Smelly feet—10 causes and 10 solutions

causes and treatments for smelly feet

"The key point to remember is that there are different causes leading to patients having sweaty, smelly, or itchy feet," says David Pytowski, DPM, FACFAS, Podiatrist at ARC Kyle Plum Creek and ARC Southwest. "Successful treatment hinges on appropriate diagnosis." Dr. Pytowski shares several tips in a recent article in TheHealthy.Com.

What causes smelly feet?

  • Excessive sweating
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Poor hygiene
  • Athlete's foot
  • Bacterial buildup
  • Excessive coffee drinking and alcohol drinking
  • Diabetes
  • Perimenopause and menopause
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Mercury poisoning

How to get rid of smelly feet

  • Good hygiene-- The best place to start is foot hygiene: Wash your feet daily, including between the toes, Dr. Pytowski says. Make sure to also dry them very well and apply a foot powder.
  • Antiperspirants.
  • Antifungals--"Bacterial or fungal infections are common and fairly easy to treat, but if left untreated, they could lead to more serious infections, such as cellulitis," Dr. Pytowski explains. "For instance, cellulitis can happen when bacteria enter into the cracks of the skin caused by athlete's foot."
  • Natural remedies-- "These all have mixed or varying results in the literature typically with low satisfaction rates reported by patients," Dr. Pytowski says.
  • Charcoal or baking soda--"Other natural home treatment options include charcoal-based agents, as well as baking soda-based agents that can be purchased over the counter or made at home," Dr. Pytowski adds.
  • Soak your feet.
  • Tea tree oil.
  • Medical treatments-- "It is always a good idea to consult with a doctor prior to starting treatment on your own to get the right diagnosis for the best result," Dr. Pytowski says.

Make an appointment today

Make an appointment with Dr. Pytowski by calling ARC Southwest at 512-282-8967 or ARC Kyle Plum Creek at 512-295-1333, or online at

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