One common, embarrassing situation that many of us face is taking our shoes off in the middle of a gathering, and clearing the entire room thanks to unpleasant foot odor.
In medical terms, having generally stinky feet is known as bromodosis, and it’s no laughing matter when your friends wrinkle their noses and won’t sit too close to you.
Stinky feet usually arise from a combination of sweat and bacteria. As the feet are home to the largest amount of sweat glands in the body, and are often housed in shoes and socks all day, it is easy to see how this problem comes about. Luckily, there are several completely natural measures you can take to both avoid and remedy a bromodosis issue.
Wearing the same pair of shoes every day, and not giving them time to dry completely in between wearings, is a recipe for foot odor, since the moisture gives bacteria the ideal conditions in which to grow. Certain factors, including stress, hormonal fluctuations (such as occur during pregnancy and adolescence) and fungal infections can intensify foot odor.
If you have a fungal infection, a trip to a naturopathic practitioner or your health professional of choice is a good idea to nix it quickly and effectively. This is the best route to go, especially if you have broken, infected patches between your toes or anywhere else on your feet.
Basic foot hygiene includes keeping your feet clean and dry. Chiropodist Lorraine Jones adds, “the key is to never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Instead, wear different shoes on successive days so they have a minimum of 24 hours to dry out.”
Other simple preventative tips include wearing clean, cotton socks, choosing shoes made of natural materials like canvas so that your feet are better able to breathe, and sprinkling baking soda into the bottoms of your shoes to neutralize the odors.
Also – and we know we say this a lot, but it’s important – make sure you are eating a clean diet of whole foods, and staying away from processed foods, as toxins that accumulate in your body can leach out through your pores and lead to unpleasant odors.
Eating sugar, a natural food source for yeast, may make you more prone to fungal infections, so eliminating it can help if you are susceptible to athlete’s foot. Cutting sugar from your diet can also help lessen your risk of a number of health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease.
If you have just started a detox regimen, or have very recently cut processed and junk foods out of your diet, you may find yourself experiencing smellier sweat and body odor for a short time, as your body works to eliminate all of the toxins that have been built up. Make sure you stick with it, since this symptom typically passes fairly quickly, once the toxins are out of your system.
If bromodosis is a recurrent problem for you, try soaking your feet once or twice a day to tackle the bacteria. A very basic recipe is simply adding ¾ of a cup of epsom salt to about 10 cups of warm water in a tub, and soaking your feet for about half an hour, making sure to thoroughly dry them afterwards.
Another great bacteria-fighting soak ingredient is apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV has potent antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and adding about ½ cup to about 8 cups of warm water, and soaking your feet for 15 to 30 minutes twice a day can greatly help to keep the smell away.
After your feet are clean and dry, try applying a few drops of peppermint essential oil, mixed in a small amount of organic coconut oil. Not only can peppermint stop a nasty odor in its tracks, massaging it into your feet can also refresh and revitalize your entire body and mind, due to its potent and permeating scent. If you don’t like the smell of peppermint, sage essential oil is another great option.
If you have tried all of the above-listed suggestions and your foot odor is still a problem, it may be time to see a health professional to rule out an underlying medical issue.
-The Alternative Daily