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Embarrassed to Take Your Shoes Off? We Have Some Foot Odour Tips!

by in Beauty & Makeup on 24th December, 2018

So here’s the thing, no one likes to have these conversations because basic hygiene skills and etiquettes are supposed to be taught from a young age. However, with the acceleration of the use of new fibres, and materials in our clothes, or methods of hair removal,  a change in diet, or even hormones, all can lead to a number of different reactions and smells that bubble up from our bodies. Since we are approaching Summer, and since we are in the month of Ramadan with the Mosques packed with sweaty bodies lined up every night.  It is the perfect time to provide a little advice on etiquettes surrounding odours, that I guess can come in handy.

1. Remove Judgement

Firstly, I want to point out if someone you know suffers from foot or body odour first thing to take into consideration is that there is a very high chance they are more sensitive to the smells of their own body, more self-aware and thus shower/ try to stay clean as often as they can, perhaps even more than you. However, for many reasons, they just end up smelling a little more than others. They may excrete more sweat, they may be shaving wrong,  hormone changes or imbalances may be causing a smell, you get the picture. So rule number one is to remove any judgement. They know, so no need to embarrass them by mentioning it to them. Perhaps Allah is testing you by putting them in your vicinity during this time. Frankly, we have all had embarrassing body moments, and we really need to move past this shame culture, let’s get enlightened!

2. Foot Odour causes

A number of things can cause foot odour, mostly it is caused when the perspiration from the foot has nowhere to evaporate to, however it is not actually the sweat itself that is causing the odour. Bacteria that live on the person’s skin, eat the sweat producing isovaleric acid, which is what causes the odour. Athletes foot is another cause for odour. Anyone can get sweaty feet, however, pregnant women and teenagers are more prone to it due to rapid hormone changes. You are also more likely to have foot perspiration if you are on your feet all day. That includes a 9-5 worker, or stay at home mum, no one is exempt.

According to podiatrist, Lorraine Jones, feet become smelly if sweat soaks into shoes and they don’t dry before you wear them again. Bacteria on the skin break down sweat as it comes from the pores. A cheesy odour is released as the sweat decomposes.

Basically, when you sweat into your shoes, constantly all day, the shoes get damp this is where the bacteria begin to grow, and breed, more so if you have taken your shoes off and put them in a dark damp cupboard perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive, so it doesn’t matter if you have showered, scrubbed your feet and put on new socks, the same problem will continue to prop up.

3. Foot Odour Solutions

Here are some quick solutions:

  • Wash your feet with an anti-bacterial soap called Hibiscrub. There are lots of over-the-counter foot hygiene products at your local chemist, but Hibiscrub is the best one. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash away. Do this twice daily you will banish the problem within a week according to the NHS.
  • Find sports socks if you are a heavy sweater with ventilation panels, and antibacterial socks to keep feet dry.
  • Aerate your shoes- if you’re walking around in your shoes and socks all day it would be a cause for anyone’s feet to smell. Allocate a time in the day (prayer times preferably) to put your shoes near a doorway so they get time to breathe, and wash your feet (take wudu) and let your socks dry for a bit (use a hand dryer if needed).
  • use breathable shoes like canvas ones.
  • Wash and dry your feet every day, especially between your toes. (We are supposed to do this 5 times a day.)
  • Make sure your toenails are cut short, cleaned, and you shave under your feet with a foot file, and also cut off any hard skin.
  • Soak cotton wool in surgical spirit and dab between toes, after a shower or a bath.
  • Use sneaker balls. these are little balls you can order online, or get from any sports shop. They are used by being activated and placed into your shoes overnight, these are often used in trainers by athletes and sports enthusiasts, they help keep a fresh smelling trainer overnight.
  • Try not to use the same shoes two days in a row.
  • Use a recommended mint foot creme and apply in the mornings and evenings.
  • Use foot scrubs in the shower
  • Go for a monthly pedicure
  • Bring a change of socks with you for prayer time
  • Wear pop socks, they are less thick, and therefore won’t hold as much sweat
  • Change your insouls, you may find charcoal activated insouls which are used to absorb the bad smells allowing you to use the same shoes twice or thrice a week consecutively.
  • If these solutions don’t seem to work, consult your doctor it may be a hormone change, from medication, growth, or an infection.

Smelly feet are quite harmless, sometimes it can be your bodies way of telling you, somethings up. To raise alarm, and to ensure you’re taking care of the rest of your body.

Amaliah Anonymous

Amaliah Anonymous

This piece was written by a member of the Amaliah community. If you would like to contribute anonymously, drop us an email us on [email protected]