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.