Spare your poor feet and nose (of others too)!
Raise your hands if you’ve ever had to deal with someone’s smelly feet and shoes—at work, the gym or while in the train/metro? Yikes! Foot funk is a common year-round problem. Indian summers are too hot, and most of us are usually sweating buckets all over. Your feet are no exception. If you choose the wrong footwear during the rainy season, you’ll stink up the room. Man’s Life digs out ways to get you out of this smelly situation…
WHY DO OUR FEET SMELL?
Did you know we have more sweat glands in our feet than anywhere else on our bodies? As with body odour and bad morning breath, stinky feet are caused by the accumulation of odour-releasing bacteria! The really foul (pun intended) thing about feet is that they smell even worse when there’s moisture! Now moisture is unavoidable, as our feet are covered in sweat glands, and sweating is a mechanism in which the body regulates its temperature. Unfortunately, as the feet perspire throughout the day, this creates the perfect breeding ground for those cumbersome bacteria—if the moisture persists.
BAN THE STENCH
The good news first: Keeping your feet from smelling requires the easiest of routines. Now onto the not-so good one: You can’t be a lazy bum—you have to be committed to this routine on a regular basis. Take a look at the following to solve the case of the smelly feet!
1. GOOD FOOT HYGIENE
Duh. This is a no-brainer. A fabulous foot-care routine will ensure healthy, non-smelly feet! A bimonthly-pedicure (NO, it’s not only for girls/women) is a great way to keep your toes and feet in top form. You can easily get this done at home as well. A key part of keeping feet fresh is, well, washing your feet daily—whenever you come back home—and not just while taking a bath. Use a foot scrub to remove dead skin, which means there will be less of it in your shoes and socks. Or use a foot file to slough away the dry, hard skin—as it can become soggy when damp—which provides an ideal home for bacteria. Use an antibacterial foot powder as well, especially during monsoon. Try an apple cider vinegar soak, which helps to kill the bacteria on the feet. Soak for 10-15 minutes once a week to get rid of smelly feet.
2. DRY YOUR FEET
Whether you’ve gotten drenched in the rain or washed your feet or taken a bath—just make sure that you dry your feet, even between your toes thoroughly! Now that we’ve established that moisture provides the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, this is an essential step in preventing the stench!
3. THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
Each season requires a different pair of shoes. You can’t wear genuine leather dress shoes during monsoon. Also, in summer wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe like loafers or espadrilles for formal occasions and sandals for informal ones! Another brilliant way to beat the stink is by—using odour-absorbing insoles (you can order them online) into your shoes—which can further soak up moisture. NEVER wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row! Let them air out between wears so that they’re entirely dry the next time you pick them up!
4. WEAR SOCKS AND CHANGE THEM DAILY!
When it’s hot and sticky, we get it that the last thing you want to do is run out in shoes without wearing socks. However, when you sweat, it’s going to be soaked up by your footwear. You know how that story is going to end! So, wear socks or at least shoe liner socks whenever you wear closed shoes. Also, choose ones with natural fibres and not synthetic ones. Plus, as tempting as it may be to wear the same pair of socks on consecutive days—just stop being lazy and change them daily! During the rainy season, always carry an extra pair to change!
5. SHOE CARE
Much like everything else in life, your shoes need regular maintenance too. Make sure to clean them on a weekly basis. From shoe dusts and powders to sprays you get a lot of products to help negate moisture and bacterial build-up. Scrub the footbed of the shoe regularly to keep them super clean. For closed shoes—use wet wipes or plain tissues with a low-moisture gentle cleanser, to get into the shoe and scrub away dead skin. For sandals or flip-flops, use a toothbrush dipped in either baking soda diluted with water to form a thick paste to scrub away grime.
Don’t be embarrassed. Be proactive! See your GP if the above tips don’t solve the problem or if you think that your level of sweating is abnormally high!
[All Images Credit: Shutterstock]