Home Remedies For Foot Odor – Naturally Effective Tips
Our hardworking feet can get a little smelly from time to time, and while stinky feet aren’t a medical cause for concern, they can cause embarrassment or social anxiety. Luckily there are lots of simple, effective remedies for foot odor that you can try at home – read on to find out more.
Why do our feet sometimes smell?
Our feet naturally have millions of bacteria, which feed off sweat and skin cells. As the bacteria break these down, the by-products they create can cause foot odor. For example, encasing your feet in shoes and socks for prolonged periods can make them sweat more, feeding the bacteria to grow, which in turn creates more foot odor.
Some people are more prone to it than others – according to the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, around 16% of adults in the US have experienced smelly feet [https://www.ipfh.org/foot-conditions/foot-conditions-a-z/foot-odor?], and it’s equally prevalent in men and women. People who suffer from poor circulation due to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are also more likely to suffer from foot odor.
Effective natural remedies for foot odor
If your feet don’t smell so sweet, there are lots of ways that you can tackle this at home. We’ve compiled a list of our six favorite natural ingredients that may help to stop the stink.
1 Baking soda
This hero ingredient absorbs sweat and neutralizes odors, so it’s an ideal remedy for smelly feet. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can either be dusted directly onto your feet, or add quarter of a cup to a bowl of warm water for a relaxing foot soak.
You can also use it on shoes to help combat odor and wetness – simply dust a couple of spoons of it into your shoes when you take them off and leave overnight.
This fine powder is great for absorbing moisture. Use it on your feet like a talcum powder before you put on your shoes and socks.
3 Rose oil
Generally, high levels of stress increase the production of sweat and thereby foot odor. You can try this remedy if you suffer from anxiety due to foot odor. This beautifully fragrant oil not only has anti-anxiety properties [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5511972/], it contains actives that inhibit the creation of compounds that cause foot odor. Dilute 2 drops of rose oil in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and mix well. Add a few drops of the diluted rose oil to warm water. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes and then wipe dry. Enjoy the feelings of relaxation whilst knowing that your feet will emerge whiff free, smelling of roses!
Please be sure to always conduct a skin patch test before applying any essential oils.
4 Vinegar and Soap Nuts
Foot odor causing bacteria thrive on sweat and dead skin, so this home remedy helps to remove components of sweat and dead skin that adhere to sweaty feet. Dry grind 1 oz soap nut shells in a blender and mix with apple cider vinegar to form a paste. Apply evenly over the feet and in between the toes. Wait for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off with water or make up a foot bath and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes, rinsing them off afterwards..
5 Black tea
Constituents in black tea can help to curb the production of odor causing chemicals, so try a foot bath made from two teabags steeped in boiling water added to tap water to make the perfect temperature. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes – and why not enjoy a cuppa while you sit there, too!
6 Lemon verbena oil
Apart from extending potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits [https://selfhacked.com/blog/health-benefits-lemon-verbena/], lemon verbena can help limit foot odor caused by the action of resident skin microbes. Add four drops of lemon verbena essential oil to 2 teaspoons of olive oil (or any other carrier oil of your choice) and gently apply over feet. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off.
Do not apply oil if you have broken skin or any open wounds.
Stopping foot odor from returning
Once you’ve got rid of the stink, take measures to control sweat build up to reduce creation of microenvironments where odor causing microorganisms thrive. Here are a few things you can do to stop foot odor from coming back!
- A review article on Zn therapy in dermatology documents a clinical study conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of topically applied zinc sulfate solution to treat foot odor. Application of 15% solution showed that 70% of participants got rid of their food odor [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/.
- Go barefoot where possible and regularly change your socks.
- Wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe.
- Wear socks made of natural fibers like cotton that allow for transpiration and control development of microbes
- If your shoes do get wet from sweat, allow them to dry out and alternate with other pairs.
- Wash your feet daily. Our Fresh Feet Deodorizing Micellar Water Cleanser [https://sanjeevita.com/collections/featured-products/products/micellar-saponin-foot-cleanser] contains Saccharomyces Ferment, a liquid made from naturally occurring fungi whose enzymes help neutralize foot odors. This cleansing gel helps in removal of excess lipids, proteins, enzymes built up on feet thereby limiting production of odor-producing acids by resident skin bacteria. This gel helps control foot odor without specifically killing the beneficial skin microbes that are essential for maintaining skin health in the long-term.
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