Foot Odor & Sweating

A child holding a shoe pinching his nose and making a bad smell face

When sweat gets trapped inside shoes, the result can be foot odor, an embarrassing and uncomfortable condition. The foot has more sweat glands than any other part of the body, and that sweat isn’t easily absorbed due to the wearing of socks and shoes. Bacteria can grow which causes an odor. The medical term for sweaty feet is hyperhidrosis, while the term for smelly feet is bromhidrosis.

Diagnosis

The patient will usually recognize the problem at home and come into the office to seek treatment.

Treatment

A topical ointment, cream, powder or spray can be applied daily to reduce to the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. Other procedures using an electric current or botulinum injection may be indicated to decrease the amount of sweating.

Without Treatment

Sweaty, smelly feet may continue to make people feel uncomfortable. In certain situations these conditions may be a sign of a more complicated medical problem.

Prevention

Bathing daily and drying feet completely will help to decrease foot odor. Applying a thin layer of baby powder and changing socks every day will also keep sweating down. Don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Wear cotton socks and shoes that are breathable.