2. What Causes Stinky Feet?
Sweaty feet, known as palmoplantar hyperhidrosis, means excessive sweating and usually causes stinky feet. The sweat glands in the foot area of the body are what produces the odor.
Because the foot has around 250,000 sweat glands, feet tend to sweat more than other parts of the body. These sweat glands have a purpose, however. The reason for all these sweat glands is to keep the skin moist, acting as a thermostat, in a sense, to help regulate the body temperature.
When it’s hot outside or perhaps you get extremely warm when exercising, the thermostat kicks in to make sure your body temperature stays in check. To do this, the glands secrete sweat, but it’s a bit different than other parts of the body in that the glands constantly secrete sweat that’s usually unnoticeable.
Sweaty feet typically happen on both feet verses one or the other. The exact cause has not been fully discovered ,but overactive sweat glands and genetics seem to play a role.
Smelly feet happen when bacteria on the skin breaks down the sweat as it comes from the pores, and usually a cheesy smell is released as the sweat decomposes. Other causes can be related to daily stress, an injury due to some structural issue in the foot area, standing on your feet all day, wearing the same shoes daily without allowing them to dry, poor personal hygiene, hormonal changes in the body — in particular in teens and pregnant women — and, of course, athletes who may experience fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot.
Even though the problem seems to be more prominent in the hotter months, it can happen anytime of the year. But hot weather can make matters worse, even causing broken skin and blisters.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the most obvious symptom of smelly feet is feet that sweat excessively. Some people sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes. The feet may also have a whitish, wet appearance, and foot infections may be present because the constant wetness breaks down the skin, allowing infection to develop.
This bacteria and excessive sweat create the foot odor. Those suffering from hyperhidrosis may also experience emotional stress and worry regarding the foot odor, making it even worse. Sweat-related anxiety and isolation can be particularly severe among teens with plantar hyperhidrosis. (10, 11)