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Foot Odor Cure

Updated on December 12, 2017

Is it your shoes, your foot, or both that stink

Does your family cry when you take off your shoes after a hard work? If they do then you are like so many people, your feet do not smell very well after they sweat - but not me because I use what I am going to detail to you now.

Foot odor, knоwn іn thе medical profession аs bromhidrosis, cаn bе traced tо bacteria thаt find your moist аnd warm feet, socks, аnd shoes thе perfect place tо breed аnd multiply. Thousands оf sweat glands оn thе soles оf thе feet produce perspiration composed оf water, sodium chloride, fat, minerals, аnd various acids thаt аrе thе еnd products оf your body's metabolism. In thе presence оf cеrtаіn bacteria nаmеly thоѕе fоund іn dark, damp shoes), thеsе sweaty secretions break dоwn generating thе stench thаt turns people green.

Like any bad odor that can be attributed to personal hygiene, it is embarrassing to you when you take good care of yourself, yet this damn odor tells the others something different. It is normal that fungi will nourish in a wet warm atmosphere, so it is a preventable situation as you will see, and if you could not prevent it you can easily treat it.

Is It Preventable?

As we see, the odor is caused by fungi which survive and norish in a humid warm environment, and the problem is reinforced when a viciuos circle is created , when they penetrate deeper into skin layers and predisposes the foot skin to bacterial infection, or live in the shoes, so that any superficial treatment does not suffice to eradicate the problem, because there is always the source of infection.

Drying your foot is the milestone of eradicating the problem

Amongst the so many tips and advices given to you, drying your feet immediately after bathing even if you have to use your hair dryer, changing soaks frequently, and not wearing the same shoes two succesive days - whenever possible -, are the most important precautions you can take to prevent foramation of foot odor.

Home Remedies for Foot odor

Since we deal with a problem that is basically caused by increased sweating, it is helpful if you spend a couple of minutes to read The solution of excessive sweating. Here are some remedies to overcome this problem

* Black Tea

Brew 2 tea bags in 2 cups (1 pint) of boiling water for 15 minutes. Add the tea to 2 quarts of cool water that contains 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt, and soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes. You can use Liquid Grape Tannin by adding 1/8-1/4 teaspoon to 1 quart of hot water. Tannins are protein precipitant and they are believed to help heal the cracked skin.

* Epsom Salt Ointment

Vaseline Petroeum Jelly ................... 100 grams

Epsom salt ................................ 2 teaspoons

Sage oil .................................. few drops

Thyme oil ................................. few drops

You may dissolve Epsom salt in 1-2 spoons of water and mix it with vaseline. Apply it before wearing the shoes.

* Zinc oxide & Benzoyl peroxide ointment

Zinc oxide ointment ...................... 25 grams

Benzoyl peroxide cream ................... 25 grams

Epsom salt ............................... 1 teaspoon

Stinky Feet

When the problem is beyond your control because you have hypersiderosis (abnormal sweating) or bromohidrosis ( very stinky foot), your doctor may recommend to you one of the following therapies :

* Bacterial infection thrapy:
In case your foot is inflamed and infected with baceria, he may prescribe an antibiotic like Erythromycin %2 or Clindamycin %1 to be applied topically twice daily.

* Glutaraldehyde

It is the active ingredient in many sun-free tanning products, its solution  may be applied to the bottom of the feet, but it stains them brown. In fact, glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde (which does not stain the skin and is used in some nail polishes) are very effective in eradication the problem, since they kill the fungi and bacteria, harden the skin through protein cross-linking, and greatly reduce perspiration, but their safety remains an issue.

* Acetic Acid Foot Baths
Acetic acid foot baths can be effective in drying up sweat glands, if treatments are given 3 times per day.

There are some more drastic treatments like Electrode Therapy, Botulism Injections, and Surgical Solutions, yet they are hazardous and more expensive.


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    • profile image

      Dan 6 years ago

      Zinc oxide at least 40% cream. Scrub and dry feet well. Generously cost entire foot, and I do mean generously. Then put on a pair of clean, new cotton socks for the night. Repeat for 2 more nights and replace your shoes. Foot odor will be gone as long as you continue to wash and dry your feet daily. After first day of treatment, even after wearing my stinky work shoes all day, I took them off and they smelled like new shoes!

    • profile image

      lubango 6 years ago

      my feet smeell bad for the laat three years it even not stop smelling when i walk .i couldn't travel with street where people present.the smell is like a smoke from cars even it reacts with the smoke from cars .i have tried the formalhdried but it didn't stop it and when i use creams the smell it make to smell cheesy i.e it make much worse

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

      Interesting and informative hub, much needed. I do have cautions about the formaldehyde as it must used with knowledge, as you stated, about safety questions.

      When I wear tennis shoes several days I will put some nano or collidal silver cream with lotion on my feet...and it stops the odor too!

      Thank you for sharing your tips.

    • profile image

      shaun 6 years ago

      i'm the same as david too, tbh ive tried everything, mine are that bad my shoes smell like amonia, it stinks the house out within 5 mins if i take my shoes off. all the silly creams dont work even after 5 months of using different ones, ,my socks after just 20 mins stick to my feet!!they are that bad, ive tried powders, bleach, cutting skin off, burning it, antibiotic tabs, not wearing shoes for days, different socks this is bullshit!! my feet just sweat too much to clear it, ive tried leather shoes, sandles, i cant go anywhere i smell like a tramp all the time, i washed my feet for 15 mins the other day, got out dried them, they still smelled after that, i mean a 15 min scrub!!

    • profile image

      angel-raf 6 years ago

      i hope things mentioned above will work.. i'm in a situation same as David. @ David.. can you please tell me if you were able to solve the issue. Have a nice day to all.

    • elqalatawy profile image

      elqalatawy 7 years ago from Egypt

      Hi zac,

      Thanks for visiting!

      For the feet you may read the hub again. For the shoes, pour 1 TBS of formaldehyde (formalin)in the shoes and leave it in the sun or in warm place until it is dry.

    • profile image

      zac 7 years ago

      How do you stop Smelly feet odor even my shoes smell so bad i work at this place and i have to stand at one stop for hours the odor started when i became a worker there

    • profile image

      Dane 7 years ago

      Thanks for all of the helpful tips, I had no idea that zinc was such a dominating factor when it comes to foot odor. Great article.

    • profile image

      jasmin 7 years ago

    • profile image

      DK 7 years ago

      I am in the same situation as David. What should I do? My feet stink after bathing. And I don't wear any shoes. Let it up in the air. It sweats.

    • profile image

      Frank 7 years ago

      Hey guys... why so complicated? All these complex methods... better wear cedarsoles inside your shoes. They medicate the real causes, because cedarwood is highly antifungal.

    • profile image

      Michael 7 years ago

      Very nice and informative hub.


    • elqalatawy profile image

      elqalatawy 8 years ago from Egypt

      Hi David,

      Try Betadine skin cleanser and put vaseline between your toes.

      You need something potent that kills fungi and bacteria.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      David 8 years ago

      Hi. I seriously need help. I'd say over the last three years, I've spent more than $2000 trying to eradicate this problem. It's gotten me down to the point of thinking about suicide just to rid me of dealing with the social awkwardness that arises from it. First I tried scrubbing the hell out of my feet. Next I was using every shoe insole for odor prevention known to man. Then I started with the spray on foot powders, shoe sprays, I tried athletes foot cream. I've tried babypowder, I've tried putting antiperspirant on my feet and sleeping with bags tied around them. I obsessively clean the shower and mop the floors in an attempt to rid bacteria. I've bought and thrown out more than twelve pairs of shoes and boots over the past three years. I've tried Perspirex, Xzuber, footsoaks with up to 8 bags of black tea. Alternating shoes, I've literally done everything and can't resolve this problem. I live in Ontario and despite being forced to pay for health care, I can't find a family doctor. What do I do? I need serious help soon or I will kill myself. It was never this way, I was a happy person with a lot to live for. Now I'm at the prime age of my life with the most debilitating problem.

    • elqalatawy profile image

      elqalatawy 8 years ago from Egypt

      Hi Ginady55,

      Thanks for stopping by! Formaldehyde is included in the American and British Pharmacopeias (USP & BP) which represent the constitution according to which drugs are made.

      In BP, it is included in Disinfectants and mentioned that "A solution containing Formaldehyde Solution 3% has been used for the treatment of warts on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet." "In the Uk the use of formaldehyde in cosmetics is restricted to use in nail hardeners to a maximum of concentration of 5%.(actually we need this hardening between the toes when they are soft, delicate,infected and inflammed) "

      Formaldehyde and Salycilic Acid Paint (A.P.F.) Formaldehyde Solution 10 ml, salycilic acid 10 g, acetone 40 ml, alcohol (90%) to 100 ml.

      Emoform toothpaste once contained Formaldehyde Solution 1.3%.

      I personally use formaldehyde Solution 5% in vaseline 2 or 3 times every summer, yet I did not include it because there is a safety debate about it.

    • ginady55 profile image

      ginady55 8 years ago


      What if I want to use formaldehyde as it is the best according to your hub, how can I use it?