Why Do My Feet Smell So Bad?

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Googling this question raises some interesting possibilities. One person suggests that a day in high-heeled shoes might be the cause. Stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyoncé, who have worn heels often, might be good sources of information for that question. However, the real reasons for foot odor are—sweat and bacteria! 

Each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands. The glands in the feet are eccrine glands, which are different than those found in the armpits. These glands secrete sweat that evaporates quickly. However, the combination of so many glands and socks that trap moisture create the perfect breeding ground for odor causing bacteria. 

The types of bacteria that live on the feet actually feed on dead skin cells. As they eat, they convert amino acids into a gas that causes odor. If bacteria growth goes unchecked, the result is embarrassing foot odor. Read more about fungus, bacteria, and your feet.

What can you do to control foot odor?  For the best results, focus on sweat and bacteria. Simply washing your feet each day with a gentle soap will help in reducing the amount of bacteria that live on your feet. Don’t forget to wash between your toes. Remember to exfoliate your feet as well. Removing the food source for bacteria (dead skin cells) will help to keep odor in check. Keep your feet dry by changing socks often, and wearing shoes that are ventilated. 

If foot odor is persistent, you may need medical intervention to end this embarrassing problem. Dr. Robert Parker is Houston's High Tech Podiatrist and can prescribe a treatment that will address the causes of the odor.  Schedule an appointment today at the Houston, TX office, and enjoy the freedom of taking your shoes off without worrying about odor. Call Parker Foot & Ankle at (281)497-2850, or schedule online. 

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