Expert Advice

How can I get rid of foot odor naturally?

Give foot odor the boot with these 5 easy tricks.
How can I get rid of foot odor naturally?
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ODOR-PRODUCING bacteria are to blame for your stinky feet, says Neal Kramer, a podiatrist in Bethlehem, Pa. These bugs thrive in the environment your feet provide--hot, dark, and moist. Follow these five steps to wipe them out.

1. CLEAN YOUR FEET. Scrub your feet with soap and water and dry them thoroughly, using a quick blast from a hair dryer to remove all moisture. Doing so will "cook off all those bacteria," says Jeanne Rose, an herbalist in San Francisco.

2. CLEAN HOUSE. Washing your feet won't help if the bacteria remain on your tub floor or in your socks. Scrub the tub every time you bathe, and only wear clean socks.

3. SPRINKLE ON POWDER. Rose suggests deodorizing with pure powdered sage (Salvia officinalis); sprinkle the herb on your feet daily before you slip on socks.

4. GET GOOD SHOES. Opt for open-toed shoes when possible and avoid rubber and plastic ones. Don't wear the same pair two days in a row; it takes them at least 24 hours to dry.

5. LEARN YOUR ANATOMY. A structural defect like a flat sole or high arch could cause your feet to work harder and therefore perspire more, Kramer says. Perspiration doesn't necessarily lead to smelly feet, but bacteria love the moisture. Consider seeing a podiatrist for a fitted shoe insert that will allow your feet to relax and, in turn, give off less heat.