As the warmer weather of spring and especially summer approaches, many of us begin to worry about the impact of the more intense heat on our bodies. Excess sweating can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing. This can happen not only under the armpits, on the forehead, or around the neck, but also on our feet. While feet do not show their sweat in the same way as those other areas of the body, they can emit a powerful smell, as well as endure additional physical discomfort.
This is perfectly natural, which may or may not be a relief to read. We sweat to cool ourselves, which is a physical reaction to stress, anxiety, fear, and pain. Our feet are especially prone to such emotional sweating, in part because there are more sweat glands on the soles of our feet than even under our armpits. Feet can sweat up to eight fluid ounces a day, which is like pouring a bottle of water into your shoes and socks.
Since we keep our feet enclosed in our shoes nearly all day, and since our feet sweat all day, bacteria and dead skin are more likely to develop and build on them. Unfortunately, that creates a perfect storm for pungent odor, which is what we smell when we finally take our shoes off.
What do we use to combat the odor under our armpits? Deodorant. So why not put deodorant on our feet too? True, using baby powder (or talcum powder) is also effective. But that can be a little messy in the application. Just as cleanly as deodorant goes on under our armpits, it will also go on our feet cleanly.
Keep in mind that hard deodorant antiperspirant is preferable, working better as well as going on more cleanly. Just rub it once on the top of each foot, across the toe knuckles and over the arch; then run it below, from the ball of the foot to the heel. Make sure that feet get their own bar of deodorant, and keep that deodorant away from the armpits. Should you have foot fungus or athlete’s foot, you do not want that transferred to your armpits via deodorant.
If the idea of using antiperspirant deodorant on the feet does not appeal, a simple alternative step is to change socks regularly throughout the day. When feet often inhabit the same pair of socks for extended periods, they are much more likely to develop a fungus or athlete’s foot. Removing the moist environment in which feet sit will help prevent these conditions, as well as make your feet feel better.
If you continue to suffer from excessive sweating, your Lansdale foot doctor also recommends rubbing antifungal ointment on your feet twice a week, or spraying yours shoes with an antifungal deodorizing shoe spray to kill the odor-causing bacteria.