Previous Step: The Root Causes of Stinky Feet in Layman's Term (Click here)
If you haven't read the causes of stinky feet yet, I recommend you to click the link above and go to the previous step to understand the causes first before learning how to cure it. After you fully understand the root causes, you can cure stinky feet more effectively!
Let Me Ask You A Question First...
How often do you wash your HANDs?
You may be thinking: "Very often. Every time after I go to toilet, every time before I eat..."
Now, How often do you wash your FEET?
"I wash my feet everyday after I reach home from a day of work, I wash my feet when I am showering."
It's very obvious that we focus on washing our hands a lot more than washing our feet. Yes, I know we can't really wash our feet when we are on-the-go. But because of that, do you pay even more attention to washing your feet when you finally have chance while showering? Probably not, right?
Chances are, our feet are being covered inside our stuffy shoes for a long time in the day. There are also chances for our feet to get in contact with the ground or mat. Our feet are actually very dirty and more prone to bacteria growth than our hands, but why are we paying so little attention to cleaning them when we have time? This is a question we all should reflect on.
I am guilty of this! Whenever I shower, I usually wash my feet with just tap water, at most I clean with my body wash. And I don't really care whether they are dry after showering. I just step on the mat for a few seconds to wipe off most of the water.
So, who to blame for stinky feet? Ourselves!
Top 9 Tips To Maintain Good Foot Hygiene
Tip #1: Clean Your Feet With Antibacterial Soap
It's definitely not enough to just wash your feet with tap water or body wash. There are simply too much bacteria on our feet which we usually neglect it.
To cure stinky feet, you must have an antibacterial soap especially for your feet. It kills germs much more effectively than your body wash. It also inhibits the growth of bacteria.
But if you don't have an antibacterial soap, you can use an antibacterial hand-wash or hand sanitizer as a substitute.
Tip #2: Give Your Feet a Good SPA
Have you heard of foot SPA?
I'm talking about the machine that can give your feet a good massage in a mini SPA.
Since we are going to wash our feet thoroughly everyday to cure stinky feet (if you are determined to combat stinky feet and listen to my advice), why not make washing feet a pleasurable activity instead of a chore? If you treat it as something you could look forward to, it will be much easier for you to wash feet consistently.
Foot SPA machine is something that I would recommend to transform your feet washing into a pleasurable activity. Basically, you can have a foot massage + washing while you watch your favorable drama on TV after your work. Simply relax on your couch and let the foot SPA machine do the work for you.
There are a lot of nerve endings and pressure points or acupoints on your feet. Massaging your feet after a days work can really relief your feet and whole body as well. In this way, it can be something you could look forward to after your work while washing your feet to combat stinky feet. Isn't that awesome?
Tip #3: Dry Your Feet Well After Washing
As I've explained in the causes of stinky feet, sweat and moisture provide good environment for bacteria to grow. Keeping your feet dry after washing is also very important.
Make sure you pay close attention to areas in between your toes. That's the part which is usually moist and hence more prone to bacteria and fungi growth. If serious enough, this can further lead to common skin infections like athlete's foot.
Tip #4: Utilize Surgical Spirit
In addition to drying your feet with towel, cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit can be used to dry the areas between your toes much more thoroughly and effectively. Surgical spirit is antiseptic, meaning that it can be used to kill bacteria and fungus at the same time, thus being a good method to cure stinky feet.
Tip #5: Use Antiperspirant Foot Spray
Since sweat is the root cause for stinky feet, reducing the production of sweat should automatically reduce the smell.
Antiperspirant spray comes to play in this place. After you spray your feet, it will react with the electrolytes in sweat to form "gel plugs" which block the pores of the sweat ducts to reduce sweat production. As mentioned earlier, the amount of sweat glands on the feet is the highest in the whole body. Therefore, blocking some of the pores using antiperspirant spray can be quite effective in this case.
Caution: However, don't spray just before you are wearing your shoes. You should spray at least 5 to 10 minutes in advance. Or else, your feet will be slipping and sliding inside your shoes.
Tip #6: Apply Zinc Cream
An alternative to antiperspirant spray is zinc cream. Zinc is known to have drying and antibacterial effect on the skin. It can also be used to treat sensitive skin. So, applying zinc cream before putting on shoes is also a good way to combat foot odor.
Tip #7: Shave Excessive Hair
People who are more "hairy" should shave their excessive hair especially on the toes. Hair, together with some water or sweat, provide an even more conducive and moist environment for bacteria to grow. It also increases the surface area in which the bacteria can thrive. Therefore, excessive hair can contribute to the smell as well.
If you have more hair on your feet, make sure you shave it.
Tip #8: Don't Wear Shoes Without Socks
Socks are worn to absorb sweat and prevent direct contact between your feet and your shoes. If you don't wear socks, the sweat, dead skin cells and dirt will be absorbed directly by the shoes and get trapped there.
You can wash your socks daily after they absorb your sweat. But can you wash your shoes daily? Or did you even wash your shoes before? Most people's answers are negative.
The more sweat, dead skin cells and dirt being trapped in the shoes, the more conducive the environment is for bacteria to breed inside your shoes. Then you will have a big trouble. It will always be contributing to the smell before you clean your shoes thoroughly.
Tip #9: Keep Your Toenails Trimmed and Clean
As you would have known, long toenails provide good shelter to breed bacteria. (This same principle applies to fingernails as well.) So regularly trim your toenails not only reduces the amount of bacteria grown but also prevents toenail fungus.
Do take note of the length of your nails. Also, when you clean your feet, make sure you clean thoroughly including areas under the nails.
The above 9 tips are the ones that are the most important. I highly recommend you to keep in mind all these if you are suffering from stinky feet. You do not have to practice all 9. Each of them do help. You pick the ones that are more relevant to you and work on it.
How do you find these tips? Do you have any more relevant and effective tips you want to share? Please leave them in the comments below.
Next Step: Taking Care of Your Foot Gear (Click here)