarm water
* Scrub your feet periodically in order to remove dead skin cells
* Always keep your feet fresh and dry.
* Use antiperspirant
* Always use cotton socks which let your feet breathe
* Wear fresh socks every day
* Wear open toe shoes when possible
* Rotate your shoes and keep them clean and dry