Why Do Feet Stink And How Can You Eliminate The Smell?

There is nothing more unattractive than stinky feet. Period.

We’ve all experience it at one point or another, and we all know that it is quite unpleasant!

Pulling on a pair of unwashed socks, wearing shoes for a long period of time without removing them, or just old-school sweating in the feet… whatever the reason, the reaction of others to your stinky feet will always be something like this:

When and Why Do People Have Stinky Feet?

Our feet begin to smell when they are kept in an enclosed space (in most cases, our shoes) for a prolonged period of time. Also, unwashed (or wet) socks, or not wearing socks at all, can cause your feet to reek.

Where there are stinking feet, there is (in most cases) sweat. What’s interesting to note is that sweat itself is odorless, i.e., it does not have any smell of its own. However, when it comes together with a few other conditions, things start to smell pretty bad.

Like with many other problems, bacteria are to blame. There are certain conditions that these bacteria particularly enjoy, so they begin to multiply, increasing the stench coming from your feet. Some of these conditions include:

1. Moisture

2. Warmth

3. Source of oxygen

4. Nutrients

These conditions mean that bacteria have the sudden idea to start a family in that particular part of the body. Now, can you guess which part of our body satisfies all these conditions perfectly?

Feet in Bed

Credits:Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

Why Are Feet the Best Spot for this Stench?

When we wear shoes for a long time, sweat becomes trapped there, making conditions wetter and warmer than in any other part of the body. Next comes the source of nutrients for bacteria, i.e., what they depend on to survive. The dead skin cells in the feet are the ideal place for these bacteria to feed and multiply.

What else do bacteria need? Nothing! They have everything they need to start a large family – right on your feet.

Therefore, when these bacteria feast on these resources, they release some really nasty smelling gas, which is the real cause of the stench. These stinky waste products include these three things: methanethiol, propanoic acid and isovaleric acid. Pretty gross, eh?

Stench Control

For tackling the nasty smell from your feet, there are a few areas that you need to target. These are: sweat, dead skin and, of course, bacteria.

To do this, you should wash your feet with some type of anti-bacterial soap. Also, using a pumice stone can help in removing the dead skin cells from your feet. It should go without saying that you need to wash your socks regularly so that the pores of the cloth do not become clogged. A pair of cotton socks would really help with the stench, as this material helps to let moisture out. Keeping your feet and shoes dry is the real key, however. Make sure that your shoes are dry, simply by keeping them in the sun, so that no moisture is trapped inside.

Pretty good tricks, right? It seems simple enough, yet stinky feet are still a universal problem! Don’t count yourself among the smelly masses and keep these practical tips in mind!


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About the Author:

Ashish is a Science graduate (Bachelor of Science) from Punjabi University (India). He spends a lot of time watching movies, and an awful lot more time discussing them. He likes Harry Potter and the Avengers, and obsesses over how thoroughly Science dictates every aspect of life… in this universe, at least.

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