is a common problem, caused by excessive perspiration
and the growth of bacteria on the feet. Even the most
fastidiously clean people can suffer from foot odour.
There is a range of simple treatments available to
address this problem.
Feet are a breeding ground for bacteria
Each foot has 250,000 sweat glands and produces about a
cup (500 ml) of sweat daily. Excessive perspiration,
combined with bacteria, can cause offensive foot odour.
The bacteria that grow on the soles of feet actually
produce gases similar to those released by bacteria used
in producing cheese; hence the name 'cheesy feet'.
Treating the condition
The following treatments may be useful, depending on the
cause of the problem:
- Topical (applied to the
skin) or oral (by mouth) antibiotics may be
prescribed, in severe cases, to kill off the
- Mild antiseptic solutions or
soaps can be useful.
- Light powders can help to
absorb some of the moisture on the sole of the foot.
- Methylated spirits applied
once or twice a day can help dry the skin.
- Avoid synthetic socks and
wear shoes that allow good air circulation and allow
the foot to breathe (leather is good).
- Change your shoes regularly
to allow them to dry and air.
If these treatments fail, contact a
Where to get help
- Local podiatrist
- Your doctor
- Community health centre
- Australian Podiatry
Association (Vic) - Tel. (03) 9866 5906.
Things to remember
- Foot odour is a common
- There are many treatments
available, depending on the cause of the problem.