Treat Children's Foot Odor Naturally: Why Kids Have Stinky Feet and How to Clear the Air

Treat Children's Foot Odor Naturally:  Why Kids Have Stinky Feet and How to Clear the Air
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Causes of Children’s Foot Odor

Children’s foot odor is typically caused by the presence of fetid bacteria on the foot. Sweat or perspiration builds up on the foot and becomes foul smelling. Doctors refer to this condition as bromhidrosis. One cause of this condition is shoes that are made of plastic, synthetic or nonporous materials. Wet shoes then cause the skin to break down and your child’s feet begin to smell bad.

Treat Children’s Foot Odor

There are many easy remedies to prevent foot odor in children. First, it is important to choose shoes that are made of materials that are breathable, such as leather or canvas. Make sure your child changes their shoes often. It is recommended to rotate shoes every day to let them adequately air out and dry. It is also important to buy breathable socks that are a blend of cotton and synthetics, such as orlon and acrylic. This combination wicks perspiration away from the foot. Pure cotton socks can actually hold wetness in. If necessary, change your child’s socks more than once a day, and especially after they are very active. Using activated charcoal shoe inserts can also be very useful in absorbing perspiration and preventing foot odor. Simply cut them down to your child’s foot size.

Regular bathing is an important part of preventing foot odor in children. Makes sure your child’s feet are thoroughly washed at least once a day. After each bath, their feet need to be dried completely. If needed, you can dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab it on your child’s feet to help them dry off. Liberally apply an odor absorbing foot powder.

There are several foot soaks that can help stop the growth of the bacteria that causes foot odor. Each of the following soaks can be used as frequently as twice a day, depending on your child’s activity level and the seriousness of their foot odor.

  • Epsom salts – Dilute 2 tbs. of Epsom salts in 2 quarts of warm water
  • Vinegar – Dilute 2 tbs. of vinegar in 2 quarts of cool water
  • Betadine solution – Dilute 2 tbs. of Betadine solution in 2 quarts of cool water

In some situations, mental tension and emotional stress can cause an increase in children’s foot odor. If that is the case, take some time to talk with your child about problems at school, home or with friends. If none of these tips help, you will need to take your child to a podiatrist for a prescription salve or antifungal liquid to clear up the problem.


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