We all love our fathers, husbands, and grandfathers and we at the FAAWC wish them a very Happy Father’s Day. However, while we love them unconditionally, we could live without their smelly feet. The medical term for smelly feet is bromodosis and the cause can be linked back to bacteria living on your feet.
When we wear socks and close toed shoes our feet can sweat. Going to the gym, playing sports, moving the lawn, and running around to finish the “honey-do” list can make a man’s feet sweat profusely. Remember, our feet have more sweat glands than any other part of our body. The damp and dark conditions within our shoes provide the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. Sweat itself is odorless, but the bacteria on our feet eat the sweat and produce an acid byproduct that smells.
You may be thinking that you aren’t susceptible to this because you wear your shoes without socks, but that may be even worse. When is the last time you washed the inside of your shoes? If you are like most people, probably never. Any sweat inside your shoes that is not absorbed by your socks can lead to mold and fungus growth, which can increase odor and even lead to other foot problems.
There are many ways to prevent and treat sweaty and smelly feet. First of all, think about the types of socks you wear. Polyester and nylon socks don’t allow our feet to breathe as well as cotton and can contribute to bacteria growth. You can also look for specific moisture wicking socks. You can find these at sporting and camping stores or at your local podiatrist. If you need something dressy, go for merino wool. It may sound hot, but the properties of wool actually keep your feet cool and dry.
If you wear closed toed shoes without socks (ladies, this is probably you with shoes like flats or heels) then slip your shoes off momentarily when you feel them getting sweaty. Let the sweat evaporate for a couple of minutes and then slip your shoes back on. This will keep the interior of your shoes dry and clean.
You can get several foot sweat remedies from your podiatrist. Medicated foot powders, gels, or even odor absorbing insoles are great solutions for smelly feet.
Of course, we can’t forget that simply taking good care of our feet in the first place can help us avoid smelly feet. Checking your feet for cracked or dry skin and removing it carefully with direction from your podiatrist can help lessen smelly feet. And don’t forget to wash your feet! Scrub them gently in the shower with an anti-bacterial soap and dry them completely when you get out before putting on socks and shoes. From everyone at the Foot and Ankle Wellness Center, have a Happy Father's Day.
We all love our dads, but we could do without their smelly feet. Instead of another tie this Father’s Day, consider some moisture wicking socks or a pair of supportive open toed sandals. Of course, no matter what you get him, he will always love you back.