Smelly Feet, Stinky, Odor, Causes, Get rid, Cure, Treatment & Home Remedies - TreatCure (2022)

Why do my feet smell so badly? Can I get rid of smelly feet and odor? Foot smelling is a problem that can affect anyone. In the discussion, unlock important information about smelly or stinky feet, causes, treatment and cures, including home remedies.

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What Causes Smelly Feet

Smelly feet, stinky feet or foot odor is a problem that can affect anyone at any age. We have done enough on our part to enable you to understand all the common conditions that may result in foot odor.

Primarily, foot order is as a result of your skin producing bad-smelling substances due to various reason. Medical terms used to refer to smelly feet include bromhidrosis, axillary bromhidrosis and plantar malodor. Here are the possible causes of smelly feet.

1. Bacteria

The first most common cause of smelly feet or foot smelling is the presence of bacteria in your feet skin. Some bacteria are found naturally occurring on the skin. While some may cause infections, other species of bacteria are actually useful to humans.

One of the bacteria strains responsible for causing foot odor isBrevibacteriumandStaphylococcus epidermis.According to, as these microorganisms feed, methanethial gas is produced. This gas has a chees-like or rotten cabbage odour.Staphylococcus epidermiscan cause sweaty smelly feet if it interacts with sweat.

Another bacteria which is a cause of foot odor isPropionibacterium. Unlike the above,Propionibacteriumis rod-shaped micro-organisms are mainly found in the sebaceous sweat glands found in the skin feet. Your stinky feet smell because this bacteria metabolizes amino acids into a compound known as propionic orpropanoic acid/Ethanecaboxylicacid.

2. Poor Feet Hygiene

Secondly, neglect to sufficient cleanliness is what causes smelly feetand shoes.You are most at risk of developing sweaty stinky feet if you ignore your feet. Poor hygiene creates a favorable breeding ground for the bacteria to multiply. Hence, with limited perspiration, you are more likely to get foot odor in shoes which others may refer to as bad foot odor.

3. Hormonal Imbalance

Can hormonal changes be causing your feet to smell? The response is yes. Causes of smelly feet pose a big challenge to women during pregnancy when progesterone and Oestrogen hormones are produced in varying concentrations.

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Furthermore, many youths who are at puberty may become worried when their feet stink making them be socially disturbed when they experience bad foot odor.

Unless individuals have problems regulating hormones, shifts in hormones may not require treatment as symptoms of may go away when the body develops to control the production of hormones.

Continued Use of Footwear

Another cause of smelly feet is using your footwear, what you use daily or most of the time. Now, to explain this, if you wear a closed single pair of shoes daily you can be a victim of smelly feet. Some shoes don’t allow evaporation to occur immediately after some perspiration has taken place.

A bad foot odor occurs after the sweat undergoes decomposition, dead skin cells and forming part of the dirt inside the shoes. In addition to the dark and warmth that elevates temperature around feet in shoes, some footwear materials may increase the rate of perspiration.

Apart from shoes, if you have foot odor whenever you remove shoes, your socks may be another contributing factor. Examples of sock materials that contribute to smelly feet include synthetic nylon, polyester, or socks with rubber strands.

Although certain synthetic materials are medicated, such socks not only increase perspiration but also create a conducive environment for bacteria. This is a common problem for men and is what causes smelly feet in men, leave alone the stinky shoes.


Hyperhidrosis is one health condition that causes the production of more sweat than it is required for normal sweating. Causes of this condition include increased activity of the sympathetic nerves, heredity factors, anxiety disorders, hormonal imbalance, etc.

However much sweat your body or feet produce, sweat itself is odorless. People who suffer from hyperhidrosis tend to have smelling feet if they have not tried to cure hyperhidrosis or have no strategies to reduce the excessive sweating or practice poor feet hygiene altogether.

Is hyperhidrosis what makes your feet stink even smelly feet in sandals? As we mentioned earlier, bacteria causes feet to smell. This implies that sweat from this condition invites more bacteria whose metabolic activity leads to the formation of smelling substances such asisovaleric acidthat causes foot odor in shoes.

Other Causes of Smelly Feet

We have provided brief explanations on what may trigger smelly feet.

  • Diabetic conditions such as high blood sugar, heart problems, etc.
  • Poor diet especially foods deficient in Zinc supplements, essential vitamins, for instance, Vitamin and C,
  • Stress – interferes with normal blood circulation, sleeping disorders, etc.
  • Alcohol consumption in large quantities,
  • Certain medication and drugs which makes your body produce reactions,
  • Athlete’s foot,
  • Nail fungus infections,

What Causes Smelly Feet in Children?

Children, especially todlers are very active and their growth rates are almost triple grown-ups. This means they experince more perspiration, and hence are more susceptible to microorganism’s infection. Most common causes of stinky feet in babies include bacterial infection, improper footwear and poor general hygiene

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The best way to get rid or avoid feet smelling in children is to ensure proper hygiene and make a closer follow-up. Any instances of foul and unusual smell from your child’s feet must be attended to by a foot specialist or dermatologist timely.

How to Get Rid of Smelly Feet

Smelling feet can be most embarrassing and offending thing that is why curing them is all that everyone with feet odor needs. The better way to handle or tackle this problem is to find out what really causes foot smell or odor.

Before you think of reaching for any treatment or cures for stinky feet find some time to see a podiatrist in order ascertain the actual causes of sweaty feet to determine what makes feet stink.

Topical Creams and Powder treatments

One of the common means to get rid of smelly feet is use of creams. The major categories of these products are OTCs and prescription creams.

1. Zinc Sulphate

An element known as Zinc is identified as a natural anti-bacterial agent; this is a reason why many podiatrists have recommended certain Zinc cream/powder compounds to be effective cures for smelly feet caused by bacterial influence.

Some of the common Zinc creams used to cure stinky feet, smelly feet and odour are Zinc Sulphate, Zinc oxide powder. The good thing with zinc topical creams is not only the effectiveness but also has no reported cases of major side effects.

2. Aluminum Chloride

Secondly, you may treat and cure stinky feet if you tackle the underlying cause. As we saw earlier one of the possible causes of sweaty smelly feet is hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.

Aluminum Chloride is another effective and active antiperspirant substance for foot odor treatment by controlling sweating. Moreover, there are clinic strength and prescription strength. Get the correct and right advice from the physician in order to get cure for smelly feet.


After trying all the above treatment and cures for smelly feet and see no changes, then the last option to think about is surgery. This method of treatment does not cure stinky feet, instead, tries to eliminate or regulate foot sweating that directly leads to stinky feet.

It is very important to consider its side effects that may come afterward. It may be costly. Therefore consider having a consultation with your doctor or surgeon before going for it.

When to see your doctor

If you think that your smelling feet is caused by sweating and is not resolved you need advancedtreatment.

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Best Products for Smelly Feet

To help you with more tips for smelling feet solutions there are good products which will be useful in reducing odor from smelling feet. Probably these products are what you need before you try medicine for smelly feet. Let us now look at them one by one and thereafter you would choose what will work best for you.

1. Anti-bacterial Soaps

One of the best way to reduce or get rid of foot odor is washing your feet using anti-bacterial soap such as Hibiscrub.

2. Antiperspirant Sprays or Deodorants

If your feet smell comes from sweaty feet then you really need an antiperspirant foot odor spray to reduce moisture content or stop much sweating. For convenience purposes, spray your antiperspirant on feet before going to bed. Deodorants can be effective stinking feet cure only for people with mild foot odor or stench.

For convenience purposes, spray your antiperspirant on feet before going to bed. Deodorants can be effective stinking feet cure only for people with mild foot odor or stench.

3. Try Some Sanitizers

A good foot odor spray or hand sanitizer can help you kill bacteria thus reduce foot odor.

Home Remedies for Smelly Feet

Home remedies for smelly feet are safe to use, more affordable and easy to apply.

1. Fresh Vinegar and Baking Soda foot soak

Before you can start doing this remedy for smelly feet, ensure that your feet are cleaned and dry.

  • Measure equal amounts water and vinegar into a foot trough.
  • Add a little/three tablespoons of baking soda and immediately or you may soak and then add the baking soda.
  • After 5 minutes remove your feet and dry them.
  • You may also smear a light layer of thyme oil and thereafter wash your feet before going to bed.

CAUTION: If your fiends have been complaining that your feet have a vinegary odor this might not be best for you.

2. Exfoliate Daily

Do you know that deposits of dead skin layers could be a cause of foot odor? Here is a basic remedy for constant sweaty smelling foot problem which you can utilize to stop smelly feet.

It is so simple that you already have a hint on what to do for stinky feet. Use pumice stone or foot file to remove dead skin layer including the foot sole. Be careful while scrubbing the skin layer especially if your skin is very sensitive to avoid inflammation.

3. Apply Foot Powder

Before walking away from home to your office sprinkle some powder into the shoes, in between your toes or all over the inner soles. Examples of such powders are talcum or baby powder.

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4. Black Tea Soak

Another simple remedy for sweatyfeet is tea. Tea has tannic acid that will be helpful in keeping your feet dry. Do the following procedure every single day to see your foot odor improve.

  • Put clean hot water in your foot trough and then add a few black tea bags.
  • Allow it steep then soak for at least 20 minutes.
  • Rinse your feet and dry them well.

5. Kosher Salt Solution

Clean your feet thoroughly ready for kosher saltsoak. After soaking thoroughly wash and dry your feet.

Best Cure for Smelly Feet and foot Odour?

What can I do to eliminate foot odor and smelly feet? Some causes of smelly feet can be treated easily but others may take longer. Amongst the best cure for foot odor includes Zinc Sulphate, exfoliation, use of foot powder such as Zinc oxide, foot odor sprays e.g. clinic-strength antiperspirants.

Tips to Stop Smelly feet

What is the solution for smelly feet of yours? There are a number of measures which if well observed and taken can have a turning point to your smelly feet. The measures not only prevent the causes of smelly feet but also ensure that you save a lot and avoid treatment for foot odor and other health expenses.

Some preventive measures are actually included in home remedies for smelly sweaty feet. Here is a brief description on what to avoid, what use for feet smell and stop smelly feet.

1. Use Proper Footwear

The first preliminary steps towards eliminating foot odor is to ask yourself what to use for smelly feet.

Apart from simply being a matter of changing footwear, is about going for the best. To cut it short, best shoes for smelly feet are those made of leather material, opened, perforated or meshed. Leather will give a room for your feet to do ‘breathing’ in the meantime promoting air circulation, cooling them simultaneously.

Furthermore, take your time to look for recommended socks after you have got your best shoes. The following are examples of such socks for smelly feet:

  • Woolen socks,
  • Cotton socks,
  • Acrylic socks,

2. Change your Footwear Regularly.

Alternate at least two pairs of shoes with several pairs of good socks that you have bought. In addition, it would also be a great deal to get insoles (medicated or sweat absorbing) washed, aired sufficiently and changed.

3. Aerate your shoes.

Do this more often to allow for fresh air and evaporation of sweat from both your socks and feet. Don’t forget to wash shoes regularly.

Do this more often to allow for fresh air and evaporation of sweat from both your socks and feet. Don’t forget to wash shoes regularly.

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4. Dry Your Shoes

Get shoe dryer to do the extra work for you.

5. Keep your Toenails Short

Trim your toenails to avoid instances of ingrown toenails.


In summary, proper feet care is just as good as getting rid of smelly feet. What did you find useful from the smelly sweaty feet solutions that you adopted? We hope you better controlled your foot odor, eliminated foot odor and curbed smelling feet with treatments, home remedies for foot odor even after curing the causes of smelly feet. Give us your feedback

Reference and Sources
  1. Ten ways to get rid of smelly feet:
  2. Foot Odor:
  3. How to get rid of foot odor:
  4. How to stop smelly feet:
  5. Foot Odor Causes, Treatment, and Prevention: by Dr. Mark Feder.
  6. Smelly Feet Cures:


Smelly Feet, Stinky, Odor, Causes, Get rid, Cure, Treatment & Home Remedies - TreatCure? ›

Thoroughly cleaning your feet is more than rinsing them in a quick shower. Dr. Rowland recommends soaking your feet in a mixture of vinegar and water or Epsom salt and water. For a salt soak, dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt in a tub or large bowl of warm water and soak for about 10 to 20 minutes.

How can I stop my feet from smelling permanently? ›

Practice good hygiene.

If you have stinky feet, you should wash your feet every day. You can wash them as you shower or you can scrub them in a tub with warm water. Dry your feet thoroughly, including between the toes. You should also keep your toenails clean and trimmed, and file off any dead skin on your feet.

What medicine is good for smelly feet? ›

Drugs for Smelly Feet / Bromodosis
  • Benzoyl Peroxide. Benzoyl Peroxide is a keratolytic agent with antibacterial actions, prescribed for acne. ...
  • Clindamycin. ...
  • Erythromycin. ...
  • Glycopyrrolate. ...
  • Griseofulvin.

What home remedy can I use to make my feet not smell? ›

Home Remedies for Foot Odor
  1. Wash your feet twice a day with antibacterial soap.
  2. After a bath, use a cotton swab to dab between the toes with rubbing alcohol.
  3. Soak your feet in salt water or baking soda.
  4. Bathe your feet in vinegar.
  5. Clean and scrub feet with a pumice stone.
  6. Sprinkle corn starch into your socks.
Mar 7, 2017

What foods cause stinky feet? ›

Foods that Help Make Your Feet Stink
  • Sulfur-rich foods - and not just eggs e.g., onion, garlic, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beer, tea, and coffee.
  • Spicy foods.
  • Greasy foods such as fast foods.
  • Chocolate.
  • Refined carbs e.g., white bread, white rice, white pasta, pastries.
  • Low-carbs (particularly on the keto diet)
Jun 27, 2021

Is there a pill for smelly feet? ›

Tolnaftate is used to treat skin infections such as athlete's foot, jock itch, and ringworm. It is an antifungal that works by preventing the growth of fungus. Some forms of tolnaftate may also be used to prevent athlete's foot from coming back.

Why my feet are smelly? ›

The main causes of smelly feet are a build-up of sweat and bacteria on them and fungal infections like athlete's foot. The amount you sweat can be affected by: hot weather. exercise.

Smelly feet are not typically a medical concern, but they can affect everyday life. Learn about the causes of stinky feet, home remedies, and more.

Your feet may stink because of sweat buildup there.. Still, your feet can also sweat excessively for other reasons like:. Being pregnant Wearing ill-fitting shoes Stress Spending long hours on your feet Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) Taking certain medications Underlying medical conditions such as thyroid disease or diabetes. Bacteria can grow due to trapped sweat, but you can also contract a bacterial infection that causes your feet to smell.. Fungal foot infections are common causes of smelly feet.. Using antibacterial soap to prevent bacterial buildup Always thoroughly drying your feet Changing socks daily Keeping your toenails clean and trim Removing dead skin and calluses (thickened areas of skin)​​. Changing your socks every day and wearing socks made of materials that wick sweat can help prevent smelly feet.. If you sweat a lot, you may want to strike preemptively and apply antibacterial powder in your shoes to sop up the sweat and keep them dry.. Doctors prescribe this procedure to treat excessive sweating, particularly of the hands and feet.. And some evidence suggests that it’s less effective for foot sweating than for other types of excessive sweating, such as under the arms.

Smelly feet can often be a discomfort leading to self-consciousness. We bring you some natural remedies for smelly feet and tips to ensure that you get rid of smelly feet. Read more to find how to get rid of smelly feet.

A few drops of tea tree oil in a foot soak or massage should do the trick though it is recommended that you test the oil on a small patch of the skin before using it for treating smelly feet.. Lavender oil treatment is often used to cure athlete’s foot condition where the feet get highly infected due to bacterial formation.. With essential oils, a few drops are enough to cure the problem.. Thus, it helps to prevent smelly feet.. Eucalyptus essential oil can be added to a foot soak, or it can be rubbed on the feet for reducing bacterial infection.. To cure smelly feet, we first need to reduce the amount of sweat and bacterial infection on the feet.

No one wants to deal with the embarrassment of stinky feet. The good news is there are plenty of home remedies. Here's how to get rid of stinky feet.

While most of us have suffered from foot perspiration, damp feet and odor at some point in our lives, for many, sweaty, stinky feet can be a relentless problem that causes much discomfort.. A study conducted at the Skin and Care Foundation in Australia reported that sweaty feet commonly comes with an offensive odor or stinky feet, known as bromhidrosis.. Sweaty feet, known as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, means excessive sweating and usually causes stinky feet.. Because the foot has around 250,000 sweat glands, feet tend to sweat more than other parts of the body.. Other causes can be related to daily stress, an injury due to some structural issue in the foot area, standing on your feet all day, wearing the same shoes daily without allowing them to dry, poor personal hygiene, hormonal changes in the body — in particular in teens and pregnant women — and, of course, athletes who may experience fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot .. Home remedies and prevention methods for stinky feet include practicing good hygiene, using foot powder or a foot scrub, soaking your feet, rotating shoes, wearing and changing socks frequently, and changing your diet.. Other causes can be related to daily stress, an injury due to some structural issue in the foot area, standing on your feet all day, wearing the same shoes daily without allowing them to dry, poor personal hygiene, hormonal changes in the body — in particular in teens and pregnant women — and, of course, athletes who may experience fungal infections.

Foot odour cannot be the reason for any embarrassment for you as it is all in your hands. Just make it a thing of the past by reading the article and implementing the home remedies.

The feet smell because of lack of ventilation which may happen if you wear tight shoes.. Wearing poor quality shoes and overwearing shoes can cause smelly feet.. Some diseases and certain medications make the feet sweat a lot, causing stinky feet.. The feet should be soaked in warm water and then scrubbed with the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes to remove bacteria and dead skin cells.. What You Need To Do: For one week, soak your feet in warm water mixed with baking soda for 10 to 15 minutes every day.. Smelly feet make the shoes also stink.. Wear breathable shoes to cut down on the foot odour and sweat.. Sprinkle baby powder in your shoes or on your feet.. Getting rid of foot odour is possible by dusting some powder on the feet or in the shoes before wearing them.

You came home from a hard day’s work. Kicked your sweaty boots out on the  porch before you entered the home (you already know by now that taking them in wreaks havoc on the household atmosphere).

Besides kicking off your shoes, remove those sweaty socks.. Take any underarm deodorant or antiperspirant you can find and apply it to your feet.. Put a damp wash cloth with some antibacterial soap applied to it in a plastic sandwich bag for instant cleaning (you can wash your feet in the car or a public restroom).. Add a little towel or some paper towelettes for drying your feet afterwards (remember, drying is crucial since bacteria grow like crazy in dark, damp environments). Bring an extra pair of shoes so you can change shoes during the day.. Here’s more info on good antiperspirants for foot odor .. It helps keep your feet dry and reduces foul odor.. Rotate shoes, never wear the same shoes two days in a row.. Take your shoes off to air them and your feet out.. Take them off while waiting at the bus stop (keep your feet from the ground though, what I do is let my feet rest on top of my shoes), kick them off while at your desk at work, and so on.. Washing our socks is normal but shoes often get neglected.. Here are some quick and easy tips on how to dry your shoes .. Merino wool socks, or Drymax socks help reduce excessive sweating of your feet.. With red cheeks I quickly tossed my shoes out of the house and gave my feet a soapy rinse.

It is not a serious medical condition, it can be really embarrassing! Follow these simple yet effective home remedies for getting rid of smelly shoes odor.

Does the dreadfully foul odor of your stinky shoes cling on to your feet even after repeated scrubbings and rigorous cleaning?. Rub some talcum powder on your feet before you wear your shoes to prevent the foul odor.. A great way to relax the foot sprains, this mixture even prevents growth of bacteria and naturally cures foot odor.. As you already know, the decomposition of dead skin by the bacteria causes the foul odor on your feet.. Thyme oil is a natural cure for fungal infections and prevents bacterial growth on your feet thanks to its antibacterial properties.. Massage your feet with some tea tree and almond oil after washing it with warm water to prevent the outbreak of bacterial growth on your foot.. A popular home remedy for stinky feet, lavender reduces the bacterial growth.. Also applying lavender oil regularly gives your feet a pleasant smell replacing the foul odor.. Massage your feet with some ginger paste boiled in water to prevent the growth of bacteria.. Gently scrub your feet with a mixture of oatmeal and warm water to prevent bacterial growth and breeding.. Add a bit of corn starch powder to your shoes or rub some on your feet to prevent foot odor.. A sugar scrub is among the most popular home remedies for getting rid of dead skin cells on your feet.. Washing your feet regularly with a mixture of radish juice and lukewarm water is a natural way of removing the stink from your feet. Scrubbing your feet with a mixture of salt and oil in the right proportions helps in exfoliating the dead skin cells accumulation on your feet.

At some time in life or another you have to deal with stinky feet. Here are a handful of home remedies and tips to prevent and get rid of stinky feet.

No matter how expensive your pair of shoes may be, if they cannot ventilate your feet, they can exacerbate the problem of sweaty feet and cause your feet to stink.. Home Remedies To Get Rid of Stinky Feet Not only does talcum powder reduce sweat on your feet but also lends them a pleasant fragrance.. Inexpensive and highly effective, this is a remedy that can be used to get rid of stinky odor from your feet.. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to a tub of warm water and soak your feet in this solution for about 20 minutes.. Add a whole cup of vinegar to about 8 cups of hot water and dip your feet in the tub.. Did you know that you can use the good ole’ pumice stone to exfoliate and remove dead cells from the skin of your feet and this can help prevent a bacterial outbreak in your feet and thus reduce odor emanating from them.. This is yet another remedy that works wonders in removing foul odor from your feet and shoes.. This is one of the best remedies you can use to remove foul odor from your feet.. Add about half cup of vinegar and half cup of borax powder into 2-3 cups of water and sprinkle the solution generously inside your feet.. Add two teaspoons of oatmeal to a large mug of warm water and scrub your feet with it for about 15 minutes before you wash it off with some plain lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel.. Add a cup of salt to a tub of warm water and soak your feet in the tub for 15 minutes or so.

The home remedies for smelly feet and shoes are 100% safe and natural to use. Get rid of smelly feet with inexpensive home treatments. Take 2 tablespoons of baking soda and mix with water and apply on your feet.

People who do strenuous work, and stay up on their feet most of the time and others who undergo a lot of stress are likely to suffer smelly feet, as will people suffering from hyperhidrosis, a medical condition that generates significant quantities of perspiration leading to feet and body odor.. Procedure: Wash the feet with antiseptic soap and water.. Clean feet 2 to 3 times every day and sprinkle fresh talcum powder.. Keep the feet dry while applying talcum powder.. Alcohol helps keep the skin on your feet dry.. Hence, the bad odor is effectively removed from smelly feet, making Epsom salt one of the perfect natural home remedies for smelly feet.. When used naturally, it is more effective, hence forms a great natural home remedy for smelly feet.. Hence, this combo makes one of the best home remedies for smelly feet.


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