What Causes Foot Odor & Tips to Prevent It.

What Causes Foot Odor & Tips to Prevent It.

Ever caught a whiff of your own feet and thought, "Whoa, this is gnarly"? No worries, dude - we got you covered!

Smelly feet, scientifically called bromodosis, can be a major nose-kill. No one wants funky, smelly feet that can clear a room faster than a post-chili burrito fart.🤢

@dermdudeofficial 🦶Who’s feet are cutting up their partner at night?!! 😜🔪😜 Holy Foot is better than foot cream. Soothe dry/ cracked / smelly/ sweaty feet now on our #tiktokshop or at dermdude.com #holyfoot #footcream #dryfeet #sweatyfeet #crackedfeet #winterfeet #fyp #mensgrooming #dermdude ♬ original sound - Derm Dude

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what causes foot odor and offer up a few ways you can kick the dreadful foot funk to the curb.

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What Causes Bromodosis (Stinky Feet)

The science behind smelly feet is all about chemistry. One of the most common causes of smelly feet is simple. Poor foot hygiene! If you neglect to wash your feet regularly, bacteria and fungi have a field day, throwing a raging stinkfest that nobody wants to attend..

Sweaty Feet

One of the number one contributors to smelly feet is SWEAT! Your feet have more sweat glands than any other body part, and they're hyperactive. This abundance of sweat provides the perfect moisture-rich environment for the odor party.

Foot Bacteria

These microscopic creatures are the most sinister villains of the foot odor game. They feed on the proteins and fatty acids in your sweat and dead skin cells, breaking them down into smaller compounds.

These compounds combine to create that unmistakable, purely vomitous foot odor. Some bacteria, like Staphylococcus epidermidis, are particularly notorious for their rancidly odor-producing skills.

Foot Fungi

Fungi are another nasty member of the dreaded foot odor orchestra. Conditions such as athlete's foot, caused by fungi like Trichophyton, can turn your feet into eye-watering odor factories. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can cause not only an unpleasant smell but also itching and skin discomfort.

What makes foot odor even more challenging is when bacteria and fungi team up. Bacteria provide fungi with the perfect sweaty ’all you can eat’ buffet, and in return, fungi make it even more stinky by releasing their own foul-smelling compounds.

Remember those extra sweaty foot glands? If your feet sweat excessively (a condition called hyperhidrosis), the moisture provides a prime breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

Improper Footwear Ventilation

Proper shoe ventilation is a key factor in the battle against smelly feet. When your shoes don't allow air to circulate adequately, a perfect storm of moisture buildup, heat-trap, and odor amplification occurs. The more moisture, heat, and microbes, the stronger the foul odor.

Your unventilated shoes can become a veritable odor amplifier, ensuring that every step you take leaves a funky mark, not to be confused with Marky-Mark & the Funky Bunch.

Medical Conditions that Cause Foot Odor

Although rare, foot odor can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and here at Derm Dude, we ‘stay in our lane’ and never provide medical advice - If you suspect that a medical condition may be the cause of your foot odor, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

How to Help Eliminate Foot Odor

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Foot Hygiene

Killing that foot-funk starts with good old-fashioned foot hygiene. Start by giving your feet a daily bath, ideally with an antibacterial soap. Even if you’re not bathing your entire body, if you have issues with stinky feet – it’s important to wash your tootsies daily!

Scrub them thoroughly, especially between the toes where bacteria love to hang out and party – think of it as a toe-jam fiesta of sorts! Keep your toenails trimmed and cleaned, and dry your feet completely, as lingering moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.

Shoe Selection

Your choice of footwear plays a pivotal role in foot odor. Choose shoes made of breathable materials like leather, canvas, or mesh. These materials allow for better airflow, keeping your feet cooler and drier. Say goodbye to those synthetic sweat factories!

Or you can wear flip-flops all day, every day, when the weather permits!

Sock Game Strong

If you are having chronic issues with stinky feet, I’d recommend you rock some moisture-wicking socks and switch 'em out if they start to feel damp. Moisture-wicking socks are a game-changer in the battle against foot odor and discomfort. These specialized socks are designed to actively manage moisture and keep your feet dry.


Arrowroot powder is a natural, starchy substance derived from the roots of the arrowroot plant (Maranta arundinacea). One of the primary causes of foot odor is excess moisture, which creates an ideal environment for odor-causing bacteria and fungi to thrive.

Arrowroot has excellent absorbent properties, similar to talcum powder. When applied to the feet, it can help soak up excess sweat and moisture, keeping the feet drier and less conducive to bacterial growth.

Arrowroot can also act as a natural lubricant, reducing friction between the toes and inside shoes. Friction and moisture can create conditions that lead to blisters and skin irritation, which can contribute to foot odor.

Foot Creams

Foot creams designed to combat stinky feet, such as Holy Foot Cream, are specialized products formulated to address the root causes of foot odor and provide relief from unpleasant smells. These creams typically contain ingredients that help control moisture, kill odor-causing bacteria and fungi, and provide a fresh scent.

With our Holy Foot cream, we took foot care a step further and added the aforementioned Arrowroot powder & DeoPlex(R) to keep feet dry and prevent funky odor fungus.


DeoPlex(R) is a patented, eco-friendly odor neutralizer that uses natural enzymes created during the fermentation process of all-natural sugar cane yeast. Otherwise known as “saccharomyces ferment filtrate,”

DeoPlex is also a great skin-soothing agent that may contribute to skin-softening and antioxidant-increasing properties. We also added Lactic Acid and Glycerin to the blend to smooth and soften dry, cracked skin - so hasta la vista, crocodile feet👋


Dudes: Smelly feet can be an embarrassing and bothersome issue, but with the right approach, you can overcome it and go from foot fart to foot fetish. 😉. Remember that consistency is key. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you'll be well on your way to enjoying fresh, odor-free feet. So go ahead, kick off those shoes with confidence, and say goodbye to the foot stink for good!


  • Gina on

    Who else is here because of the TikTok video? I’m buying some now.

  • Hurato on

    Flip-flops all day, every day here – but my feet still get funky! I can’t understand it.

  • Steve on

    I tried the vinegar method for my feet and it made them smell so much worse. Also dried the skin out so bad my feet were cracked and in pain.

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