Are your feet really smelly and moist and awful? Well, don’t be offended. Many peoples feet are just as gross as yours.
Your feet have more sweat glands per inch than any other part of the body—an average of 250,000 of them. They secrete sweat all the time, keeping your skin moist and supple. When you put your feet in a pair of shoes, the confinement allows fungi and bacteria to thrive. The teaming bacteria produce a substance called isovaleric acid, which emits the characteristic locker room stench associated with foot odor. “The fungi and bacteria, which are a normal part of our skin’s flora, proliferate in the dark, moist, warm environment of the shoes,” says Paul Langer, DPM. “Foot odor tends to be worse in warm weather and in active people.”
Do Your Feet Work Harder Than You Do?
Sometimes feet perspire a lot because they simply work harder than they should, says Neal Kramer, DPM. A structural defect (such as flat feet) or a job that keeps you hopping all day could be the underlying culprit. Either would increase the activity of your foot muscles. And the harder your feet work, the more they perspire in an attempt to cool themselves. “If you correct the underlying problem with an arch support or some other orthotic shoe insert,” says Kramer, “you can actually cut down on the amount of sweat produced. If the muscles don’t have to work as hard, they just don’t give off as much heat.”
So, if you keep your feet dry and as clean as possible; you may stand a chance to have some healthier feet.