What's Really Causing Your Feet To Stink

We've all encountered the problem of stinky feet at one time or another. Whether they belong to you or someone else, foot odor can be an embarrassing problem. Have you ever wondered what's going on down there that's causing such a stench?

Most of the time, the culprit for the foul smell is bacteria. If you wear socks and closed-toe shoes on your feet for most of the day, at some point they're likely to sweat. This creates a prime environment for bacteria to grow. One type of bacteria found on feet, called brevibacterium, sets up shop right between your toes (via University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). These microorganisms smell like cheese, and believe it or not, are actually used in the creation of certain types of cheeses.

According to foot specialists at UnityPoint Health, teenagers and pregnant women seem to have some of the worst problems with foot odor. This is likely because their bodies are producing hormones that make their feet sweat more than usual. Stress can also lead to foot odor because it can also make you sweat more.

How to treat foot odor

While stinky feet can be problematic, you can solve the problem fairly easily. Experts at Healthline suggest a series of tips, including keeping your feet clean and dry as much as possible. Wash your feet daily, allowing them to completely dry before putting on shoes or socks.

Additionally, change your socks once a day. If your feet become sweaty through exercise or other activity, change them as soon as possible. Medicated, deodorant insoles are ideal for helping fight foot odor.

Also important, is to try not to wear the same pair of shoes every day because damp shoes promote bacterial growth. Giving your shoes a break will allow them to air out. Wear sandals when temperatures are warm and go barefoot inside to keep your feet dry.

If you have any rough skin on your feet, file it down. When rough skin gets damp, it gives bacteria a place to thrive. You can also dry out your feet at night by applying rubbing alcohol to them. If you do so, avoid getting any alcohol in cracked or rough areas.

To keep smelly feet under control, avoid tight shoes and wear socks that absorb moisture. Also, experiment with different types of antibacterial or antifungal soaps and sprays until you find one that works for you.