Let’s take a look at those stinky feet and shoes during the summer and how to avoid it while going sockless.
As the temperature starts to rise and the pavement becomes warm, we are all tempted to go sockless in our shoes.
That will breed bacterial growth and a terrible smell. We can take some action to avoid this embarrassing situation. First we need to learn the foundation of foot odor.
Shoes smell because your feet smell, therefore you need to reduce your foot odor (bromodosis) that can actually affect anyone. It all starts with sweat from our sweat glands that are meant to keep your feet moist, skin supple and aid in temperature regulation. Being hot makes you sweat even more. Other sweat glands do not secrete sweat all the time like your feet. When sweat is broken down by bacteria and fungi living on your skin, the smell begins. As sweat decomposes it produces a noticeable cheesy odor.
You can use alcohol, tea tree oil, newspaper or silica gel packs to reduce moisture and bacteria and will help to eliminate odor. Socks prevent smell because they absorb the sweat and bacteria. Replacing your socks daily will reduce the buildup of bacteria and decompose sweat that lines the insides of your favorite shoes. It also reduces the friction between your feet and shoes. A fungal infection called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) can also develop between your toes. Some symptoms might be cracked and bleeding skin, scaling skin, redness, itching, burning skin, macerated skin or skin breakdown, foot odor or blisters. It is sometimes associated with a fungal infection of the toenails.
Some tips to keep your shoes odor-free are wash and dry your feet, kill the bacteria, coconut oil, stay out of the dark, silica gel packs, tea tree oil, newspapers, sunlight, alcohol, alternate your shoes, replace with charcoal-containing insoles, salt, powder, soda, starch or litter. There are some things you should NOT do.
▪ Masking the smell with perfume will only mask the odor. Sweaty feet and perfume do NOT make for a good combination.
▪ Foot antiperspirants will also be adding chemicals to your body and eliminating the method your body uses to moisturize the skin on your feet.
▪ Freezing may reduce the odor in your shoes short-term, but does not kill the bacterial growing in your shoes. If you do choose to freeze, put them in a resealable bag and place in the freezer for several hours. But, if they don’t smell when removed, it may only take a day or two to re-establish the bacterial growth.
▪When all else fails to rid your shoes of the stench, return to your socks. Try the low-rise socks if you don’t want them to show over the top of your shoes. Ped socks or ped hosiery in dress shoes for women serves the same purpose of absorbing sweat and bacteria and do not show over the tops of their shoes.
So get out there, exercise, jog….whatever flips your switch…. and use some of the suggestions above to solve your stinky feet! No matter what, enjoy your summer.
-Dr. Fredda Branyon