What’s spookier than a haunted house? Dad’s stinky feet!
It’s almost Halloween, and that means that at long last, summer is over. Those hot months of walking, running, and sweating have probably done a number on your shoes. Go ahead, give ‘em a whiff – TERRIFYING!
Body odor comes from the gases excreted by bacteria that live on your skin. Both bacteria and fungi thrive in hot, dark, moist environments where they can munch on our sweat and multiply. Your feet and your shoes, especially closed-toed shoes, are the perfect breeding ground for these baddies to create their own little stink clouds.
This Halloween, if you don’t want to scare all the neighbor kids away, try these surefire methods for beating the stink.
- Vinegar or Salt Soak
For the nastiest odors, a quick rinse in the shower just won’t cut it. Soak your feet in a vinegar or Epsom salt bath. It will eliminate the bacteria, 86 the itchies, and make your skin silky smooth.
Salt bath: Dissolve a half-cup of Epsom salt into a basin of warm water, or 1-2 cups in a standard size bath tub, and soak for 20 minutes
Vinegar bath: Mix one-part vinegar to two-parts warm water, and soak for 15 minutes. (Tip: don’t use this method if you have open sores or cuts on your feet)
It’s your very own witches’ brew. Don’t forget to add the toe jam!
- Keep your feet dry
After your soak, dry your feet completely before jamming them into your shoes and socks. Moisture creates a very welcoming environment for bacteria and fungus, so do everything you can to keep your feet dry. Throw an extra pair of socks in your bag so you can change them at lunch time or after exercise.
For everyday wear, choose socks made of natural fibers like cotton. Try to avoid wearing nylon socks or other synthetics. It also helps to wear shoes made of natural materials, like leather. Natural fibers help your feet breathe easier so that moisture doesn’t get trapped between your feet and your shoes.
- Powder your feet
Sprinkle a little powder on your feet to help keep your feet dry throughout the day. You can find foot antiperspirants at your local drug store, but corn starch works just as well. You could also repurpose your baby powder. Even your regular underarm deodorant will work better than nothing! Powder absorbs the sweat and can help keep your feet comfortable all day. Toss a travel-size into your goodie bag.
- Clean your shoes
And we don’t mean take them to the shoeshine. You need to disinfect the insides of your shoes. Kill the bacteria, goodbye stinky gases! You can spray them with a general purpose kitchen disinfectant, especially one that contains ethanol. Remove the insole, spray it down, and then spray the insides of your shoes. Let the insole dry completely before replacing it.
If you’ve taken these steps and your feet are still stinking up a storm, it might be time to visit your foot specialist. You may need prescription-strength foot antiperspirants or an anti-fungal treatment.
University Foot and Ankle Institute has 9 locations throughout Southern California. Our physicians have decades of combined experience and offer the very latest treatment options. For more information, please call (877) 989-9110 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.
As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.
We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.
The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.
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