Q. I’ve suffered for years from excessively sweaty feet, resulting in a very bad foot odor problem. It was noticeable even with my shoes on my feet.
It didn’t matter how many times I changed socks or shoes throughout the day. None of the normal foot care products had any effect.
Out of desperation one day, I grabbed a bottle of Absorbine Jr. and rubbed it all over my feet. I had no problems with foot odor that day.
I now use it once a day. I apply it to my feet before I put on my socks. The odor is gone and my feet sweat very little. One bottle lasts a month.

A. Thanks for the suggestion. Absorbine Jr. has a long history as a liniment, going back more than a hundred years. It contains menthol and other herbal extracts, some of which have antimicrobial activity. The manufacturers state: “It also soothes hot, tired, itchy feet.”

Join Over 52,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two newsletters with breaking health updates, prescription drug interaction information, home remedies and our award-winning radio program. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. Jim W.
    Reply

    This is not a comment but a question. I too have very sweaty, then stinky feet and have used the usual foot sprays which may help for an hour or so, but not long term. I think I have read in your newspaper column a cure of some sort of simple household item to use, such as listerine, or similar item to stop sweaty, stinky feet…. PLEASE HELP, it is embarrassing to take my shoes off and have stinky feet, because of the sweating… please email me any help you can give, thanks and I am an avid reader of your articles.

  2. ER
    Reply

    Use one part vinegar in two parts water, spray your feet after showering and the odor will be gone. Done it, it works.

  3. Ann
    Reply

    I had stinky feet as a child… once resolved by changing the brand of sneakers I was wearing as it was a manifestation of a reaction to the sneaker materials.
    Recently though Ive used Avon’s Peppermint Foot Cream and it has both cleared up my athletes foot AND it reduced the odor. I didn’t know it would work so well when I bought it, it just smelled good at the time.

  4. Susan Dickerson, MD
    Reply

    Speaking as a veteran, the classic military remedy for guys with stinky feet is to urinate upon one’s feet in the shower. I think there is a valid scientific explanation for why this works that has to do with chemicals that occur in urine (which is a sterile fluid, by the way….)

  5. BT
    Reply

    Also, YEARS ago Absorbine Jr. was advertised as a treatment for athlete’s foot. They had a picture of a foot with a little crack between two toes and a drop of Absorbine Jr dropping on it. So it must have some anti-fungal properties too.

  6. fbl
    Reply

    I think I read that zinc helps body odor-both underarm and feet. I added zinc to our supplements many years ago and now that I think about it my own body odor seems less than when I was younger.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE TOO HAVE HEARD THE ADAGE, DON’T STINK: TAKE ZINC!
    IT IS IMPORTANT NOT TO OVERDO ON ZINC, THOUGH, AS IT CAN SET UP A RELATIVE COPPER DEFICIENCY IF YOU TAKE TOO MUCH.

  7. beau10
    Reply

    I used to have the same problem with my feet and also developed a fungal infection of the toenails of my right foot. My grandmother gave me a suggestion that I have used to this day: twice a week use a container large enough for your feet and into that pour hot water, a couple of cups of white distilled vinegar and a cup of Epsom Salts and soak for about 30-45 minutes. I followed her suggestions that I use to this day and my smelly foot and nail fungal problems ended. When this is done, the dead skin can be rubbed off the foot also (same effect as a pedicure).

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.