Old wives’ tales and half-true stories exist about most healthcare issues and beauty regimes. “Lip balm dries your lips!” or “plucking grey hair will cause more to grow” are the myths and unhelpful advice that sounds true enough to be believed, so it’s not surprising that there are similar myths around foot care. Let’s take a look at some of these myths associated with foot care and discuss the facts behind the fiction!
Myth 1: Sweat causes smelly feet
Many people think that dried sweat or over-sweating is the cause for foot odor. This is not completely wrong, since the foot has the most sweat glands of any part of the body. However, all body odor is actually caused by bacteria. When this bacteria mixes with sweat it acts as a medium to transfer the smell. Wearing socks that allow your feet to breathe, usually made from natural fabrics, can help sweat evaporate faster, taking the smelly bacteria with it.
Myth 2: Men’s feet smell worse than women’s
This myth probably comes from the stereotypical image of the sports locker room, however there is no basis as to why men’s feet might smell worse than women’s. Women actually have more sweat glands than men and sometimes it just seems like that men are more active.
Myth 3: Baby powder stops sweaty feet
Baby powder is usually a fragrance mixed with talcum powder, a very fine powder made from magnesium silicate. This has the dual effect of soaking up a limited amount of moisture as well as temporarily constricting the outer body tissue, making skin feel soft and dry. Some powders can help absorb sweat, but this does not stop the accumulation of the bacteria which leads to body odor.
Myth 4: Mouthwash or other home remedies can help foot odor
Some people believe that the chemicals within certain household or bathroom products such as mouthwash or eucalyptus oil can ‘kill’ the odors in their feet. What they don’t know is that unlike products which are specifically designed for feet, they can actually damage the skin on their feet or create more problems for themselves by using unapproved products. It’s important to use products that are approved for foot care and to always follow on-pack directions.