By Gilbert Kidimu
Smelly feet are truly embarrassing. In the UK, they are typically associated with people who don’t know better, that is to say, members of the lower social class.The stereotype is no different in Uganda. You won’t strike people, as someone who’s been to a classroom if you suffer from this dreadful condition medically known as athletes’ foot.
This nauseating disorder usually occurs when your feet sweat and the sweat does not evaporate because you are wearing shoes. Bacteria naturally present on your skin grow as they feed on the sweat and dead skin cells, producing the foul smell.
Nevertheless all is not lost. According to Dr Rose Bwanika; besides the medical treatments on the market; in your kitchen stand many natural cures worth trying to get rid of the cringe-inducing foot odour. “You’ll need to follow them religiously for a certain period of time to get good results. Most are able to resolve the problem within a week or so,” she explains.
You can apply talcum powder on your feet to get rid of foot odour. Talcum powder helps destroy bacteria and remove the smell. But if you don’t have talcum powder, there are many other easy and simple home treatments for foot odour.
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda, is an effective remedy to eliminate foot odour. It neutralizes the pH of sweat and reduces bacteria.
Add one table spoon of baking soda in warm water and soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes every night for about one week.
You can also sprinkle baking soda in both your shoes and socks before wearing them.
Black tea has tannic acid that helps kill the bacteria that produce foot odour. It also helps close pores on your feet, thereby reducing the amount of sweat on which the bacteria feed, says Bwanika
Boil two black tea bags in three cups of hot water. Add half a bucket of normal water to lower the temperature of the solution. Soak your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this daily for about a week.
Vinegar will do more than kill the germs on your salads. It is also beneficial in getting rid of smelly feet as it creates an acidic environment in which bacteria cannot survive. “You can use any type of vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar for this home remedy,” she recommends.
Prepare a mixture of one-half cup of vinegar and six to eight cups of hot water. Soak your feet in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Finally, wash your feet thoroughly with soap to remove the vinegar smell.
Epsom salt can also minimize the smell coming from your feet as it fights microbial infection and neutralizes foot odour. A detoxifying foot bath with Epsom salt is also soothing for aching feet.
Mix two teaspoons of Epsom salt in half a bucket of warm water. Soak your feet in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
For best results, do this before going to sleep so that you do not have to wear socks or shoes for a few hours.
Ginger is more than a pleasant flavour in your tea. It is also an effective solution to smelly feet as it inhibits bacterial growth and also removes toxins, says Dr Bwanika
Make a puree out of a medium sized ginger root. Steep the puree in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Use a filter to strain the solution. Use the smooth liquid to massage your feet gently each night before going to bed. Repeat the process daily for two weeks to get positive results.
You can easily control or eliminate foot odour with these home remedies. Try different ones until you find a remedy that really works for you. If you still do not get relief, consult a doctor.
By all means abstain from the peasant disease.