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Bromodosis (Smelly Feet)

Are your smelly feet making you feel self-conscious?

A very common condition, also known as bromodosis, smelly feet can have a negative impact on the lives of those it affects.

Fortunately, if you have stinky feet, there are several highly effective over-the-counter treatments that you can try.

What is bromodosis?

Bromodosis is a common medical condition that makes your feet smell bad. Often referred to as foot odour or ‘smelly feet,’ bromodosis can affect anyone at any age. Bromodosis typically occurs due to a build-up of sweat which causes bacteria to grow on the skin.The positive news is that bromodosis can be easily treated without the need to see your doctor.

What are the main symptoms of bromodosis?

The most common symptom of bromodosis is smelly feet. However, you may also experience other symptoms such as:

  • Itchy patches between your toes
  • Cracked skin that may bleed
  • Small pits or holes on the soles of your feet
  • Small cuts on the skin

If your bromodosis is severe, you will be able to smell a bad odour coming from your feet even when you are wearing socks and shoes.

itchy foot

What are the most common foot odour causes?

There are several contributing factors to developing bromodosis, including:

Excessive sweating

Compared to the rest of your body, your feet produce a lot of sweat. This is because the feet have a lot more sweat glands. Throughout the day, these sweat glands release sweat which is designed to keep your body cool and your skin hydrated.

While everyone’s feet sweat, some people are prone to more sweating than others which can cause smelly feet.


If your body is producing more hormones than usual, then this can cause you to sweat more which can result in smelly feet. Teenagers and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to bromodosis due to their changing hormones.


If you have a job that requires you to stand on your feet all day, then you are more likely to suffer from smelly feet. If your occupation also puts you under a lot of stress, then you are also more at risk of developing bromodosis.

Poor hygiene

In some cases, bromodosis is caused by poor hygiene, such as infrequent foot washing or not wearing clean socks.

How is bromodosis diagnosed?

In most cases, you can diagnose bromodosis yourself by identifying the most common symptoms, such as feet that smell bad.

However, if you are unsure about whether you have bromodosis or another foot condition, you should make an appointment with your GP or podiatrist.

During your appointment, your doctor will carry out a physical examination of your feet to check for other foot problems such as athlete’s foot and fungal infections.

They may also ask you if you have any other symptoms or if you have any underlying medical conditions that could be causing your smelly feet. If they think something else may be causing your smelly feet, they may take a blood and urine test.

What is the best bromodosis treatment?

There are several over-the-counter treatments and prescribed medications that can be used to treat bromodosis.

Some of the most popular treatments to stop smelly feet are:

Medicated foot creams

Foot creams are one of the best foot care products available due to their multi-tasking abilities. They can be used to hydrate dry skin, remove dead skin cells, and to remove foot odour.

Look for a foot cream that contains ingredients designed to treat smelly feet, such as CCS Foot Care Cream, which contains eucalyptus oil. Foot creams should be applied between 1-2 times per day for best results.

Antiperspirants or foot sprays

Although intended for use on the armpits, antiperspirants can also be used as a foot odour remedy. Alternatively, if you want to buy specific foot odour products, foot sprays and foot powders can be applied to the feet to absorb sweat and reduce odours.  

These can be bought over-the-counter at most pharmacies without the need for a prescription.


Iontophoresis is an innovative foot odour treatment that uses a mild electric current to reduce sweating of the feet. Ask your doctor or podiatrist for more information about iontophoresis.


Botox can be injected directly into the feet to treat excessive sweating. This treatment is also used to treat excessive armpit sweating. It is worth noting that this can be painful and does not always work to cure bromodosis.

apply cream on foot

Are there any home remedies for bad foot odour?

If you would prefer to try a smelly feet remedy that you can carry out at home, then there are a few that you can try.

Epsom salt foot soak

If cleaning your feet with warm water and soap is not enough to banish bad smells, then you can try this foot soak for stinky feet.

Mix half a cup of Epsom salts into a bowl over warm water and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes. Make sure that you thoroughly dry your feet afterwards.

Vinegar foot soak

If you do not have any Epsom salts to hand, then vinegar is another highly effective stinky feet remedy.

To make this foot soak for smelly feet, mix two parts warm water with one part white or apple cider vinegar and soak your feet for up to 20 minutes.

When do you need to see your doctor about bromodosis?

In most cases, bromodosis can be treated with over-the-counter foot powders and foot creams or with home remedies for smelly feet. However, if these do not work as a smelly feet cure for you, you should book an appointment with your doctor or a podiatrist.

They can prescribe stronger antiperspirants, foot powders, and medicated foot creams that are designed to treat excessive sweating.People who have diabetes are more at risk of serious health conditions if they develop problems with their feet, so if you have diabetes and develop smelly feet, you should see your doctor. The same applies to people with a weakened immune system.

How long does it take to cure bromodosis?

Although bromodosis can be an embarrassing condition to have, it can be easily treated with over-the-counter treatments and a few simple lifestyle changes. In most cases, bromodosis can be treated in as little as a week.

If you have an underlying health condition that causes bromodosis, then you need to treat this and take extra care of your feet to avoid any complications.

How to prevent bromodosis

There are several hygiene and lifestyle practices that you can adopt to prevent bromodosis, aka smelly feet. These include:

Clean your feet daily

To prevent smelly feet, you should wash your feet every day using a mild soap and warm water. Make sure that you dry your feet thoroughly after washing, especially between the toes to avoid developing stinky toes.

Trim your toenails

If you don’t trim your toenails regularly, this can lead to foot problems such as ingrown toenails and fungal infections, both of which may lead to smelly feet. You should trim your toenails straight across and then use a nail file to smooth the edges.

Use a pumice stone or foot file

If you suffer from dry skin on your feet, then it is a good idea to use a pumice stone or foot file several times a week to remove dead skin cells. Soak your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes first, and then gently exfoliate your feet.

Change your socks daily

To avoid a build-up of sweat on your feet, make sure that you change your socks daily. If you have engaged in strenuous activity such as a workout or long walk, then you may want to change your socks after this also.

Alternate footwear

If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, then this could be causing your smelly feet. To avoid this, alternate between two pairs of shoes every other day. If you are prone to sweaty feet, you may want to remove the insoles and allow them to dry out between uses.

Use a foot powder

If you are prone to fungal infections, then an antifungal foot powder or spray can help to keep your feet fresh and fungus-free. These can be bought at most pharmacies, supermarkets, and online.

Moisturise your feet daily

Although you may think that moisturising your feet will make them more prone to sweat and odour, this is not the case. A quality foot cream such as CCS Foot Care Cream will keep your feet in good condition, which can help to prevent foot problems such as athlete’s foot, fungal nail infections, and bad odours. CCS foot cream also contains eucalyptus oil which is known for banishing bad smells.

Frequently asked questions

How to get rid of smelly feet?

The best way to get rid of foot odour is to practice good hygiene. Make sure you clean your feet daily, wear fresh socks every day and alternate your shoes every other day. Foot powders and foot creams can also help to absorb sweat and banish bad odours.

How to get rid of stinky feet?

The most effective smelly feet treatment is good hygiene habits. Wash your feet daily, keep the areas between your toes dry and change your socks each day and after exercising. Foot powders and creams with odour-eliminating ingredients such as CCS Foot Care Cream are also effective at treating smelly feet.

How to get rid of smelly feet permanently?

To get rid of smelly feet permanently, you need to use a foot cream or foot powder daily, keep your feet clean and dry and always wear clean socks. You may also want to consider Botox injections which can stop the glands in your feet from producing sweat.

How to stop smelly feet?

You can stop smelly feet by practicing good hygiene, changing your socks daily, and alternating your footwear so that any sweat can dry out. If you struggle with severe smelly feet, foot powders and foot deodorants can help to banish bad foot odour.

Why do my feet smell like vinegar?

If your feet sweat a lot, then they might start to smell like vinegar. This condition is known as hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. People with diabetes, a thyroid condition, and nervous system disorders are more likely to develop hyperhidrosis.

What causes smelly feet?

Smelly feet are caused by excess sweat. Although anyone can develop smelly feet, this problem is more common in teenagers, pregnant women, and people who spend long periods on their feet. Stress can also cause smelly feet.

Is smelly feet a sign of diabetes?

Smelly feet are not usually a sign of anything serious and can be easily treated with OTC foot powders or foot creams. However, sometimes smelly feet can be linked to a medical condition like diabetes. If you think you might have diabetes, then make an appointment with your doctor as this condition can make you more susceptible to other foot problems such as athlete’s foot and fungal nails.