Bromodosis, or foot odor, is a type of body odor that can affect the feet of humans and is generally considered to be an unpleasant smell.
WHAT CAUSES BROMODOSIS?
The feet have more sweat glands than any part of the body. Shoes and socks can prevent the sweat from evaporating or being absorbed, which attracts bacteria. The bacteria cause sweat to smell bad, leading to bromodosis (smelly feet). If the sweat stays on the body it can encourage bacteria and fungi (which can lead to athlete’s foot) to grow. The smell is caused by the bacteria in the sweat.
Nonmedical issues can also affect foot odor. Shoes and socks made from synthetic materials increase the amount of sweat you produce and do not allow it to evaporate or be absorbed, so the foot stays wet. Poor hygiene can sometimes play a part, for example, washing your feet infrequently or not changing socks at least once a day. This allows bacteria to thrive, contributing to foot odor. Stress, certain medicines and hormone changes can also increase the amount of sweat the body produces, which leads to sweaty feet.
Bromodosis can also be caused by hyperhidrosis, a condition where the skin sweats excessively. Hyperhidrosis is often most common in teenagers and pregnant women, whose hormones are changing.
This isn’t contagious as it is caused by sweat, but if untreated could generate into Athlete’s Foot. Athletes Foot, (tinea pedis) is a fungal infection that usually begins between the toes. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight fitting shoes. This is contagious and can be spread by contact with an infected person or from contact with contaminated surfaces, such as towels, floors and shoes.
HOW IS BROMODOSIS PREVENTED AND TREATED?
Bromodosis can usually be controlled and treated by taking steps to reduce sweaty feet and bacteria. Good foot hygiene is essential and the following tips will help prevent bacteria multiplying.
- Wash your feet daily using mild soap or ant-ifungal soap and a scrubbing brush. Dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep toenails short and clean.
- Check the soles of your feet for hard, dead skin and remove it with a foot file. Hard skin can become soggy when damp, which provides an ideal home for bacteria.
For people that work 9-5 that can’t have time for themselves, using the wrong shoes and socks or wearing the same pair too frequently can contribute to smelly feet. Below are some tips on how to avoid this.
- Change socks at least once a day. Change your shoes every 24 hours if you sweat a lot or they are wet to allow them to dry out. Remove insoles to help the drying process.
- Wear socks that will absorb the moisture, such as thick, soft socks made of natural fibers or sports socks specially designed to absorb moisture.
- Buy shoes made of leather, canvas or mesh and not synthetic material.
- Consider wearing open-toed sandals in summer and going barefoot at home in the evenings.
Here are some home remedies:
- Try soaking your feet in mouthwash.
- Try putting medicated insoles in your shoes.
- Drink a lot of water. It is a better way to fight body odor.
- Fill a bowl with warm water and oatmeal, squeeze oats till water is milky then soak for 10 minutes and pat dry.
- Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts in two quarts of warm to clean and freshen up the feet, this solution will also help keep feet dry.
- Wear open toe sandals in summer and go barefoot at home in the evenings.
- Dab between your toes with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit after a shower or bath. Surgical spirit helps dry out the skin between the toes.
- Take some turnip juice or radish juice and try rubbing your feet with it. Being natural deodorants, these juices are excellent mediums of fighting body odor.
- Sprinkle talcum powder all over the feet or dust with baking soda to help reduce heavy sweating. Alternatively soak your feet in 1-part vinegar and 2 parts water.
- Taking a bath with some ginger for a long time helps one to sweat and rid body of toxins buy some ginger root-mash it up and use the juice and rub it on your feet.
- Use a spray deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. A normal underarm deodorant or antiperspirant works just as well as specialist feet products - and costs less!
- Some foot smell is caused by the same bacteria that cause acne so consider using some acne soap on your feet. It is a special soap that is anti-bacteria and helps to fight with body toxins.
If the above tips don't help with your foot odor problem, see your family physician or a podiatrist, who may prescribe a solution of aluminum chloride hexahydrate.Foot odor is usually caused by the breakdown of bacteria on the skin, and it isn’t relegated only to those who have diabetes – anyone can suffer from it.
However, sometimes it can be a symptom of a more serious diabetes-related problem – such as a foot infection or ulcer that has gone undetected because of nerve damage – and should be checked. Inspect your feet carefully and if you detect a foot wound, see your provider immediately.