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Author Topic: Why do feet smell ?  (Read 18993 times)

Offline ADD HAHAHA

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Why do feet smell ?
« on: 19/04/2005 03:12:28 »
After a day da smell of my feet is...hmmmm...WEIRD,NASTY,BAD..... how could i change that ?

P.S. i dont wear socks

Drew Rody
« Last Edit: 10/05/2005 17:19:16 by NakedScientist »


 

Offline Quantum cat

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #1 on: 19/04/2005 04:16:56 »
You get smelly feet because bacteria like to eat your sweat, and their waste after eating it is a chemical that smells yuck to us. If you wear socks, your feet don't get smelly because ... well, I'm not really sure. But I think it has something to do with your sweat being able to evaporate in the air gap maybe? That would be why your feet are damp after being sockless for a day versus perfectly dry after having worn socks. In any case if you want to avoid smelly feet, wear socks and wash them every few days if not every day!
 

Offline daveshorts

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #2 on: 19/04/2005 10:56:31 »
There may be another effect. The skin on your feet is allways wearing off as you walk, now if you wear socks most of this will get stuck in the socks, and then get washed off if you wash them. If you don't wear socks the dead skin will build up in your shoe as there isn't a lot of other places for it to go. Now there are lots of bacteria that would consider skin as a wonderful food and will chomp away on it. The kind of bacteria which eat dead skin are not very different from the kind of bacteria that will eat live skin so  you have evolved to avoid them - so you find their smell unpleasent.

Does anyone know if there are chemicals (left over from tanning or otherwise) in leather that inhibit the growth of these bacteria, and this is why leather shoes don't smell so bad?

ps The question is perfectly reasonable - the whole point of this site is to answer random science questions! I can live with the spelling, but it may help if you read through you posts before you send them and see how they sound, as they can be a bit of a challenge to decode.

pps If you are going to complain about other people's grammar it may be sensible to check yours first ;)
 

Offline chimera

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #3 on: 19/04/2005 10:56:54 »
There's also some hormone or half-product involved that smells weird, and is produced not only there, but has remarkable similarities to the hormone that signals a female dog is in heat, which is why some dogs LOVE your towsies.
« Last Edit: 19/04/2005 10:58:12 by chimera »
 

Offline Exodus

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #4 on: 19/04/2005 11:41:58 »
Putting your shoes in the freezer for a day and night can help reduce the problem... i believe bicarbonate of soda can also be used but don't quote me on that.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #5 on: 19/04/2005 11:48:23 »
Drew's question is how can he combat smelly feet. This is a very serious question and demands careful consideration.

I'm assuming you're not prepared to wear socks Drew , so, you can either use those foot odour insoles things, liberally dab your feet in talcum powder, spray your feet with foot deoderant, wear sandals,put a little placard between each toe that says ' No More Smells', grow a thornless rose bush in your shoes (Rose perpetua or Rosa provincialis)or chop your feet off and wear them around your neck.....Hmm the last one may seem a bit radical as you'll lose a few inches in height but at least you'll be able to bite your own toenails.


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Offline gsmollin

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #6 on: 19/04/2005 12:43:09 »
The odor-eater insoles are very effective in combating foot odor. However, there is one drawback. Dogs love smelly feet. My dog used to sleep in my smelly shoes when they were in the closet. Yum, foot odor. Well, my wife wasn't as fond of it, so she made me use those odor eater insoles, and sure enough, they greatly reduced the foot odor. Now my dog doesn't love my smelly feet like she used to. You just can't please everybody, especially two females!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #7 on: 19/04/2005 13:31:25 »
...with a dog like that you've got your own personal foot washer, might tickle a bit but at least you'll have clean feet and a happy dog too.

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!
 

Offline chris

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #8 on: 19/04/2005 14:24:51 »
Okay, here's the answer to the smelly foot conundrum :

Your feet are endowed with over a quarter of a million (250,000) sweat glands that squirt nearly half a litre (500 mls) of sweat into each of your shoes, every day. (Recent experiments also found that men are officially sweatier than women !)

At the same time your body is shedding dead skin cells at the rate of up to 50,000 a minute. If you piled them all up, after a year you'd have half a kilogram (500 g) of dead skin.

This means that your feet are essentially providing a free supply of food and drink that can sustain a thriving population of bacteria and fungi.

Trainers are magnificent for making feet ming because shoes made from synthetic fabrics tend to be less absorbent, and less-permeable to gas and liquids (in other words less breathable) than leather, so they essentially stew your feet, creating a bacterial banquet beyond measure.

Leather on the other hand, being breathable and absorbent, draws away the sweat, keeping the feet drier and hence making it more difficult for bugs to grow.

As everyone knows, bacteria and fungi often produce volatile waste substances as byproducts of their metabolism (the night after a curry is a good example of this) and foetid feet are merely manifestations of the same thing.

Intriguingly, scientists trying to discover the ideal mosquito attractant found (by wearing the same pair of socks for over a week) that smelly feet are a potent biting-bug-bait, and so too is Limburger cheese. It turns out that both Limburger cheese and feet harbour very similar bacteria which produce very similar odours, explaining why smelly feet are often referred to as 'cheesy' !


The answer, therefore, is to switch to leather, or more breathable, footwear, buy some odour-eating in-soles, or switch to more absorbent socks that not made from nylon.

Chris

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« Last Edit: 10/05/2005 17:21:59 by NakedScientist »
 

Offline ADD HAHAHA

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #9 on: 20/04/2005 03:34:42 »
thank you all for your input

p.s. i'll admit that i have asked a few dumnb ass questions but i have also ask some vary reasonably ones and i'm sorry for the grammer and spelling english wasn't my best subject i got c's most of the time!! :)


Drew Rody
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #10 on: 23/04/2005 12:03:46 »
If your feet smell and your nose runs, then there is a good chance that you are upside down

Death is natures way of telling us to slow down.
 

Offline ADD HAHAHA

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #11 on: 10/05/2005 18:57:54 »
maybe ur right i do have a runy nose all the time :)

but y would my feet smell?


Drew Rody
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #12 on: 10/05/2005 20:11:51 »
Perhaps when you're not looking, your feet like to eat garlic !

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Offline simeonie

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #13 on: 10/05/2005 22:00:06 »
I confess that I have stinky feet and my trainers are even stinkier.... Do you have any good sugestions?

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Offline Ians Daddy

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #14 on: 10/05/2005 22:18:19 »
LOL @ Andrew..... Simeonie, try baking soda / freezing your shoes. I scrub the hell out of my feet when i shower to get rid of bacteria food.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #15 on: 11/05/2005 08:17:44 »
Best deoderiser on the planet is lemon juice, even great for under the arms, in the fridge, in smelly cool bags, bacteria cant survive it! And you body gets a nice helping of vitamin C to boot.

Glad you liked the joke

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Offline chris

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #16 on: 11/05/2005 08:30:20 »
mmm, I'm not terribly sure how well vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is absorbed topically (i.e. through the skin).

At a guess I'd say badly, if at all. So unless you plan to lick the lemon juice from the suitably deodorised body part, the vitamin C angle should probably not be part of your decision.

Also, rubbing lemon juice under your arms is likely to act as a highly effective wasp-bait, so anyone at risk of anaphylaxis, watch out :D

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #17 on: 11/05/2005 09:43:15 »
Wondered why I kept getting stung. :)

I have used lemon juice for years now as a topical application for smelly armpits.

I am surprised that you believe that topical applications are not easily absorbed though. Maybe we should set up a lawsuit against the drug cartelís who sell £billions of topical applications? Which, I would advise against contact with the tongue.

In fact the skin is very good at absorbing topical applications, which is precisely why topical alternative treatments and prescription drugs are effective.

In fact, My friends Father was killed following topical application of a well known brand of muscle rub that causes heat, when it entered hi blood stream and caused him to collapse. He never recovered.

Bacteria and viral infections can also take advantage of the skins ability to absorb oportunistic pathogens.

Lemon Juice has some amazing properties and is being used to combat AIDS in Africa and Thailand. Think Cassanova also mentioned it in his writings, as an effective spermicidal, which kills sperm in 20 seconds. Do a google on lemon juice contraceptive, it's amazing to see the uses er have for lemons. http://www.aids.net.au/lemons-news-30-07-04.htm

Having seen the family going down with a severe cold, I rubbed lemon juice all over my body, and my head and face, then went to bed. I did not get ill? And many of our friends and family went down with the same or similar bug.


Must have been a "Dose of Alice" I think Christopher Robin went down with it also.



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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #18 on: 11/05/2005 13:12:01 »
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=151

Found this previous link about smelly feet on the forum.

Andrew

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Offline chris

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #19 on: 11/05/2005 14:21:22 »
I agree that certain substances are well absorbed via the transcutaneous route, some better than others. Fat-soluble substances, like oestrogens, nicotine, or deep heat, pass well through the skin. But as skin is designed to keep our body fluids in (water in other words) transdermal movement of water-soluble agents, like vitamin C, occurs much less efficiently.

Vitamin C is good for skin because it promotes collagen biosynthesis, but as this recent dermatological publication reveals, trans-cutaneous delivery occurs efficiently only under specific conditions :

"Topical vitamins C and E, as well as topical selenium, protect skin against sunburn, suntan and skin cancer and also reverse the mottled pigmentation and wrinkles of photoageing. However, only certain forms of these labile antioxidants are stable and active after percutaneous absorption. For effective topical application, vitamin C must be non-esterified, acidic and optimally at 20% concentration"
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 3 2004: 149

Somehow I don't think your lemon juice, unless it's not real lemon juice, will have an ascorbate concentration approaching 20%. Indeed, the accepted vitamin C concentration of lemon juice is 46 milligrams per 100 grams.

Chris

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Offline neilep

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #20 on: 11/05/2005 20:03:41 »
At least the lemon juice will act as a marinade for smelly pits and feet (for the cannibals amongst us), and then you can drop the lemon into a nice chilled glass of sparkling mineral water or an alcoholic beverage of choice...............which is nice !

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #21 on: 14/05/2005 23:57:04 »
Well, it does stop my pits from stinking!

It cannot be patented and sold for a fortune, so I doubt the study would be Pro freshly squeezed lemon.[8D]

If applied to zits / spots it nukes the pus into a clear liquid[^]

It acts as a very good insect repelent and we have used it to kill fleas on our dogs and cats.

And judging by the wrinkly feet and toes of people who spend too long in a bath tub, I would say that water definately does get past the water barrier[^]

Tried wearing a clean pair of sox every day, but by the end of the week I couldn't get my shoes on [:o)]
 

Offline Infamous

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Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #22 on: 30/03/2007 01:05:59 »
I really think it's all a matter of personal hygiene. Bathing everyday and changing your socks in like fashion will usually eliminate, or at least reduce, problems with foot odor. Keeping your feet as dry as possible will also help with this problem. Even though these practices are helpful, eveyone is different and some people simply have greater difficulty with this than others do......................Infy
 

Ethos

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Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #23 on: 11/04/2009 21:43:56 »
After a day da smell of my feet is...hmmmm...WEIRD,NASTY,BAD..... how could i change that ?

P.S. i dont wear socks

Drew Rody
Maybe you should try wearing socks, and BTW, it helps to change them every day, right after your bath. Keeping them dry by applying a drying agent will also help.....................Ethos
 

Offline Yomi

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Why do feet smell ?
« Reply #24 on: 12/04/2009 13:02:33 »
Just a tradiotional cause!!!!! :o :o :o :o
 

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Why do feet smell ?
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