Q. My 12-year-old daughter is a ballet dancer and has started pointe. Her feet smell so bad we gag if she takes her shoes off. Do you have any remedies for foot odor?

A. Foot odor seems to be a common problem among young ballerinas. The mother of a 20-year-old dancer offered this advice:

“First, get some ‘shoe dogs.’ These are cedar-filled bags that absorb the moisture in the shoe and help with the odor.

“Second, ballet students also wear classic soft ballet slippers. Canvas slippers are better than leather, since the canvas kind can be washed every other week if need be. With daily classes, shoes don’t dry out, so purchasing a few pairs will help. They should be stored in mesh bags, not plastic, and outside the dance bag, not in it.

“Third, try a dry rub-on antiperspirant on the feet once a day. This also helped my son with his sweaty, smelly soccer feet.

“Fourth, if she is new to pointe, she may be wearing pads in the shoes to protect her toes. She should use natural lambswool pads that allow the skin to breathe.

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  1. Dane Youssef

    This is an especially unavoidable, heck, inescapable problem among athletes. The above all applies. But if I may, let me add to the gumbo of strong sage advice: she should use foot deodorant powder or even mere baking soda to her shoes. Baking soda is a good deodorant in general. Allow the shoes to air out also. Fill her regular shoes with Odor Eater insoles. Take hot showers once a day, scrub all areas thoroughly. Body odor can also be affected by what one eats.

    Good luck. Stay well. And smell good.

    All The Good Will Possible.

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