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‘People who suffer from the excess sweating condition hyperhidrosis may be more susceptible to smelly feet, as are those who have infections such as the fungal infection athlete’s foot,’ says Mr Fitzpatrick.
‘I advise my patients to fill a plastic plant sprayer with surgical spirit and spray their feet, allowing it to dry before putting on socks, to kill off bacteria,’ says podiatrist Matthew Fitzpatrick.‘There are lots of expensive sprays available over-the-counter for smelly feet, but surgical spirit is far cheaper and will do the job.‘Don’t use it every day, though,’ he cautions.
Hyperhidrosis most commonly affects the hands, feet, underarms, face and head — as these areas have a higher concentration of sweat glands.
People sweat excessively regardless of the temperature around them.
Whiffy trainers, smelly socks, sandals and shoes and foul-smelling feet are all the result of bacteria breeding on sweat and building up in the foot area.
Consultant podiatrist Matthew Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the College of Podiatry, says no one has inherently smelly feet and that it’s all down to poor hygiene.‘It’s not the sweat that smells but the bacteria that breaks down sweat on the foot, and if it’s not washed away and is allowed to build up in socks and shoes that aren’t changed regularly, then your feet become smelly,’ he says.‘Because feet are covered up most of the time, this gives bacteria the ideal environment in which to thrive.‘Your feet sweat into your shoes, so they get damp, and that is when bacteria start to grow.’Here’s our expert guide for fresher feet...
Dr Sach Mohan, a cosmetic physician and chief executive of the Revere Clinic in Harley Street, says this treatment was previously available only to hyderhidrosis sufferers, but is now licensed for use in people who are just worried about sweating.‘We treat a lot of dancers from Strictly Come Dancing, for instance,’ he explains.
Treatment is one 45-minute session under a local anaesthetic.
The sweat itself doesn’t smell — odour occurs when sweat stays on the skin for too long and bacteria break down proteins in it, creating an odour in the process.
Though it’s odourless when released, once this sweat is on the skin it reacts with bacteria such as Staphylococcus hominis, producing malodorous by-products.
Around 4 per cent of people suffer from excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis, says Dr Adil Sheraz, a consultant dermatologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London.‘There are two types: primary hyperhidrosis, which has no underlying cause, and secondary hyperhidrosis, which is associated with thyroid gland problems and side-effects of medication,’ he says.
It’s just a cosmetic problem, in that it’s not painful or harmful, but can cause psychological distress.
It’s impossible to say how many men have true gynaecomastia, says Ian Banks, professor of men’s health at Leeds Medical school.
Bad breath, oral malodour, or halitosis, is estimated to affect up to 40 per cent of us at some point.