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I'd really like some advice on what helps to cure stinky feet. My boyfriend has an all-year round embarrassing problem with sweaty and smelly feet. He's really careful about personal hygiene, washes his feet at least twice a day and changes socks frequently. However, it does nothing to stop his stinky foot odor. I was wondering if there are any natural home remedies besides botox that might be able to get rid of smelly feet. Thank you. – Nicole, Texas.


10 Smelly Feet Remedies to Stop Foot Odor


Hi Nicole,

Smelly feet, or bromodosis in medical terms, is not uncommon and can affect anyone regardless of age and gender. However, teenagers and pregnant women tend to suffer from bad foot odor more than others because of hormonal changes which increase sweating.

You are also more likely to get smelly feet if you have hyperhidrosis (a condition that cause excessive sweating), or stand up all day, or under a great deal of stress. Certain fungal infections such as athlete's foot (also known as tinea pedis) can produce strong odor that causes your feet to smell really bad.

The main cause of foot odor is sweaty feet combined with wearing the same pair of shoes day in day out. Your feet have considerably more sweat glands than other parts of your body and they produce as much as half a pint of moisture every day. Putting on socks and shoes that do not allow evaporation aggravates the problem as it traps perspiration and heat. This in turn creates a breeding ground for bacteria, which gives off an unpleasant cheesy odor as the sweat decomposes. So watch out if you're a huge fan of Ugg boots or hosiery made of synthetic materials.

Therefore, the best thing to stop smelly feet is never wear the same shoes two or three days in a row. Instead, wear different shoes/trainers on consecutive days so that they can completely dry out the trapped moisture and prevent bacterial growth.

To get rid of foot odor problem, your man should also wash his feet with an antibacterial soap such as Hibiscrub and thoroughly dry his toes before wearing socks (natural fibers such as wool or cotton are best; avoid nylon). I would like to recommend Prolotex far infrared socks. These special therapeutic socks help retard bacterial growth and significantly reduce the bad-smelling odor.

While sprinkling talcum powder, cornstarch, baking soda or deodorizing foot powder inside shoes and socks will mask the offensive smell, but they will not cure foot odor. So use it together with other natural home remedies such as those listed below.

Natural home treatments may help stop smelly feet to a certain degree. However, if the problem persist, visit a doctor or dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Botox may be recommended if your man suffers from excessive sweating.


What Home Remedies Help Get Rid of Stinky Foot Odor?

1. Vinegar Smelly Feet Cure

Soaking your feet in vinegar and water can help reduce odor by temporarily drying up the sweat glands and absorb moisture while killing odor-producing bacteria. Take note, vinegar may sting if you have any cuts or abrasions on your feet.

Mix ⅓ cup apple cider or plain vinegar into a basin of warm water, and submerge your feet in the vinegar bath for 10-15 minutes, several times a week.



2. Tea Soak for Foot Odor

Another home remedy that works just as well is to soak your feet in black tea solution. Tea contains tannin, which acts as a natural astringent to shrink overactive sweat glands and prevents excessive sweating, thereby reducing smelly feet.  

Simply make a pint of strong tea with 3-4 regular tea bags and then dilute it with 4 pints of cool water. Soak for 30 minutes daily.



3. Epsom Salt Smelly Feet Remedy

If your beloved has extra-sweaty feet, try adding a small amount of table salt or Epsom salts (about ½ cup) to 1 quart of water, and soak feet about 10 minutes to remove foot odor.

You can also add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, or thyme oil, or eucalyptus oil to the foot soak. These essential oils have powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help fight foot odor. Another benefit, they soothe tired, aching feet and leave them smelling as fresh as daisy.



4. Lemon Rub Stinky Feet Treatment

Due to its acidic nature, lemon juice is an excellent antibacterial agent to fight bacteria that causes the overwhelming smell.

Cut a lemon in half and rub it on the soles of your feet. You can also dilute lemon juice with some water for a foot soak.



5. Ginger Detox Bath

Ginger stimulates blood circulation and helps remove body toxins through sweating. Try taking a hot bath with some fresh ginger root or 2-4 tablespoons ginger powder in it and have a good soak for 10-20 minutes.

Alternatively, mash a small knob of fresh ginger root into a pulp, and wrap it up in a handkerchief or piece of gauze. Immerse in hot water for a few minutes. Then rub the ginger liquid on each foot after your shower. For best results, use it every night for 2 weeks.



What Else You Can Do to Remove Smelly Feet

1. It is believed that eating too much strong-smelling foods such as onions, scallions and garlic, and spicy foods like curries, peppers and chilies will make the problem worse. Alcohol is also a known offender so it pays to go easy on the beer.


2. If your man needs more help with the smell, try an antiperspirant on his feet. There is no need to buy a pricey deodorant designed to combat smelly feet. A normal underarm antiperspirant – roll-on, spray, stick – will do the job just as well.

To make your own anti-stink foot spray, mix ¼ teaspoon glycerin with the juice of 2 dozen radishes (turnips). Pour into a spray bottle and spritz on toes to eliminate foot odor.


3. Dip a cotton ball in surgical spirit and dab it on the areas between your toes, after a shower or bath. It will help reduce sogginess and keep your feet dry.


4. Tea tree oil is proven to provide antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, and has been used to treat a wide range of skin conditions for years.

Rub some tea tree oil on your clean and dry feet. The oil will deodorize while killing any fungus or bacteria present.


5. Drinking plenty of water not only hydrates you, but can also keep smelly feet at bay. If your feet occasionally reek of ammonia (urine), it is time to drink an extra glass of water because toxins are  being sweated out instead of being released through urine.



By Diane Hanson


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