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Smelly feet aren't fun for anyone, but there is an effective, simple and cheap treatment that you can use at home which will banish foot odour within a week.
Medically known as bromodosis, stinky feet are a common year-round problem.
The main cause is sweaty feet combined with wearing the same shoes every day.
Anyone can get sweaty feet, regardless of the temperature or time of year. But teenagers and pregnant women are especially prone because hormonal changes make them sweat more.
You're also more likely to have foot perspiration if you're on your feet all day, if you're under a lot of stress or if you have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, which makes you sweat more than usual. Fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, can also lead to bad foot odour.
According to podiatrist, Lorraine Jones, feet become smelly if sweat soaks into shoes and they don't dry before you wear them again.
Bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores. A cheesy odour is released as the sweat decomposes.
"Your feet sweat into your shoes all day so they get damp and bacteria start to grow. The bacteria continue to breed once you've taken your shoes off, especially if you put them in a dark cupboard. Then, when you put your shoes back on the next day, even if you've just had a shower, putting your feet into still damp shoes creates the perfect conditions for the bacteria to thrive – warm, dark and moist."
The good news is that there's a simple, quick, sure-fire solution to smelly feet.
According to Lorraine, "if you do this twice a day, you'll definitely banish smelly feet within a week."
She adds that you shouldn't use Hibiscrub on your feet if you have broken skin, such as eczema.
Keeping feet fresh and sweet smelling is all down to good personal hygiene and changing your shoes regularly. To keep feet fresh:
If you're particularly susceptible to sweaty feet, it's a good idea to:
Smelly feet are a harmless problem that generally clears up. Sometimes, however, it can be a sign of a medical condition.
See your doctor if simple measures to reduce your foot odour don't help, or if you're worried that your level of sweating is abnormally high.
Your doctor can offer you a strong prescription antiperspirant or refer you for a treatment called iontophoresis, which delivers a mild electric current through water to your feet to combat excessive sweating.
Here are more tips on how to look after your feet.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.