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Is This The Cause of Smelly Feet?


Why do our feet smell? Why do our own feet stink even though we’re living the same as everyone else? Do you want to know the cause, right? We tried to focus on foot odor and its causes this time.

Even if we use spray to cover the bad odor, it won’t completely solve the problem unless we provided thorough care and treatment to our feet. Introduced here is the arrangement of foot care methods, so please use it as reference.

1. Is this the cause of our smelly feet?

The root cause of the bad odor is the growth of bacteria on our foot.
The decomposition of sebum, keratin and dirt combined with sweat due to bacteria produces bad odor.

Introduced here in this chapter are the four main causes behind the growth of bacteria.
Try to read them and see if some apply to you or not.

It may be unavoidable, but if you know the cause, you would be probably convinced that diligently providing care to your feet, after all, is the best shortcut to get rid of foot odor.
Once you have determined the cases, we recommend you to try taking in the care provided in Chapter 2.

1-1 There is a problem in your shoes

The growth of bacteria in your shoes may be caused by the following:

- You wear the same shoes all day long without removing it, so they make your feet sweaty.

- Shoes made of materials such as rubber and plastic have poor breathability, so they make your feet sweaty.

- Wearing shoes that don’t fit in (wearing shoes that don’t fit into your feet makes your feet feel tense and ultimately unnecessarily releases waste products such as sweat)

- Wearing the same shoes everyday further increases bacteria a day.

1-2 There is a problem in your socks

If socks support the growth of bacteria, the causes may be the following:

- You wear stockings or socks with poor breathability.

- You wear socks while your feet is moist.

- You don’t change your socks even after your feet sweat a lot while doing physical activities such as sports.

1-3 There is a problem in your feet

Odor-causing bacteria live on your skin in the first place, so the lack of hygienic care you provide to your feet may directly affect the growth of bacteria on it.

- Not washing your feet thoroughly will not properly wash away sebum, dirt and bacteria away.

- A lot of sweat is produced due to factors such as physical activities and climate.

*The sweat on feet is not odorous itself. The waste matter produced out together with sweat becomes “odorous” when decomposed by bacteria. Sweat produced in amounts that exceed the moisture absorption and breathability of socks and shoes due to climate, exercise and stress promotes the growth of bacteria.

1-4 Due to illness

Illness causes the number of bacteria to grow easily. The three main factors are the following:

- The skin surface becomes rough due to athlete’s foot, so it makes bacteria to grow easily.
* Athlete’s foot fungus is not odorous itself.

- Because of factors such as excessive sweating, predisposition and stress, a lot of sweat is produced than a normal person does and it causes feet to be drenched in sweat that surpasses the functions of shoes and socks.
*Visceral diseases such as diabetes lowers your body’s immunity, so it makes bacteria to grow easily.

2. Three basic cares when dealing with smelly feet

Is there something that applies to you in Chapter 1?
Solving the root problem is also important for people who have an idea that they may have illness. It is recommended that you see your doctor.

Other than the three main causes of foot odor, they are further divided into three: “shoes”, “socks” and “feet”, and the basic care and measures that you may want to take in advance for getting rid of the odor are introduced here.

2-1 Shoes

Removing moisture from shoes is the first step of providing care to it.
Washing washable shoes such as sneakers may completely get rid of bacteria and dirt, but not all shoes are like that.
Avoid consecutively wearing shoes whose odor has gotten rid of, and let’s do the right thing of making them dry properly.

●The basic care for getting rid of the odor

- In a well-ventilated area, allow the odor from the shoes to pass out and dry it at the same time. Drying your shoes prevents growth of bacteria.

- You may dry the shoes under the sun, but socks should be dried in the shade as direct sunlight damages it.

- If you cannot perform the above, you may devise other ways on drying the shoes such as stuffing page s from a newspaper into the shoes to absorb moisture.

- You may use a deodorizer if the odor persists.
(You may use commercial deodorizer, but if you have a baking soda for cooking or cleaning at home, you can use it as an improvised deodorizer by stuffing it into a used stocking. Baking soda is effective against “isovaleric acid”, the cause of bad odors.)

■ Measures that you may want to take in advance

- When changing to sandals in the office, avoid prolonged wearing as much as possible.

- When buying shoes, choose the ones with good breathability (those which are made of mesh materials and are fitted with functional in-soles).

Avoid shoes made of synthetic leather and rubber as they easily make your feet sweat. A sweaty feet causes bacteria to grow.

- When buying shoes, be sure to choose that fits your feet well by trying to wear one.
For example, if you wear a large shoe, you would have to keep your footing so that the shoe won’t come off.
That tension produces unnecessary amounts of sweat. Sweat is a food for bacteria.

- When buying shoes, insert insoles with anti-bacterial effect into them.

2-2 Socks

When getting rid of persistent odor from your socks that cannot be done in ordinary washing, you have to pre-wash them with an antibacterial soap.
Eliminating bacteria is important.

The basic care for getting rid of the odor

- Use an antibacterial soap as your main soap instead of body soaps for moisturizing skin.

- After rinsing the socks, do the ordinary washing on them.

■ Measures that you may want to take in advance

- Carry an extra stockings or socks with you, and use it when changing.

- The parts between your toes sweat easily than you can imagine, so be sure to wear 5-toe socks that have sweat-absorbing properties.

- If you have a sweaty foot, be sure to dry them before wearing your socks or stockings.

2-3 Feet

The basic care for your feet is to make it clean by properly washing and disinfecting them.
Try to read the following points for effective ways of washing your feet.

The basic care for getting rid of the odor

- Taking a footbath makes washing away dirt from your feet easy.

- Use an antibacterial soap as your main soap instead of body soaps for moisturizing skin.

- Properly wash the parts between your toes, as well as the sides of your toenails.

- Be sure to completely wash away suds from your feet.

- After bathing, properly wipe away moisture from your feet.

■ Measures that you may want to take in advance

- Bring some antibacterial wipes with you. Once your feet perspires, use the wipes to wipe the sweat away and disinfect your feet.

- Diligently wash your feet once its perspires.

- Take care of your toes by washing/wiping/drying the parts between them.

Even if you mask the odor using a body spray, the problem will still persist anytime unless you provide a thorough care to your feet.

In order to get rid of the odor problems, please try to adopt the basic care methods introduced here as much as possible.

This article is translation of Japanese article, and the information listed is as of May 30, 2016 (Japan Standard Time). Please take note that this article is based on individual opinions or their impressions, and opinions may vary.