Foot Odor

Smelly feet resulting in foot odor affects many people, and is often similar to athlete's foot in its origin and epidemiology, if the skin between the toes or the skin along the heels becomes white, is flaky looking or itchy-then the cause of the odor is probably athlete's foot. In certain individuals, the sweat glands occurring along the soles of the feet become overactive and secrete a lot of sweat-though all individuals have many sweat glands in the soles of the feet, it is only in some individuals that this hyperactivity occurs due to various reasons.

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The use of antiperspirants is not suggested when dealing with extremely sweaty feet as sweating is how the body regulates levels of water, minerals and temperature in a natural and normal fashion-therefore antiperspirants will only interfere with this regulation and their use will not solve the problem. The odor must be eliminated through natural methods and preventive measures are the best way to go about the task.

Bacterial action is the main cause of all kinds of body odor, this includes the odor produced by the feet, normal bacteria found on the skin break down the sweat released from the skin and produce chemicals which are foul smelling.

Some factors may increase the chances for foot odor, for example air is not able to circulate properly if a person wears socks and shoes made only of synthetic materials-though these fabrics promote sweating, they restrict the flow of air and damp air gets trapped in the region surrounding the feet, this increases the bacterial population and encourages the growth of other pathogens.

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In the summer, feet often sweat excessively due to the increased temperatures; at such times walking in sandals or walking barefoot is a particularly helpful way of combating the odor and preventing the growth of bacteria. Accumulated dirt and perspiration will be decomposed by bacteria to create an odor if feet are not washed immediately after strenuous activity or following a day spent wearing shoes-it is important to wash the feet thoroughly everyday and particularly after exercising.

It is important to change the shoes on a daily basis, letting them dry and aerating them properly-this practice will impede bacterial growth and resulting odor while being healthy for the foot muscles.

The presence of a kidney disorder or liver problems, where wastes cannot properly be eliminated from the body can also bring about foot odor along with bad body odor as a part of a systemic disorder due to the accumulation of toxins within the body of the individual concerned.

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Supplements and herbs

The use of different food supplements cannot treat the presence of foot odor that is caused by the use of athletic shoes that restrict the circulation of air around the feet of the person. Systemic problems that cause foot odor can however, be treated by changing to dietary supplements that deodorize and detoxify the body. Deodorization and detoxification of the body can be achieved through dietary changes using green food supplements-these foods are rich in chlorophyll, the active compound that helps detoxify the body and removes odor at the same time.

Systemic elimination of foot odor is possible through the regulated use of many of the herbal remedies given here, these stimulate the liver and the kidneys and help the body to rapidly detoxify and eliminate all toxins causing odors in the body.

Use the herbal extracts or infusions made from the fir needle, and herbs like the horsetail, the sage or some oak bark infusion to wash the feet every morning and in the evenings.

These herbal remedies will help in the absorption of moisture from the feet and promote healthy skin-the best method is to use these herbs to wash feet several times as a day, this is effective especially for people who have a very bad case of foot odor. If used continuously for several weeks at a stretch, the herbal extracts of sage will prove itself to be an excellent remedy in the elimination of foot odor. An herbal tea prepared from the sage can be taken at doses of about a quart of tea every day.


Aromatherapy is an excellent way to treat foul smelling feet, which is a widespread problem. Using remedies prepared from innate essential oils on a regular basis can cure this condition.

Generally, food odor is attributed to fungal disorder or unhealthy dietary habits, such as drinking excessive beer or too much consumption of foods having a potent odor for some time. In effect, clary sage and geranium are among the most excellent essential oils for curing food odor, as they possess anti-fungal, anti-bacterial as well as deodorant attributes. In addition, essential oils of eucalyptus and peppermint are also known to possess deodorant, anti-septic and cooling attributes and may be helpful in treating foot odor.

In order to do aromatherapy, add two drops of either of the essential oils mentioned above (or a blend of two or more essential oils) to some tepid water in a tub. Fill two-thirds of the tub and immerse your feet in the ankle-high water for roughly 15 to 20 minutes or till the water remains warm.

Alternately, you may put about one-fourth cup baking powder (sodium bicarbonate and some acid) into a plastic bag having a zip lock. Subsequently, add any essential oil (or a blend of them) to the baking powder directly. Close the bag and thoroughly blend them. Cover your feet with this blended powder no less than once every day and also put one teaspoon of the powder in your shoes and leave it for the night. Remove the powder from the shoes on the following morning before using them. It is important that you store this blended powder in a sealed or airtight container.

You may also combine tea tree oil with either geranium oil or sage oil to get rid of the foul smell from your feet and make them as well as your shoes and socks smell pleasant. Sage and geranium essential oils possess anti-fungal attributes and, hence, they have the aptitude to get rid of the main root of the foul odor, in addition to the odor.

The essential oils of rose and lavender have potent, pleasing fragrances and, therefore, if you do not opt for geranium or sage oils, you may use any of these essential oils with tea tree oil. You may blend these oils with water and spray the mixture on your feet as well as into the sneakers. Alternately, you may use the blended oils to massage your feet. However, before you use these essential oils onto your skin, it is essential to water them down using tea tree oil, because essential oils are always present in high concentrations.

In order to get rid of the foul smell as well as dampness in the shoes, you should sprinkle a little baking soda in them during the evening and leave it for the night. You may make an aromatic baking soda blend by adding a few drops of any of the above mentioned essential oils and storing the mixture in an airtight container.

Ensure that you do not use the essential oils in excess, for it will change the powder into a paste. You may also take a comforting foot bath by adding some drops of preferred essential oils and some black tea to your bath water and heating it. Black tea possesses acidic properties that help to restrain the bacteria responsible for foot odour, while the essential oil generates a pleasing fragrance that remains on your feet for some time.

Additional things you may do

It is very essential for people affected by a foot odour problem to wash their feet every mornings and evening on a regular basis, and even washing feet several times a day, or as and when necessary will keep foot odour at bay. Use bath water fortified with a tbsp. of wine vinegar for every quart of water if excessive sweating is the problem. Walk barefoot as often as possible and try to wear open shoes made using natural fiber-sandals are a good choice in summer. It is very important to change cotton socks frequently.

You can effectively avoid having foot odour by inculcating hygienic practices every day, for instance, was your feet using anti-bacterial soap; keeping your feet thoroughly dry all the time; applying fragrant foot spray or powder; and changing your shoes and socks regularly. In case these precautionary steps do not yield the desired results, it is advisable to check with your physician regarding more potent medicines like aluminum chloride hexahydrate (20% solution).

If you are enduring foot odour, you may also consider using electric current appliances, which entail passing of electric current via the skin with a view to get rid of sweating - this is effective in preventing perspiration for more than a few weeks. Provided your case is very severe, you may undergo a minor surgery to cure the problem. This surgery involves safely cutting off the nerves responsible for sweating.

A number of natural medications have also found to be effective in getting rid of foul foot odour. These alternative therapies include using herbal medications and homeopathic remedies that possess purifying and cleansing attributes and, at the same time, help in keeping the entire body fresh all the times.

Usual dosage

Supplements of green food, two tbsp.


From Eve - Jun-01-2013
Try coconut oil (the type which solidifies at room temperature). Smear on feet before you go to bed. No smelly feet the next day.
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