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Why Do My Socks Smell So Bad? Sweaty Feet

Why Do My Socks Smell So Bad?
Tips for Sweaty Feet | Smelly Feet

Why do My Socks Smell So Bad? Sweaty Feet (Bromodosis)

Feet smell caused by feet sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, is a very common cause of smelling socks. Nearly 15% of people have very smelly feet only because of bacteria that grow on sweaty skin.  Because feet sweat more than other parts of the body. Bromodosis or smelly feet is due to a buildup of sweat, which results in bacteria growth on the skin. These bacteria cause bad odors. Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can also lead to bromodosis. When you take off your shoes at the end of a long day, you suffer from a bad odor, they might smell very bad which is embarrassing and uncomfortable. The good news is that bromodosis or smelly feet is easy, quick, and inexpensive to treat.

Why Do Feet Sweat More?

The skin of the human body has 2-4 million sweat glands. Some parts of the body have more sweat glands than other parts. Hands palms and feet souls have many glands compared to other body. Feet souls have about 250,000 sweat glands. This is the only reason why feet get sweaty quickly. 

Everyone’s feet sweat but some people face it very much. Especially teenagers, pregnant women, athletes, and many other people like who are on their feet all day at work or have a medical condition that makes them sweat more than others. Because their bodies produce hormones that make them sweat more causing bromodosis.

Cause of Bad Smell in Socks and Shoes

When feet soul sweat, skin gets wet and creates an inviting environment for bacteria.  These bacteria help break down sweat on the feet as it’s released. If bacteria and sweat build-up, a foul odor can form. Bacteria collect on your feet’s skin. These bacteria multiply, eating the dead skin cells and oil that are on your feet. As the bacteria breaks down, it releases a smell that irritates us.  

How to Get Rid of Sweaty Feet?

Here are a few tips to reduce the smell caused by sweaty feet. These tips can help reduce your foot odor. The key is making sure you follow them regularly and carefully.

Choose a Better pair of Socks:

Socks for sweaty feet

Wear moisture-wicking socks made from synthetic materials, such as polyester or nylon, which can help to pull sweat away from the skin and keep feet dry. On the negative end, synthetics hold moisture. Therefore, wearing synthetics could lead to fungus growth, and create odor. Due to these conditions, it is not recommended to wear synthetic socks for sensitive skin. For sensitive skin, it is best to wear cotton socks (or bamboo) and not synthetic socks.

Wear 100% cotton socks because it is easier to remove sweat & smell from cotton socks. Even though they are appropriate for casual and formal wear. Cotton socks are not advised to wear for sport as it holds moisture and odor, which could form blisters and fungus on your feet.

However, wool socks hold moisture and odor more than cotton. If you wear low-quality wool socks, it could be uncomfortable, itchy, and irritable. Anyways, wool is difficult to clean.

Change Socks Frequently:

Change your socks frequently, especially if you are prone to sweating. Wearing the same pair of socks for an entire week can allow bacteria and fungus to build up, causing an odor. Use two or three pairs of socks and change after a day or two.

Keep Your Feet Dry and Clean:

wash your feet

Getting rid of smelly feet starts with good hygiene. Poor hygiene can also play a role in causing Bromodosis.  Keep your feet clean and dry by washing them daily with soap and water, and drying them thoroughly. Use a mild soap and scrub brush to wash your feet during your morning or evening shower. It’s important to dry your feet completely after washing. Use a towel to dry between the toes, as this is a common area for moisture to accumulate which can easily cause bacteria to grow.

Wash your feet with mild soap and lukewarm water at least once a day. Dry them thoroughly, and make sure to remove all moisture between your toes

Clip Toenails Regularly

Clip your toenails often so they are not long enough to hold dust/sand particles that can contribute to bad odor. Keep your toenail short and make sure to clean them regularly. Keeping toenails short will also increase the life of your socks and shoes.

Don’t Wear the Same Shoes Every Day:

Don’t wear the same shoes every day. Have two pairs of shoes that you alternate wearing every other day. Give them time to breathe. Switch shoes every other day to let the dry because wet shoes allow bacteria to grow on your feet more quickly. You can buy 2 of the same pair & rotate wearing. Don’t wear shoes without socks! That really smells!

Antifungal Powder or Spray for Smelly Feet:

Use an antifungal powder or spray on your feet and inside your shoes to help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus. Try “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Powder”. It is made especially for feet; Shake plenty of powder into your shoes. and shake it well so powder gets everywhere inside mainly the bottom/ soles of the shoe. Try various types of antifungal and antibacterial soaps or powders until you find one that works best for you.

Shoe Quality also Matters:

Avoid shoes that are tight or may retain moisture. Wear shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or mesh, to help keep your feet dry. Avoid wearing closed-toe shoes made of synthetic materials, as they can trap sweat and heat inside. Wear open-toed sandals in warm weather, and go barefoot indoors when appropriate to allow your feet to stay dry. Change the insoles in your shoes frequently because keep it out from shoes to become dry.

Place Shoes and Socks in Open Air to Reduce Smell:

Always keep your shoes in the open air after wearing whole day.  Do not keep them in the room. Lay down your sock openly under the sun for a few moments if possible.

Go Barefoot:

go barefoot to avoid smelly feet

Going barefoot at home and sleeping without socks on may help reduce foot odor because sweat isn’t held against your skin or trapped inside your shoes. Don’t walk around barefoot, after showering & before work, because this could invite other bacteria to the skin of your feet. Dry your feet before putting on socks. Once you return from work/class, do go barefoot or use open shoes like slippers or sandals.

Avoid the Use of Chemicals:

Avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your feet as they can cause dryness and irritation.

Go for Bromodosis Treatment:

Home treatments will normally do a good job of helping to reduce or eliminate your foot odor. However, if home treatments don’t help alleviate your bromodosis. If you are experiencing excessive sweating, consider consulting a doctor to discuss treatment options such as antiperspirants, prescription antiperspirants, and even Botox injections.

Bottom Line

In summary, bad-smelling socks are often caused by sweating, which can lead to the growth of bacteria and fungus. Although it’s a common condition, Bromodosis can make you feel self-conscious. The good news is that Bromodosis is quite simple to treat. To reduce the odor, it is important to keep your feet clean and dry, wear moisture-wicking socks and shoes made of breathable materials, and consider consulting a doctor if you are experiencing excessive sweating. The key is making foot care a regular part of your hygienic routine. Home treatments are usually very effective, but in severe cases, your doctor can prescribe stronger treatments.

 

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