Most of us have a friend, sibling or perhaps even a child who can clear out a room the moment they take their shoes off. I know I've thrown out countless pairs of ballerina shoes because after a certain amount of time, they acquired a strong odor. It happens to the best of us, but why?
The main thing that feeds foot smell is sweat. Did you know that each one of our feet has over 250,000 sweat glands? In a single day, each foot can produce more than a pint of sweat! That's a lot!
Sweat is basically just salt and water, so it's important to take note that (contrary to popular belief) sweat has NO distinct smell! The smell is actually caused by bacteria on our skin that eats the sweat and excretes waste that has a strong odor. It's perfectly normal to have bacteria on your skin and it does not ordinarily produce a noticeable smell. However, sweat attracts bacteria and gives them a whole lot to feed on.
Of course we sweat all over -- our hands have a comparable number of sweat glands, and most of the rest of our body doesn't particularly stink (the armpits being a pretty obvious exception). So what's different about our feet?
The answer is our socks and shoes. The sweat our feet excrete can't easily escape into the air like the sweat our hands excretes -- it all collects on our skin and in our socks. The bacteria love this dark, damp feast and have a sort of "buffet." When you take off your shoes, the smell that hits you is all the bacteria excretion that's collected on your feet and in your socks and shoes.
The main reason some people's feet (or more precisely, some people's socks and shoes) smell worse than others is the fact that they simply sweat more. This is just one of the many variable physiological qualities of human beings. This is also why sometimes your feet smell much worse than at other times, it just depends on how much you sweat.
Here at HFAA we have the perfect remedy for the stinky feet epidemic. For excessively sweaty feet, we recommend our patients use Gordon's No. Five Spray Foot Powder. It helps stop perspiration, odor and as a bonus -it relieves hot and tired feet!
Now, if we already have stinky feet and we want to make sure that the bacteria isn't being collected over night in our tennis shoes, we recommend our patients to use Mycomist. Mycomist is a spray that you put in your tennis shoes at night that not only works as a deodorant but also sanitizes our shoes and boots to avoid fungus growth!
Make sure you call 309-661-9975 or come into Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates to ask about these products, especially with summer just around the corner!