There is no greater relief than taking off your shoes after a busy and long day. You’ve been on your feet since the early morning. Your shoes are tight, and it is quite hot in those socks. All this creates an extra sensitivity, so coming home is like going to the spa for your feet. However, almost half of the world’s population will not dare to take the shoes off in front of other people due to very unpleasant smells. The feet are not the most attractive part of the body. And if we give a lot of money and time for care and pedicure, there is one thing that will not have anything to do with it, and it will, again, make us feel uncomfortable – foot odor.
Sweat glands and bacteria, the leading causes of foot odor
Sometimes the best perfumes and most delicate fabrics cannot help with foot odor. It comes from sweat. The human body is covered with sweat all over its surface, but it doesn’t smell the same. The unpleasant odor comes from genitals or and armpits, which contain apocrine sweat glands. They contain amino acids and proteins that feed the bacteria on the skin. In fact, bacteria are the ones that give a stench. The rest of the body is covered with eccrine sweat glands that have no smell, it is tin and evaporates quickly.
If we are familiar with the fact that the human body contains 2 to 5 million sweat glands, only the feet have half a million. It means that the concentration of sweat is significantly higher on them than on the rest of the body. Through evolution, these glands were created at a time when people walked barefoot. Constant touch with the soil warmed the feet and developed sweat glands for the purpose of ‘cooling’.
Today, when glands cool us by sweat, it will not evaporate anywhere. Remains on the socks, in contact with the skin of your feet, alongside the bacteria, the leading cause of the foot odor. Bacteria feed on sweat. One of the representative samples is Brevibacterium linens that live on and eats the dry, dead skin. It also grows in warm, moist environments – just like sweaty socks. The bacteria degrade the amino acids and transform them into gas – methanethiol.
Staphylococcus epidermis is a bacteria that causes a lot of stronger foot odor. It is fed to another type of amino acid and produces an unbearably stinky isovaleric acid.
When the concentration of some of these bacteria on the feet increases, or even worse, comes to their combination, the result is stinking feet that even you can’t take by yourself.
What can we do to prevent and eliminate foot odor?
To eliminate the discomfort, or at least, to decrease it slightly, we need to beat the excessive sweating and bacteria. However, there are good bacteria that should not be removed from the skin. Here are some practical tips for eliminating foot odor:
– Use antibacterial soaps, sprays, powders, or shoe inserts.
– Use a pumice stone to remove dry and dead skin.
– Well-hydrated skin should be well dried with a towel after washing.
– Avoid synthetics and wear only woolen, cotton, cannabis, or bamboo fiber.
– Wear footwear made of natural materials that allow air flow.
– Try not to stay long in shoes and do not wear the same pair every day.
– Aerate your footwear and do not hold it in the cramped space.
– If none of the above even works in combination, try botox treatment.
Home products for the treatment of unpleasant foot odor
While you are at home, try to soak your feet in a tub of warm tea, because the tannic acid will have a drying effect. Try also with Epsom salts or make your own foot powder by mixing one tablespoon of incredible baking soda with a few drops of essential oils. Spray the powder on your feet and in your shoes. The baking soda is absorbent and creates an alkaline environment, which is not so bacteria friendly. Oils smell not only fantastic, but also have antibacterial qualities.