Sweating in summer on a hot day or after a long Sunday jog may feel good, or at least normal, but sweating in winter when the weather is cold or you just come out of the shower can be a nightmare for individuals suffering from a condition called Hyperhydrosis. One common cause is simply the change in the weather. Any temperature change, whether it’s getting warmer or colder, can trigger excessive sweating. Sweat is the main cause of foot odor, and it can happen even when you think it’s cold and don’t realize your feet are sweating. These variations in temperature will make your feet to work hard to regulate temperature. As a result, perspiration ensues.
REASON: The most common reason for smelly feet during the winter is your footwear. Maybe you don’t suffer from foot odor at all in the summer time, because you go without shoes much of the time so your feet have more of a chance to air out. In the winter, though, you’ll usually find yourself wearing warm boots or non-breathing footwear like rubber boots, insulated boots, and waterproof footwear. With your feet being closed up, they don’t get the chance to air out and get rid of that odor. Bacteria causing the foul odor thrive in these enclosed environments.
CURE: So how do you keep your feet free from stinkiness in the winter? There are a number of things you can do to prevent foot odor in the winter time.
Swap your winter shoes: Never wear the same shoes two days in a row. To ensure the pair you wear one day may dries completely, you best switch to a dry pair the next day. This is especially important if your boots have become wet because of melted snow or rain too. More moist equals more bacteria. If you don’t have two pairs to wear, consider getting a boot dryer or air them out. It takes at least 24 hours for shoes to dry thoroughly.
Use Antiperspirant: Put antiperspirant on your feet. Do this before you put on your socks in the morning after washing and drying your feet completely, making sure to dry the area between the toes. Fungi and bacteria can develop between the toes if the area is not dried completely. Antiperspirants don’t just prevent underarm sweating but can also be effective in reducing foot perspiration too.
Soak Your Feet: Thoroughly cleaning your feet is more than rinsing them with a quick shower, so soak your feet in a mixture of vinegar and water or Epsom salts and water. Epsom salt pulls moisture out of your skin, which in turn makes a less-inviting place for bacteria to survive. You can use either white or apple cider vinegar which makes your skin inhospitable to bacteria. Do not use vinegar soak if your feet have open sores, scratches or cuts or if the soak irritates your skin.
Socks for winters: Change your socks when your socks feel damp with sweat, wash your feet and put on a fresh pair of socks. Keep baby wipes with you and use them to clean your feet at work or while you are in public places and can’t wash your feet. Some socks will contribute greatly to sweating and smell, but there are various types of socks that neutralize odors in summer and winters both. These are commonly made from polypro, a synthetic blend or Merino wool. You can also wear thin synthetic liner socks with thicker wool outer socks.
If wearing the right socks as well as other home remedies do not help cure your sweaty and smelly feet, go visit your doctor or a podiatrist. They may prescribe a more powerful antiperspirant or advice you to get iontophoresis treatment or, in worst case scenarios, botox injections.