Foot Odor & Prespiration

Excessive foot perspiration can lead to embarrassing foot odor and physically uncomfortable feet.


The interaction between the perspiration and the bacteria that thrive in shoes and socks can generate odor. It can be an inherited condition: some people’s feet sweat more than others.

Stress, some medications, fluid intake, and hormonal changes can also increase the amount of perspiration produced.

Preventing Foot Odor

In general, foot odor can be controlled with a few preventive measures:

  • Keep feet clean and dry
  • Always wear socks with closed shoes—cotton socks are best
  • Wear shoes made of leather, canvas, mesh, or other materials that let feet breathe
  • Change socks and shoes at least once a day
  • Let shoes dry out between wearings
  • Check for fungal infections between toes and on the bottoms of feet. If any redness or dry, patchy skin is observed, see a podiatrist right away
  • Dust feet frequently with a non-medicated baby powder or foot powder
  • Applying antibacterial ointment also may help, or an antifungal ointment if fungus exists


Soak feet in strong black tea for 30 minutes a day for a week. The acid in the tea kills the bacteria and closes the pores, keeping your feet dry longer.

Use two tea bags per pint of water. Boil for 15 minutes, then add two quarts of cool water. Soak your feet in the cool solution.

In some cases, a prescription ointment may be required to treat the problem.