Do you have Pepe Le Pew feet?

Do you have Pepe Le Pew feet?

Does a strange smell find its way to your nose seconds after your shoes come off?

Do people wrinkle their noses in disgust when your bare feet are exposed?

Smelly feet calledbromhidrosiscan be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Excessive sweating of the feet is called hyperhidrosis. It’s more common in men than in women, and more common in younger people.

Most people’s feet perspire during exercise or in warm weather; if you have bromhidrosis and hyperhidrosis, however, you’ll notice excessive sweating and smelly feet year round, even when you are not engaged in strenuous activity. Some people sweat so much that their feet may slip around inside their shoes. Feet have more sweat glands than any other part of the body.  Feet smell when the foot sweats and thesweat are trapped inside shoe wear, preventing evaporation.   It is the interaction of these two factors along with bacteria that cause the smell.  The bacteria produce isovaleric acid which causes the odor.

Often, excessive sweating of the feet is diagnosed based on your reporting of symptoms and a physical exam of the feet. A podiatrist can also do a starch-iodine test to confirm the diagnosis. First, an iodine solution is applied to the bottom of the feet. After the solution has dried, cornstarch is sprinkled over the area. The treated area turns dark blue if excessive sweat is present

Treatment includes:

  • Shower regularly with anti-bacterial soap.
  • Use foot lotions and sprays specifically designed to
    keep feet dry.
  • Change your shoes and socks often. Wear wicking socks that draw the moisture away from your feet instead of trapping it. Synthetic blends are designed to wick moisture away from the skin and work best to keep the feet dry. One hundred percent cotton socks absorb moisture but do not wick it away from the skin and frequently lead to blisters, so they should be avoided.
  • Rotate your shoes (especially athletic shoes).
  • Use insoles that can be changed frequently to prevent the odor from staying in your shoe.
  • Wear sandals during warm weather.
  • Launder, disinfect or discard foul smelling shoes.

If foot odor excessive sweating persists, consult a Podiatrist.

Treatment options are tailored to your symptoms. Prescription roll-on antiperspirants may be applied directly to the feet.A technique called iontophoresis, which uses water to conduct a mild electrical current through the skin, has been found helpful for people with sweaty feet.

Botox injections can temporarily control excessive sweating of the feet. (The effect generally lasts for about six to nine months.) Severe cases of sweaty feet may be treated with a surgical procedure called a sympathectomy, which interrupts the nerve signals that tell the body to sweat excessively.

A podiatrist can help you control this embarrassing condition.

Dr. Olga Garcia Luepschen and the Gentle Foot Care Center are located 2 Ryant Blvd (on US27) can be reached 314-9255(walk).  Check us out at


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