The People's Perspective on Medicine

Hand Sanitizer Offers a Simple Solution for Foot Odor

Cleaning the feet with hand sanitizer controlled persistent foot odor for one reader; could it work for you?

Do your feet smell bad? Foot odor is an embarrassing problem. Although there are many potential solutions (read about some of them here and here), it can sometimes be difficult to deal with stinky feet. One reader found an answer that may help others.

Persistent Foot Odor:

Q. I have had foot odor all my life. I have tried sprays, foot powder, soaps and Odor Eaters. I’ve rotated my shoes every day and sprayed them with Lysol and Febreze.

The only thing that helped at all was Dr. Oz’s suggestion to soak your feet in vinegar water every day, which was difficult to do faithfully. I usually have to throw shoes out after three months.

Hand Sanitizer Helped More Than Anything Else:

Last year I tried hand sanitizer on my feet. I rubbed a small amount on them each day after bathing or showering, and the odor was gone. I guess that it kills the bacteria that cause the odor. I hope this helps others facing the same problem.

A. Perspiration feeds the bacteria that produce foot odor. Feet sweat a lot, and shoes often trap it and intensify the problem. In winter, when people wear waterproof boots that don’t breathe, the problem may become worse.

Thank you for an ingenious suggestion. Using hand sanitizers probably discourages bacterial overgrowth. Many such products contain alcohol that kills germs.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Hand sanitiser works quite well, but you need to apply it daily or at least every few days.

For most of my 50 year adult life I suffered the embarrassment of smelly feet, consequently smelly shoes and closet!!! My feet perspired all year irrespective of the temperature including while wearing ski boots!!! A desperate visit to a podiatrist resulted in the diagnosis…bromodosis…otherwise known as smelly feet. The doctor indicated that he knew of no cure but recommended my use of good hygiene (insulting), use of foot powder (a foul smelling paste formed), rotation of shoes, wool socks (not very fashionable with women’s business suits) etc.

In fact, wearing pantyhose seemed to exacerbate the sweaty/smelly situation! I began to hate travel, going to the gym, trying on new shoes, even having annual doctor exams!!! I know this may sound extreme, but my normal life was seriously impacted!!! Fortunately, several months ago my husband noticed an on-line blurb suggesting the application of a small amount of hand sanitizer after bathing. EUREKA !!! Almost immediately my sweaty, smelly feet were gone!

Soon my shoes no longer smelled! My closet no longer smells! I no longer have to fear clearing the ski lodge when I remove my ski boots!!! I can’t emphasize how much my life has improved!!! WHY DID I HAVE TO SUFFER EMBARRASSMENT MOST OF MY LIFE??? I want to shout this easy solution from the roof tops!!! I want all health care people to recommend this easy solution to an awful condition! Thank you for this opportunity to share my new found freedom!!!

Thank you very much just be for finding this web page it occurred to me hand sanitizer kills germs, & this cite confirmed it! Hopefully gets rid of sweating & fungus.

When I turned vegan in about six months all odors went away. I used to have a foot odor problem –not anymore. In fact I don’t use any deodorants anymore and haven’t for years. I think the meat comes out of your pores or something. I don’t know. I can even wear the same shirt for over a week and there isn’t the slightest hint of odor. OF course it will need washing from the dirt from everyday living but no body odor.

In the book Is This Your Child?, Dr Doris Rapp, allergist, says that smelly feet are a symptom of food allergy.

I downloaded that Free Pdf about Smelly feet and it also had information on Athletes Foot, with remedies.
Most of the remedies mentioned were not cures.
I found a cure in 1998. It was: Diflucan (fluconazole).
I was being treated for an anal yeast infection caused by an antibiotic and my doctor prescribed Diflucan. To my surprise, my Athletes Foot problem which I had had for 28 years was cured. all of the other products they advertise for athletes foot only relieved the symptoms.

I forgot to mention that I only had to take the Diflucan for a week or possibly 2 weeks.

I also have good luck with hand sanitizer. I had a pair of sandals that were ruined due to smell. I rubbed hand sanitizer over them. The smell was gone. I had tried also sorts of other “remedies”. Wearing leather shoes help my feet not to smell as much too.

I have having a big problem with sandals getting smelly in the summer and consequently my feet. Even sent a pair back to manufacture and asked to replace which SAS did . When next pair started to smell IThen tried putting roll on deodorant on soles of feet after shower and it solved the problem. Kept one for feet and another bottle for under arms . I used Dove unscented roll on .

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