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Foot Odour

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Overview

What Is Foot Odour?

As the name implies, foot odour occurs when your feet have an unusual and unpleasant smell.  It can be a sign of fungal or bacterial infection.  

Foot odour is common, usually harmless, and can often be easily treated at home.  Our foot clinic sells many products that are highly effective at managing, treating and preventing foot odour.  

If your foot odour persists, it’s a good idea to get a foot specialist (chiropodist) to take a look at it, since it can be a sign of a growing fungal or bacterial infection that requires further attention.

Symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Foot Odour?

The most common (and obvious) sign of foot odour is bad-smelling feet.  The foot may smell bad from afar, or at close-range.  It is usually accompanied by sweating, and may also coincide with symptoms of foot fungus, such as athlete’s foot

Causes

Why Do My Feet Smell Bad?

The main cause of foot odor is foot sweat (see plantar hyperhidrosis).  While sweat itself is usually odorless, the moisture buildup creates a friendly environment for bacteria and fungal growth.  This can then produce a foul smell.  

Factors that will exacerbate foot sweat and the growth of odor-producing bacteria are:

  • Wearing socks or hosiery made from synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon
  • Wearing closed-toed shoes without socks
  • Wearing shoes made from materials that have poor ventilation, such as rubber, leather, and synthetics
  • Poor foot hygiene
  • Other foot conditions like Athlete’s foot

Treatment

How Do I Treat Foot Odour?

The best way to treat (and prevent) foot odor is to practice good foot hygiene.  This involves:

  1. Washing your feet daily with an antibacterial soap (don’t forget the areas between the toes!)
  2. Thoroughly drying your feet after
  3. Applying foot powder or foot antiperspirant 

Foot odour treatment may also include:

  • Treating any underlying bacterial or fungal infection via over-the-counter products, or with the help of a foot specialist
  • Anti-odour creams or sprays
  • Disinfecting your shoes
  • Wearing cotton or wool socks
  • Rotate between two to three pairs of shoes throughout the week ensuring shoes thoroughly dry between uses
  • Change socks once or more per day when feet become sweaty

Our foot clinic has a curated selection of anti-odour creams, foot powders, foot sprays and socks that are specially designed to treat and prevent foot odour.  The knowledgeable staff at our foot clinic can help you find a regimen of foot care and footwear products that best suit your needs.

If you have persistent foot odour that is not going away, or coincides with other symptoms (i.e.: foot itch), it is best to see a foot specialist to check for any underlying causes requiring medical attention. To book an appointment, use our online booking form or call us at 416-769-FEET(3338).  No referral is required. 

Risk Factors

What Can Cause Foot Odor?

Foot odour is normal and very common.  However, certain risk factors may increase the likelihood, frequency and extent of it:

Prevention

How Do I Prevent Foot Odour?

To prevent foot odour:

  • Wear cotton or wool socks
  • Change your socks frequently so they stay clean and dry
  • Wear socks with your shoes to avoid the accumulation of oil, dirt, and dead skin cells in your footwear
  • Remove your shoes throughout the day if your feet start feeling too toasty
  • Use a foot file to remove dead skin from your feet
  • Trim the toenails regularly
  • Use anti-perspirant foot spray
  • Apply anti-odour creams

We have a great selection of the above products available for purchase at our online shop and foot clinic. 

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