Why Do My Feet Smell Like Vinegar? | Triad Foot & Ankle Center

Why Do My Feet Smell Like Vinegar?

Vinegar is great for a lot of things, like cleaning, cooking, and other household uses—but smelling like vinegar is another story. For some people, an unpleasant whiff of vinegar is met when they take of their socks. The good news? There are simple tricks you can do to ward off the smell and get your feet back to normal.

The vinegar smell comes from excess sweat and moisture, which interacts with the bacteria on your skin, creating an acidic byproduct that has a vinegar-like smell.

There are several reasons why your feet have that pungent smell, including:

  • You are an athlete or are active, which can cause your sweat glands to be more active.
  • You have an underlying condition like diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid conditions, or hormonal imbalances that can put your sweat glands into overdrive.
  • You work or live in high-moisture places.
  • You have a skin condition called hyperhidrosis, which cause excess perspiration.

So, your feet are sweating a lot, what should you do?

  1. Be sure to wash your feet daily, especially before putting on your socks and shoes.
  2. Use medicated foot powder. Over-the-counter medicated foot powder is great for absorbing moisture and preventing the smelly interaction the sweat and bacteria create.
  3. Wear moisture-wicking socks only. This type of sock is great for pulling moisture from your feet and keeping them dry.
  4. It should go without saying but be sure to change your shoes and socks often. As soon as you socks get wet, change into dry ones. Choose shoes that are made of breathable fabrics, like canvas and leather, instead of plastic or rubber shoes.
  5. Use deodorant! Antiperspirants are solely for the underarms. It works great in helping to keep your feet dry and smelling pleasant.
  6. Disinfect your shoes to kill off the bacteria and prevent fungal infections of skin.

If at-home treatment options don’t quell the stench, you may need to be evaluated by your podiatrist.  For an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center, click here.

Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please click here.