Summer means your dogs will be hot and bothered. And by dogs, we’re referring to your heated, swollen feet, which are now squashed inside your shoes.
And what happens when you pull them out? They may want to get out of there because they’ve been hiding a terrible secret: a lot of stink.
You’re not the only one who feels this way. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Preventative Foot Health, about 36 million people in the United States confess to using horrible foot perfume.
Is there a solution? Soak your feet in black tea on a regular basis. It’s a low-cost, simple, and fast DIY solution for stinky feet.
“The tannic acid in black tea helps to cure sweaty feet, which is the source of odour,” says Jackie Sutera, DPM, a podiatrist and member of the Vionic Innovation Lab in New York City. An infusion of tea “sweat ducts and pores are temporarily shrunk or closed. It also destroys germs on the surface of the skin, which ferments and smells, “she explains.
Consider the soak as a home treatment for sweaty feet that may help to eliminate odour and keep your feet fresh.
“People with sweaty and stinky feet should certainly try this as a therapy, particularly during the warmer months,” Dr. Sutera adds.
If you have stinky feet, don’t wait until they become excessively smelly to take action. She adds, “Start doing this before the issue occurs.”
How to Make a Foot Soak with Black Tea
For the ideal post-sandal foot soak, follow Dr. Sutera’s instructions:
In a quart of water, steep two black tea bags.
Any brand of black tea will do, just make sure it’s basic black tea (rather than, say, a fruity or chai flavor).
Allow time for the water to cool.
Check the temperature of the water before dipping your feet in to ensure it is not too hot.
Transfer to a large enough basin to put your feet in.
Soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes.
This is your self-care time, so call it that. Read a few chapters of a book, browse through social media, or start watching a new episode of whatever wacky programme you’re watching right now.
Toss out the foot tea. Then, over the next week, repeat the procedure every night.
“Repeat the tea soak for your feet for a few days if symptoms recur,” Dr. Sutera advises.
She recommends doing a black tea foot bath once a week to keep your feet fresh.
Foot Odor from Other Sources
Sweat is a frequent source of odour during the summer, but it’s not the only one, according to Dr. Sutera. Tea soaks for days won’t cure foot problems or improve cleanliness or behaviours that make it more likely that your feet will stink.
Other causes of foot odour, according to Dr. Sutera, include:
Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, may damage the toenails or the skin of the feet.
Forgetting to dry the spaces between your toes: After a shower, don’t leave your toes wet.
Not washing your feet on a daily basis: During each shower, scrub them clean. (Dr. Sutera believes it doesn’t count if shampoo runs down your neck and onto your feet.)
Putting on sweaty socks:
Replace your socks on a regular basis, particularly if you have odour issues.
Wearing stinky shoes:
Wearing the same shoes all day, every day, wearing worn shoes, or sharing shoes may all contribute to the development of odour. If your shoes are the source of the issue, or if you’ve had a fungal infection in your foot or toenail, you’ll need to treat each footwear separately. Use an antifungal shoe spray or UV shoe light inserts to keep your feet healthy. Dr. Sutera explains, “These eliminate the germs that may fester.”