Having stinky feet can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Foot odor is caused by sweat interacting with the bacteria on your skin. Thankfully, there are many products available that can help control foot odor. Here is an overview of some of the best foot odor control products on the market.
Soaps and Body Washes
Using a soap or body wash formulated for foot odor when you bathe or shower can help reduce bacteria on your feet that causes odors. Look for soaps that contain antibacterial ingredients like triclosan or tea tree oil. Some foot soaps also contain moisturizers to prevent dry, cracked skin which can worsen foot odor. Popular foot soaps include Dr. Scholl’s Odor Destroying Foot Soap and Odor Blast Body Wash by Gold Bond.
Washing your feet daily with a foot soap and using a washcloth to gently scrub can help dislodge bacteria. Make sure to rinse thoroughly and dry your feet completely when done. Focus washing between the toes where bacteria tend to accumulate.
Using a scrub made for feet can slough away dead skin cells and remove dirt and bacteria buildup. Foot scrubs often contain exfoliating ingredients like pumice, sea salts, or fruit enzymes. After scrubbing, wash and thoroughly dry feet. Apply a foot cream afterward to hydrate skin.
Some foot scrubs to consider are The Body Shop Peppermint Revival Pumice Scrub, Soap & Glory Flake Away Shea Butter, Sugar Crush Body Scrub, and Ogx Extra Creamy + Coconut Coffee Scrub. Use a foot scrub a few times per week in your foot odor fighting regimen.
Foot Powders and Sprays
Applying a foot powder or spray can help absorb sweat and moisture where bacteria grows. Look for moisture-wicking ingredients like zinc oxide, baking soda, and talc. Menthol and eucalyptus are also added to many foot powders to provide a cooling, deodorizing effect.
Some popular foot powders are Dr. Scholl’s Spray Powder, Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder, and Odor-Eaters Foot & Sneaker Powder. Spray options like Lush Silky Underwear Dusting Powder or Carpe Antiperspirant Foot Lotion can make application easier. Reapply foot powder twice a day, especially before exercise when feet tend to sweat more.
Odor Fighting Socks and Insoles
Wearing socks and insoles designed to fight foot odor can keep your feet fresh all day. Many are infused with antimicrobial silver ions that neutralize odor-causing bacteria. Bamboo fibers naturally wick moisture and control bacteria growth in socks. Brands like PalmPeds and Dr. Scholl’s make odor fighting socks and insoles to combat sweat and odor.
Rotate your shoes and allow them to fully air out between wears to prevent bacteria buildup. Cedar shoe trees can help absorb moisture in shoes when not being worn. Disinfecting shoe sprays like OdorKlenz Laundry Odor Eliminator can also be used between wears.
Fungal infections like athlete’s foot can contribute to foot odor. Over-the-counter antifungal creams, sprays and powders can be used daily to clear up fungal infections. Look for active ingredients like miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate. Apply antifungals between the toes and on the soles where fungi thrive.
Improving foot hygiene and keeping feet dry can help prevent recurrence of fungal infections. Disinfect shoes and socks regularly and avoid going barefoot in public areas like pools or locker rooms where you can pick up fungus.
Foot Deodorant Creams
Deodorant creams are formulated to neutralize foot odor for prolonged freshness. Many contain odor absorbing ingredients like activated charcoal along with soothing moisturizers. Apply foot deodorant creams like Gold Bond Softening Foot Cream or Odor Eaters Foot & Sneaker Cream daily, especially before putting on socks and shoes.
Look for deodorizing foot creams that contain tea tree oil or eucalyptus to fight bacteria plus shea butter or aloe to prevent dryness. massage cream thoroughly between toes and on soles where odors emit.
Improving your oral hygiene can also have an impact on reducing foot odor. The bacteria that causes bad breath can also contribute to foot odor. Brushing and flossing thoroughly every day and using an antibacterial mouthwash can reduce bacteria levels in your mouth and body that lead to odors.
Home Foot Soaks
Soaking your feet helps soften calluses while also drawing out dirt and bacteria that leads to odor. Make your own foot soak by mixing warm water with antifungal and antibacterial ingredients like apple cider vinegar, epsom salts, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil. Soak feet for 15-20 minutes, then scrub away softened dead skin.
Be diligent about washing and fully drying between toes after soaking. The moist environment can worsen fungal or bacterial growth between toes if remnants are left.
See a Podiatrist
If you have severe or persistent foot odor, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist. A podiatrist can assess if you have any underlying medical conditions contributing to excessive foot odor like hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Prescription-strength antiperspirants, oral medications or botox injections can be used for excessive sweating.
A podiatrist may also determine if you have a fungal toenail infection that could spread to cause toe web infections. Long-term oral antifungal medications are sometimes needed to fully clear stubborn fungal infections affecting foot odor. Addressing any foot problems will get down to the root cause of foot odor issues.
Making foot hygiene a regular habit along with using the right foot care products can help control troublesome foot odor. Try different options to see which foot odor remedies work best for your feet. Be consistent and persistent to see improvements in keeping foot odor at bay. Soon you can confidently go shoeless and have fresh-smelling feet.