3 Causes of Smelly Feet

Foot odor is a problem faced by nearly everybody and the condition is caused for the most part by the tendency of our feet to sweat excessively. There are literally hundreds of sweat glands in the feet and some of the resultant moisture that is produced gets trapped by your shoes and socks allowing bacteria and fungi to find a happy home.

The unchecked growth of bacteria and fungi and other microorganisms that feed on the sweat creates byproducts as they feed and it is these byproducts that create the malodorous fumes.

3 main contributors to having smelly feet include the following:

  • Sweat—Your sweat all by itself isn’t usually the actual cause of the smell. However, the bacteria that feed on the sweat molecules release chemicals that smell bad. Drying out your shoes between wearings and keeping your feet clean and dry can decrease the microbes and the smell.
  • Skin and nail infections—Athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections are both caused by the same fungi. One of the telltale signs of a fungal nail infection is the terrible odor emanating from your tootsies.
  • Hyperhidrosis—This is an unfortunate skin condition that causes extreme sweating of the palms, underarms, and soles of the feet where the extra moisture fuels fungal and bacterial infections and the lovely smell that comes with them.

See your podiatrist to determine if your foot odor may be caused by an underlying problem. At Your Next Step, we have a dedicated team of board-certified podiatrists to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. Common issues they treat include sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Podiatrists Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown, PA. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment today!

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