Podiatrist (Foot and Ankle Specialist) Questions Smelly feet

How can I control the bad smell from my feet?

I have extremely smelly feet since they sweat... a lot. I have tried various sprays to treat it, but my feet still have this horrible odor. Should I go to a podiatrist to treat this?

16 Answers

Hyperhidrosis causes too much moisture be released by your sweat pores and then bacteria break down the salts in the perspiration, producing an odor. Try to apply a clear gel anti-perspirant to the bottom of your feet, wear a cotton/polyester blend sock, change socks daily, use an anti-fungal spray in your shoes
Yes you should seek advise of Podiatry or Dermatology. Depends on the type of bacteria that inhabit your skin. Best course of action is to change shoes frequently, always wear socks that can wick away moisture, and spray shoes upon removal with a disinfectant.
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You most likely have a fungal infection called Tinea Pedis. You should try a OTC antifungal medication for 2-3 weeks. Also you should use a powder on your feet to help absorb the moisture throughout the day.
This condition is referred to as hyperhidrosis very sweaty smelly feet .There are many medical solution for this problem, however one simple one is to use baking soda foot soaks daily for 20 min. Sprinkle baking soda into your foot wear .ARM / HAMMER
You definitely should see a podiatrist regarding this problem. There are many ways to treat feet that sweat a great deal and you can also develop a bacterial infection from excessive sweating. This however can be treated with topical medication. I would recommend that you see a podiatrist to relieve your discomfort and heavy sweating.
You want to go to a Podiatrist and get a RX for 10%solution of formalin in rose water. Works great
I would go see a Dr. if it persists. You can start by trying spray deodorant before you put your socks on in the morning. Also spraying your shoes out once a week with a disinfectant can be helpful, just be sure to let them dry out.
Excessively Sweaty Smelly Feet:
This sounds like Hyperhydrosis. It is estimated that 5% of the worlds population has this very problem. Its exact cause is unknown, although many think it to be inherited. What we know for sure is that excessive sweating of feet contained in a dark and enclosed spot (your shoes) for long periods of time can lead to skin breakdown, infections, and create a perfect storm environment for bacterial and fungal growth. The byproducts of these microbial organisms can smell bad.
So what can you do about it?
Practical Solutions:
Wash your feet at least twice/day, then apply talcum powder or corn starch. If you have athlete's foot, then also use an over-the-counter anti-fungal medication. Wear absorbant socks. Wicker (acrylic) socks or cotton (changed frequently) would be helpful, too.
More Aggressive methods:
If that does not work, then visit your podiatrist or dermatologist. Other treatment modalities involve oral anticholinergic and/or anti-anxiety medications (needs physician monitoring), electrical currents (iontophoresis), clinical strength antiperspirants, and botox.

Going Overboard: Other more aggressive methodologies such as sympathectomy (cut the sympathetic nerve that innervates sweat glands) or a particular laser treatment that destroys (ablates) the odor causing glands. Both of these methods have high degrees of risk, however, for other side effects that might be worse than the hyperhydrosis itself. I would therefore not recommend them.

The Organic Proponents: As always, there are alternative methods of medicine that may claim to treat this condition, but probably have very limited applications.
Bottom Line: In almost all cases, the practical solutions will be quite sufficient, but if they are not, seek out a physician well-versed in these areas.

To your good foot health,
Dr. Joel C. Rutherford, DPM
I have used DrySol in my practice with great success. DrySol is by prescription only. CertainDry contains DrySol in a lower strength. You can try that first before visiting a podiatrist for a prescription for DrySol.
Some healthcare providers have never used or heard of DrySol, so make sure you bring your request to them. A package insert or internet information will guarantee your podiatrist can prescribe it for you.

Rod Tomczak, MD, DPM, EdD
Use Drysol antiperspirant nightly, place baking powder in your shoes and newspaper over night to remove odor and moisture. If this fails, then see your podiatrist.
Yes, you definitely should see a podiatrist. You will need a prescription strength anti-perspirant to control the moisture and a prescription antifungal cream to control the odor.
Unpleasant foot odor has several causes. Begin with an antiperspirant applied to the bottom of the feet daily. Use something you don't use under your arms. Always wear clean socks. If these suggestions are not helpful, an examination by a podiatrist is necessary to determine the cause and treatment.
There is a prescription strength antiperspirant called "Certain Dry" that I recommend to my patients with Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) that can be applied to the bottom of the feet and palms of the hands 2x per day. It is over the counter-ask the pharmacist where to find it. Also, I recommend spraying your shoes out with Lysol once a week and letting them dry for at least 24 hours prior to using them again. This will kill bacteria/fungus/mold in the shoes. Also, I recommend changing your socks twice a day.
Sprays, powders should help. It could be caused by an underline infection. There are UV shoe inserts that are used to help disenfect the shoes. You could have the condition hyperhydrosis.
I have recommended that my patients suffering from Bromhidrosis(foul odor) or Hyperhidrosis (sweaty feet) condition do the following:

1. Pour 30 ml of Apple Cider Vinegar + 1/2 gallon of warm water in a pan and soak the feet for approximately 10-15 minutes.
2. Pat dry.
3. Next, apply, either Secret Clinical or Degree or Dove strength antiperspirant to the bottom of the feet and between the toes daily until the pores sweat less and/or the odor has resolved. Drysol Antiperspirant may cause skin irritation or a rash in individuals who may be allergic to aluminum salts.
4. Another excellent product Certain Dri Roll On Antiperspirant can be applied daily for the treatment of sweaty feet.
5. Make sure to wear cotton or microfiber socks, wear shoes made of leather and avoid wearing plastic and non-man made shoes.
6. Inspect the feet daily for redness, drainage, open sores, change in color, change in temperature, swelling or any other signs of inflammation.
Yes, seeking professional help is always a wise decision. There are prescription strength products that may work better for you.