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How to combat unpleasant foot odours?

Having smelly feet can be a daily inconvenience, both for oneself and for others. However, there are certain tips to address this issue. Find our advice for combating foot odour in this article.

Published February 16, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

Why do feet smell?

Before seeking to eliminate these unpleasant odours, it is appropriate to understand why and how they occur.

Given its anatomy, the foot tends to sweat profusely. Indeed, the plantar arch is entirely covered with sweat glands, approximately 600 glands per square centimetre, which secrete nearly half a cup of sweat per day. However, it is neither these glands nor the sweat that are the cause of foot odour.

When these, bare or wrapped in a sock or stocking, macerate in this moist environment, bacteria proliferate. Poorly or non-ventilated shoes then transform into a nest where these microorganisms feed on sweat and dead cells and produce waste that is responsible for bad odours.

Responsible for an unpleasant cheese-like odour, these bacteria vary from one person to another. They can then emit odours of varying intensity. Furthermore, the more bacteria there are, the greater the chances of seeing the emergence of fungal infections and other fungi that further promote bad foot odours.

How to eliminate unpleasant foot odours?

To combat these foul odours, it is essential to focus on foot hygiene. Thus, it is appropriate to wash them thoroughly with water and soap, not neglecting the space between the toes, and this, every day if possible. Above all, make sure to dry them properly afterwards to prevent the moisture that promotes bacterial growth. Also, remember to exfoliate them regularly to remove dead skin cells that bacteria feed on. For this, you can use our nourishing body scrub with sweet almond oil which thanks to its rich and fluid texture, leaves the skin nourished and soothed, without a greasy or sticky finish.

If that is not enough, the use of a sweat control treatment can prove to be beneficial. This can be in the form of a spray or powder. Generally, it often contains boric acid, baking soda or talc which act by absorbing sweat through hydrogen bonds formed with the water from perspiration, thereby capturing moisture.

Regarding shoes and socks, it is also appropriate to wash and disinfect them regularly to prevent them from transmitting unpleasant odours to the feet. Similarly, prefer natural materials that limit moisture rather than synthetic ones. Opt for leather or fabric shoes and cotton socks/stockings to be changed daily. Also try to alternate your shoes to give them time to dispel moisture.


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