Why Do My Feet Smell So Bad?


The microbes on your skin and in the environment love dark and dank locations and conditions like those found inside your average pair of shoes. The fungi that produce a malodorous athlete’s foot infection are a favorite in many pairs of shoes. You can help to keep moisture and foot odor under control with medicated powders and sprays.

Some of the reasons for your smelly feet may include the following:

  • HyperhidrosisThis is a condition caused by extreme sweating in the armpits, the palms, and the soles of the feet. Using moisture-wicking socks and shoes and absorbent powder will help keep the foot sweating and resultant odor under control.
  • Infections on your skin—Your skin is host to millions of microbes, including bacteria and fungi that cause athlete’s foot and bacterial infections, not to mention an incredibly offensive odor.
  • Fungal toenailsThe odor that emirates from your toes when you have a severe fungal toenail infection can be quite disgusting. Since the brittleness and yellowing of the nails aren’t often painful, the smell may be what finally gets you to your foot doctor.

You can help control foot odor by keeping your feet clean and dry. If the cause is difficult to determine or if it reoccurs, contact your foot doctor for help. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. 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, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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