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Dr. Suzanne Levine

Are smelly feet actually a medical condition?

Yes. “Bromhidrosis” is the term used to describe excessive secretion of smelly sweat. The word comes from the Greek “bromos,” meaning stench, and “hidrosis,” meaning sweat. In relation to your feet, the less formal name for it is “dirty sock syndrome.” Bromhidrosis is a quasi-medical problem, because it’s not serious medically speaking but, nonetheless, it can cause social agony. However, if the sweating problem is severe and blisters develop on your feet as a result of the sogginess, it is called “dyshidrosis,” which is a more serious, medical condition.

 

Who gets smelly, sweaty feet?

Almost all of my patients have at some time or another worried about foot odor. They often apologize to me before they peel off their socks or  stockings. “I really did wash my feet today, but I think they smell.”

 

Can food make your feet smell funny?

When you eat spicy or pungent foods, such as onions, peppers, garlic, or scallions, the essence of these odors can be excreted through the exocrine glands  in your feet. Spicy food can also make you sweat more. So yes, your feet can end up smelling like what you have eating.

 

How can you control sweating and its odor?

 

At home:

  • Use an antiperspirant or a deodorant
  • Odor-prevention products.
  • Go barefoot whenever you can.
  • Choose shoes made of natural materials
  • Change shoes regularly.
  • Spray inside your shoes
  • Change socks often
  • Wash feet daily with antibacterial soap
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Learn relaxation techniques

Excessive sweating could be hyperhidrosis?

 

One of the newest and best ways to treat excessive sweating is with Botox or Myobloc injections.

 

If this condition persists see your Podiatrist.

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