Are you embarrassed to take off your shoes in the company of others? Do your feet seem to hold on to every odor they come into contact with? Foot odor, otherwise known as bromhidrosis, is mainly the cause of sweating. Bacteria thrive in warm, moist areas, making shoes and socks great places for them to linger. Everyone naturally has bacteria on the skin of their feet. Foot odor is a result of improper ventilation for hours at a time. If you have hair on your feet and toes, this can intensify foot odor because there is more surface area for the bacteria to thrive on. You can spend a lot of money at the store on products that are said to eliminate foot odor, but it can get costly over time. There are some natural remedies for foot odor that you can try.
The most obvious remedy is to keep your feet clean. Washing your feet at least once a day with soap, will wash away the bacteria that causes odor. The perspiration that is found on the soles of your feet are composed of sodium chloride, water, fat, various acids, and minerals. When this sweat comes into contact with certain bacteria, this composition breaks down, creating an unpleasant odor. Washing your feet at least once a day will help prevent this cycle from happening.
If you have feet that sweat excessively, you can soak them in salt water. Add one half cup of kosher salt to one quart of water, and soak your feet for a good 15 to 20 minutes. After you’ve soaked them, don’t rinse your feet off, just dry them with a towel thoroughly. Salt dries out the skin, and will help them stay dry. It’s best to use kosher salt rather than regular table salt, because kosher salt has larger crystals.
Another soaking option is a tea soak. Boil anywhere from three to four tea bags in one quart of water for about ten minutes. Add in some cooler water so it’s not super hot when you put your feet in. Soak your feet in the tea water for 20 to 30 minutes, then dry them thoroughly. You can do this twice a day until the odor is under control. If you continue to use this method twice a week, it can keep the odor from coming back.
You can also try soaking your feet in sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate makes the surface of the feet more acidic. This will cut down the amount of odor that is produced. Use one tablespoon of baking soda in one quart of water. Make sure the baking soda is dissolved and then soak your feet for 15 minutes at a time.
Another method is to alternate using hot and cold water. The process of alternating hot and cold water constricts the flow of blood to your feet, lessening perspiration. After alternating hot and cold foot soaks a few times, make yourself an ice foot bath. In the ice water, add some lemon juice. After you soak your feet in the ice bath, rub your feet with alcohol to keep them cool and dry.
These are just a few of the natural remedies for foot odor you can try. Keep your feet as cool and dry as possible. If you have to wear shoes and socks for an extended period, find socks that are made from “sweat wicking” material, and shoes that have the ability to let air flow through them. These suggestions should cut back on the foot odor quite a bit. Next time you’re in the company of others, there will be no need to be embarrassed about taking off your shoes.
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