One of my readers contacted me for a natural solution to a common but embarrassing problem, smelly feet. Sweaty feet and foot odor are quite common, especially among dancers, athletes or as the hot weather sets in. Wearing shoes and socks that don’t breathe or rough, dry skin on your feet can promote foot odor. Bromhidrosis, foot odor, is due to bacteria that breed and multiply in warm feet, socks, and shoes. The soles of your feet have thousands of sweat glands that produce perspiration, which can breakdown in contact with certain bacteria, causing an odor.
Bunions, hammertoe, fallen arches, excessive perspiration and odor, or toenail fungus require a visit to the podiatrist. There are several simple things you can do however, to prevent ordinary foot odor. Clean your feet regularly with a scrubber and soak them in salt to prevent calluses. Choose open toed shoes or sandals during the summer; otherwise wear leather or canvas shoes, which breathe. Air them out occasionally in the sun and don’t’ forget you can wash your sneakers! Avoid shoes lined with solid rubber or synthetic materials. Wear all cotton socks. Sprinkle your shoes with cornstarch to absorb moisture.
To get rid of foot odor, soak your feet in either white vinegar or tea. Brew 2 tea bags in a pint of boiling water for 15 minutes; add tea to 2 quarts of cool water and soak for about 20 minutes. You may need to do this daily for a week.
Below is a recipe for a foot deodorizer with specific herbs and essential oils known for their astringent and deodorizing qualities.
Foot Deodorizer (Recipe from Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles)
Ingredients: Foot tub, 6 quarts water, ½ cup sage, peppermint or rosemary leaves, ½ cup baking soda, 5 – 10 drops rosemary, sweet orange, peppermint, tea tree or eucalyptus essential oil
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and add the herb of choice. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain into the foot tub. Add baking soda and the essential oil and swish with feet to blend. Soak feet for 15 – 20 minutes. Towel dry and coat with moisturizer. (Coconut oil works great!)
There is a natural solution to everything – good luck!