Medically known as bromodosis, smelly feet are a common year-round problem, especially for those living in the torrid climate of South Florida.
This unpleasant foot odor occurs when sweat mixes with bacteria that live on your skin and in your shoes, producing an acid byproduct that can leave you holding your nose in disgust.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely stop your feet from sweating, regardless of the temperature or time of year. There are roughly 250,000 sweat glands in your feet — the largest concentration of sweat glands in the entire body — that produce around a pint of moisture every day. And unlike sweat glands elsewhere in the body, the sweat glands in your feet secrete all the time, not just in response to heat or exercise.
The main causes of foot odor are:
Poor personal hygiene: By not washing your body regularly, you fail to slow down the buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
Hormones: You excrete more sweat during hormonal changes, meaning teenagers going through puberty and pregnant women are at a higher risk for foot odor.
Fungal Infections: Any sort of fungal infection on your feet, such as athlete’s foot, can create foot odor.
Hyperhidrosis: A medical condition that causes your body to sweat more than usual.
Stress: Anxiety and stress trigger the release of a stress hormone called “cortisol,” which in turn stimulates the sweat glands.