Are You Washing This Body Part In The Shower? Have you heard? Dermatologists recommend not showering every day. Yes, it’s true. When you shower every day, you can deplete your body of natural oils leaving your skin dry and flaky. However, just like your armpits, it is important to wash your feet every day. Your feet sweat much more than your other parts of the body and therefore harbor odor-causing bacteria. Much like the rest of your body, your feet are covered in more than just dirt, especially at the end of a long day.
The feet are the closest proximity to the ground, which means they easily pick up dirt and all kinds of other bacteria when walking around. The bacteria on your feet feed on waste products that come out of your sweat glands, and that can produce odor the more it builds up. By washing feet your daily, you can stave off a plethora of potentially painful foot health issues including plantar warts, athlete’s foot and staph infections.
Just like brushing your teeth, good foot hygiene should be a part of your daily routine. The time to wash your feet is at night rather than the morning. That way, you can wash off all of the sweat, bacteria and other stuff you don’t want on your feet (or your bed) that you have accumulated on your skin during the day. Besides removing all of the unwelcome dirt and bacteria, you should wash your feet to cut down on their smell and to exfoliate. Regularly washing using a gentle cleaner and including the skin all over your feet—top, sides, and bottom— is an easy way to
stop them from smelling so much and you can practically see the toe “cheese” leaving from in-between your toes!
The reason you want to use a gentle foot cleanser is because some soaps can be filled with moisture-zapping chemicals and can lead to flaky, dry skin. The goal of daily feet washing is to keep your feet clean, bacteria free while maintaining the moisture level of your feet. Finish your daily foot washing ritual by thoroughly drying your clean feet and then coating them with a thick foot cream. Cover with cotton socks for the night and you’ll have smooth, clean, bacteria and odor free feet.
If you’re still noticing an odor when you take your shoes off at night, you may need to change up your footwear game as well. Make sure to wear clean socks made of moisture-wicking synthetic fibers, rotate your shoes every other day to allow for proper drying out, and talk to your podiatrist about orthotics if you're experiencing lingering issues.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director, HealthyFeetStore.com