What Causes Foot Odor?


Quick Answer

People develop foot odor when their feet sweat and bacteria interact with the sweat, according to WebMD. The medical term for this condition is bromodosis, but keeping quality hygiene practices cures the problem quickly.

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What Causes Foot Odor?
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Full Answer

The feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body, and sweaty feet can happen to anybody. The hormonal changes taking place in pregnant women and teens make them particularly susceptible to high levels of sweat on the feet. People who work standing up all day, who operate under a great deal of stress, or who suffer from hyperhidrosis, which causes abnormally large amounts of sweat, can experience increased amounts of perspiration, as stated by WebMD.

Over time, this sweat saturates shoes. If a person wears those shoes daily so that they don't have time for the sweat to dry out, foot odor develops. Bacteria develop on the skin, and they break down the perspiration as it exits the pores. This decomposition leads to a smell that resembles unpleasant cheese. The bacteria thrive in the presence of additional sweat, creating a cycle of bad odor. Alternating days with different pairs of shoes, washing and drying the feet each day, and changing socks at least once a day keep the bad smell from developing and stop it once it is present, notes WebMD.

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