Dancing in the rain is a Bollywood dream come true for many. From Barso Re to Koi Ladki Hai and Taal Se Taal to Kate Nahin Kat Te, rains have become synonymous with joyous dancing! And to dance away all monsoon, you need clean and healthy feet. But there is a peculiar foot problem which is intensely aggravated during monsoon – smelly feet.

With so much attention being paid to body odour, the issue of foot odour usually takes a back seat. Ever wondered why your otherwise low maintenance happy feet turn into terrible stinky feet as soon as the rain starts pouring? The unpleasant smells arising from your feet are a result of one or a combination of factors which are common during the monsoon season.

Common Causes Of Stinky Feet

1. Closed Shoes

Closed Shoes

Although wearing closed shoes seems like a good idea because they keep the feet dry during the monsoons, they are a major cause for foot odour. The moisture that accumulates in the closed footwear on account of sweat and rainwater is a breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria is responsible not only for smelly feet but it also leads to more serious problems like athlete’s foot.

2. Wet Socks

Wet Socks

Just as in the case of closed shoes, when one continues to wear socks that are soaked in the rain, bacteria begin to multiply. This bacteria then start to thrive on the moisture present in the socks and the unpleasant foot odour is due to an acid which is released on account of this activity.

3. Fungal Growth

Fungal Growth

The bacterial growth on the feet can escalate into a fungal infection pretty quickly. Such infections are a common cause of foot odour and if not tackled in time, these infections can lead to major problems.

Dealing with smelly feet and fungal infections can be a total dampener(pun intended). Thankfully, this grave problem can be tackled with the help of simple home solutions. The best thing about these home remedies for smelly feet is that they not only help get rid of that awful smell from the feet but also help in making feet soft, clean and free from infections.

Home Remedies For Smelly Feet

1. Foot Soak

Foot Soak To Get Rid Of Smelly Feet

Soaking feet in water mixed with essential oils and other kitchen-base cleaning and antibacterial agents has proven to be a very beneficial stinky feet remedy. It helps in getting rid of the moisture buildup between the toes, resulting in better smelling feet. The agents that are beneficial as a part of a foot soak are vinegar (apple cider or white), lemon juice, Epsom salts, baking soda and tea tree oil. Using one or a combination of these items mixed with warm water makes a great foot soak when it comes to neutralising the odour from stinky feet.

Tip: Using vinegar as a foot odour cure should be avoided if you have cuts or blisters as it can cause skin irritation.

2. Foot Scrub

Get Rid Of Stinky Feet With Foot Scrub

Exfoliating the feet is amongst the essential home remedies for smelly feet. Using scrubs and exfoliators help in getting rid of the dead skin which can be a cause for infections. A homemade foot scrub can be made at home using a mixture of oatmeal, grainy sugar, lemon juice and essential oil (lavender and tea tree oil are recommended).

Cracked heels also contribute to odours and growth of bacteria. Using a pumice stone while taking a shower can solve this problem. The frequency of using the pumice stone would depend on the level of cracks on the heels. A foot mask or a lotion should be applied after using the pumice stone or scrub.

Tip: Make sure to thoroughly clean your pumice stone every 2-3 washes to avoid buildup.

3. Foot Mask

Foot Mask For Smelly Feet

The act of exfoliating and scrubbing the feet tends to make the skin dry and fragile. There is an immediate need to replenish the moisture on the skin and provide much-needed care to the skin exposed due to the removal of dead skin. Hence, a foot mask becomes one of the most important home remedies for smelly feet in such cases. A popular stinky feet remedy is this homemade moisturising foot mask that can be made using turmeric (haldi), fullers earth (multani mitti), honey and olive oil. Just mix all of the ingredients and apply on the feet generously, let the mask sit till it’s completely dry and wash off with warm water. Use the mask every time you exfoliate your feet.

Key Tips To Prevent Smelly Feet

  • Don’t wear the same shoes for two consecutive days
  • If your feet get wet in the rain, wash them with soap 
  • Wherever possible, wash your shoes after each use
  • Avoid wearing closed shoes to prevent the accumulation of moisture
  • To avoid fungal infections, keep your toenails short and clean
  • Don’t reuse your socks, change them if they get wet
  • Change the insoles of your shoes regularly
  • Choose shoes made out of breathable materials, something that dries quickly
  • Wash and dry your feet often
  • Use talcum powder to absorb the excess moisture on the feet
  • Let the shoes dry completely before placing them in the shoe cabinet
  • Choose cotton socks over polyester, nylon or woollen ones
  • Try a foot spray which is meant to help with foot odours
  • Using an antiseptic cream will prevent fungal infections
  • For excessive sweating, use an antiperspirant on your toes
  • Dust your shoes with baking soda before wearing them as it absorbs any moisture present in the shoes
  • Wherever possible, choose open-toed shoes over the closed-toe ones
  • Keep a spare set of dry shoes at your school/workplace 
  • Place dry tea bags in the shoes to get rid of the stink

While everyone is struggling with how to prevent those terrible foot odours during the monsoon season, what makes this a pressing issue is that the odour is a common indicator of bacterial growth on the feet. There is a need to address the problem of smelly feet at the onset so that there are no major medical issues arising on account of it. Knowledge of these simple home remedies for smelly feet is a handy tool for everyone suffering from this problem.

Heena Paryani
Heena Paryani

Heena Paryani is an Operations Executive with a passion for teaching, jewellery designing, EXIM trade and writing. This Mumbaikar-at-heart is a wanderlust who enjoys cooking and sampling new cuisines.

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