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Smelly feet? Here are 6 possible reasons why your feet stink so bad

Updated on:22 August 2020, 19:13pm IST
More than embarrassment, smelly feet can be a sign of bacterial or fungal infection. Here is everything you need to know about the condition.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Even hormonal fluctuations can cause smelly feet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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If removing your socks and shoes after a workout makes you want to puke thanks to the ungodly odour emanating from your feet, then you’ve got a case of stinking feet. But before you blame yourself for it, remember: it’s the bacteria thriving on the sole of your feet that’s to blame. 

But what is more shocking is that women are more prone to this, thanks to the constant hormonal fluctuation in their bodies. Although, you have nothing to be worried about because bromodosis or smelly feet is a very common problem that plagues almost everyone. Dirt, bacteria, and sweat gets all mixed up in this case and gives out a funky smell. 

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But to get rid of this problem you need to understand the reasons behind it. So, here are the six most common culprits behind your smelly feet:  

1. You sweat a lot
Sweating is the most common cause of the smell. Our soles have endless sweat glands, so if you tend to sweat profusely then there are high chances of bacteria overgrowth on your feet which will ultimately lead to bad odour.

smelly
There is a reason why your feet smell so much. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. You might have athlete’s foot
If your feet are always packed in tightly-fitted shoes then you could have the case of athlete’s foot. In this situation, your feet sweat a lot and thanks to furious itching you get major rashes which can lead to infections. Excessive sweat, bacteria, and infection further leads to bad odour.

3. You are on your periods or pregnant
“When you are pregnant, your body goes through frequent and countless hormonal changes. Hormones change the way your body smells and that’s one of the reasons your feet also bear the brunt. The same thing happens when you are on your periods too”, explains Dr Anand Kalaskar, a general physician at Apollo Clinic, Pune.

4. You are under immense stress
According to Dr Kalaskar, stress also leads to a lot of sweating and if you are wearing tight shoes then bad smell is inevitable.

smelly feet
Stress less to avoid smelly feet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. The insole of your shoe is dirty
If you are not cleaning your shoes or are not exposing them to proper sunlight to kill the bacteria, then they can smell foul. So when you’ll wear them, your feet will also absorb this stink and end up smelling real bad.

6. You are not maintaining feet hygiene
Just cleaning your feet isn’t enough. You need to clean them twice a day with proper soap and moisturize them too. “People clean the top and sole of their feet and ignore the space between the toes. That’s where fungal infections persist. This can also cause a  foul smell in your feet,” he suggests.

“Just follow basic hygiene like cleaning your feet twice a day, using medicated soaps if need be, drying them, clipping your toenails, and changing your socks twice a day to get rid of stinky feet,” concludes Dr Kalaskar.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.