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The Best Products for Fighting Summer Foot Stank

Two dermatologists share why your feet are so gross during the summer and what you can do about it.

We all deal with sweaty feet. It happens. The average person’s foot contains about 250,000 sweat glands, which can produce almost a pint of sweat in a day. And if, as is likely the case, those sweaty feet spend the better part of the day cooped up in shoes and that sweat has nowhere to go, well, it’s not long before some serious foot odor takes over. That’s especially true in summer, when your feet log lots of extra miles in heat and humidity. Summer is the season of sweaty feet and stinky shoes.

“Feet contain large amounts of special sweat glands called ‘eccrine’ glands,” say Drs. Kristina and Gary Goldenberg of Goldenberg Dermatology  “These glands are important for thermoregulation — they produce sweat not in reaction to heat, but rather to local tactile stimulation or emotional stress.” When your glands work overtime, you become susceptible to hyperhidrosis, a.k.a. excessive sweating. It’s a condition that occurs all year round, but usually increases in summer for obvious reasons. Wearing open shoes helps. So does wearing socks with shoes. Going sock-less is a surefire way to have smelly feet.

See more: Best Men’s Sandals

Are there ways to avoid sweaty feet altogether? Other than surgery, not really. But there are certainly ways to minimize it. The Drs. Goldenberg suggest avoiding things that stimulate the eccrine glands, such as drinking too much coffee. They also note that foot odor can other causes — stress, for instance, can put people at risk for a smelly fungal infection known as Tinea Pedis.

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Having an arsenal of effective products to combat extra-sweaty and smelly feet is key, as at one point or another, most of us will march our sweaty, stinky feet to the drug store desperately seeking relief. Here are the best products that can help you get rid of sweaty, smelly feet.

The Best Products For Sweaty Feet and Getting Rid of Food Odor

No, this spray powder doesn’t permanently decrease the amount of sweat produced, but it will provide relief and comfort as sweat begins to form. The main ingredient that works against hyperhidrosis in this product is talc, say Drs. Goldenberg. Essentially, it keeps your skin dry by absorbing moisture and perspiration.

The secret sauce in this spray powder is zinoxol, which helps eliminate foot odors and starch, which targets hyperhidrosis. Dr. Scholl’s Odor Max will keep the skin dry by absorbing moisture and perspiration, though it won’t stop sweating permanently. Drs. Goldenberg say the three pack with 3X Triple Action protection should be enough to keep you dry all summer.

Few things better than soaking your nasty, sweaty feet in cool, soothing tea tree-infused water. This foot soak can help with odor, sure, but it also softens calluses and revives tired feet with its blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, camphor, rosemary, and lavender.

Each box of Kleinert’s Dry Feet Antiperspirant Wipes carries an eight-week supply of sealed foot wipes that offer soothing aloe and vitamin E treatment via the large pads. Drs. Goldenberg confirm that the product contains 15 percent aluminum chloride, a known, effective antiperspirant. They do caution, however, that the aloe and vitamin E may moisten the skin instead of making it dry, so avoid overuse.

This antiperspirant foot lotion was specifically designed to stop sweaty, smelly feet and help you deal with excessive foot sweat. Just use a pea-sized amount of the lotion daily to cut down on foot sweat. It's non-greasy, non-irritating, and it dries quickly.

These genius inserts help prevent the growth of bacteria by absorbing sweat and shutting down odors from damp, smelly feet. ‘Charcoal does absorb sweat and moisture,’ say Drs. Goldenberg. ‘But, again, these inserts would not decrease the amount of sweat produced over time.’ Luckily, Emerge Therapeutics Charcoal Shoe Inserts are a relatively cheap and quick fix that you can use on the go.

Yes, folks, this roll-on antiperspirant for your feet stops sweat and foot stench. It contains 22.5 percent aluminum cholride, which is a known and effective antiperspirant. One stick of Neat Feet should be enough to last you at least a month, and Drs. Goldenberg say they ‘would expect the regular use of this product to decrease sweat production and keep the skin dry.’

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