You take off your shoes at the end of a long day and wonder what in the world that smell is. You’ve got stinky feet. It’s something that most of us run into at least once in our adult lives, and it is typically those of us who love wearing shoes sans socks, especially in the summer.
That smell you notice is most often caused by bacteria and sweat. The combination turns your shoes from fresh to foul and your feet from healthy to help me! Left unchecked, bacteria on the feet can lead to staph infections.
The good news is that you don’t have to visit a professional salon to get and keep your feet in peak condition. There are several things you can do at home to keep bacteria at bay.
1. Baking Soda Bath
Nothing feels quite as good as having a foot soak. It’s a great way to relax, and it can also be a great way to remove bacteria from your feet. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in 4 to 5 liters of hot water. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes and then rub with a pumice stone. Follow with your favorite cream and put on your socks. Do this every day for a week, take a break for a week and so on, for a total of three treatments.
2. Wear Socks
As much as you may hate to do it, wearing socks can help prevent bacteria build-up on your feet and in your shoes. Socks will absorb the sweat from your feet, keeping your shoes nice and dry. Even thin, no-show socks are better than none.
3. Dry Your Feet Well
Drying your feet well isn’t important only for people with diabetes – it benefits everyone. After you bathe or shower, take time to dry your feet with an absorbent towel, paying particular attention to between your toes. Follow up with a great moisturizing cream or lotion.
4. Wear Shower Shoes
Summer is a great time of year to stock up on cheap shower shoes or flip-flops. Wear these anytime you will be walking across areas where other people walk with their bare feet. Pool surrounds, locker rooms and public showers all contain bacteria. Wearing flip-flops will help prevent the bacteria from transferring to your own feet.
5. Change Your Shoes
We all have a favorite, go-to pair of shoes. If you find yourself wearing the same pair everyday, consider purchasing another pair of the same style. This way, you aren’t wearing the same shoes everyday, allowing bacteria to build up so quickly. Additionally, consider spraying the inside of your shoes lightly with an aerosal that kills bacteria and let them air out overnight.
A few changes in your daily habits can help keep bacteria at bay. If you notice that your feet aren’t feeling their best or you have sores or cuts that just won’t heal, Dr. Elizabeth Auger is ready to help you. Located in Salt Lake City, Dr. Auger can examine, diagnose and treat your problem, helping you maintain proper foot health.