Everyone has to deal with smelly feet, but it should be an occasional annoyance that is easily overcome instead of something that overwhelms you each and every time you remove your shoes. You've probably tried a few different ways to eliminate the smell, such as using a deodorant designed for feet, changing your socks (ideally to those without synthetic fibres), or using odour-absorbing insoles. While these measures might have some effect, those effects are minimal and don't last. What can be done about feet that constantly sweat and smell bad?
The fact of the matter is that your feet may be so pungent that you need medical assistance to overcome the problem. You should see a podiatrist. Ask your doctor for a referral if you don't already have a preferred podiatrist. But what can they do to help?
It's not sweat itself that smells. The secretion interacts with bacteria on your skin, who love the stuff, essentially using it as a breeding ground. It's this bacterial interaction that creates the unpleasant smell. This is why you can often wash away the smell of body odour, but it's not so easy with your feet. Hardened skin on your heels and the soles of your feet mean that the odour-causing bacteria can be trapped. Your podiatrist may opt to remove this dead skin. It's gently scraped away using a small metal tool, using a technique known as debridement. The removal of this skin (where odour-causing bacteria can be stuck) can greatly improve the smell of your feet.
Of course, it's not a given that you have an accumulation of hard, dead skin on your feet. Your podiatrist may then decide to reduce the amount of sweat that your feet actually produce, which should sharply reduce the unpleasant scent. How will they do this?
Botox isn't just for wrinkles. A series of botox injections into your foot will paralyse the nerves that produce sweat. This can take several weeks to truly be effective, and it won't entirely eliminate sweat, but will substantially lower the amount of sweat your feet produce.
Your podiatrist can also suggest a treatment known as iontophoresis. This involves your feet being immersed in water. A mild electrical current then passes through the water, increasing in intensity until your feet begin to tingle slightly. It's harmless and painless and targets the nerves that produce sweat, reducing the amount of sweat that's produced by your feet.
Remember that excessively, continually smelly feet can be a medical problem. As such, you may need a medical solution. Contact a podiatrist to learn more.