Separate Your Shoes from Sweat
When the sweat from your feet gets absorbed into your shoe, you’ve created the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Sweat plus bacteria equals P.U., so follow these tips to reduce the effect of your sweat on your feet.
• After you wear your shoes, keep them empty for at least 24 hours. That’s how long they need to completely dry out. It’s a great excuse for new shoes when you can’t wear the same shoes two days in a row, right?
• Don’t wear closed-toe shoes without socks—they are the barrier between your sweat and your shoes. In fact, don’t even keep the same socks on all day. Switch to a clean pair at least once a day. While you’re at it, go ahead and switch out your shoes. Stash extra pairs at work or school.
• Thick soft cotton socks and synthetic blends are good at wicking away moisture. That means they pull the moisture away from our feet instead of trapping it.
• On days you need to let your feet breathe, wear shoes made of leather, canvas or mesh.
Refresh Your Feet
Your feet have about 3,000 sweat glands per square inch. Yikes! No wonder their stink can be so strong!
To keep your tootsies clean and fresh, make this your routine:
• Wash your feet everyday. Get between those toes. Then, dry them thoroughly—between toes again. Your efforts will keep bacteria levels at a minimum, and it’s the mix of bacteria and sweat that causes the odor.
• Check your feet regularly for fungal infections. You can even use antifungal creams as a prevention measure.
• Sprinkle on non-medicated baby powder or foot powder.
• Every day for one week, soak your feet in cool, strong black tea for 30 minutes. Tea is acidic and kills bacteria. Or soak your feet in a one part vinegar and two parts water mixture. You can refresh smelly socks by tossing them in, too.
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American Academy of Podiatric Practice Management: “Smelly Feet and Foot Odor”
American Podiatric Medical Association: “Sweaty Feet”
Healthy Women: “8 Ways to Treat Your Feet Right”