“Trick or treat! Smell my feet! Give me something good to eat!”
You’ll likely hear this elegant musical selection soon as costumed kids come to your door, and it’s safe to say that there can be a certain bizarre interest at a younger age with regard to foot odor. A big part of it might just be that children do tend to have smellier feet at that time in their lives. What makes for that malevolent odor, though?
Smelly feet are the fault of bacteria that dine on dead skin cells and oils only to excrete some not-so-pleasant chemical compounds. These bacteria thrive when conditions are moist, warm, and dark, making a sweaty foot stuffed in a shoe quite an appealing spot for them.
When it comes to kids, several factors come into play that raises their risks of smelly shoes and feet. First, their feet tend to sweat a lot more than adult feet; up to two or three times more! Hormonal changes and a higher level of activity tend to turn on the waterworks in their feet.
Shoes are another element. Since children’s feet tend to grow rather quickly, children’s shoes are often made of cheap, disposable materials such as plastics. These don’t allow the feet to “breathe” as well as more natural materials. They also get broken down by rambunctious kids more quickly, which can lead to the shoe not being able to dry out and providing bacteria a place to live.
If you want the aroma of your child’s feet and footwear to be more “treat” than “trick,” try to ensure his or her feet are washed daily. You might also want to treat their shoes with disinfectant and invest in a second pair that can be switched back and forth each day. This gives the shoes more time to dry out and stop harboring as much bacteria.
If home remedies just aren’t enough, however, Dr. Sanjay Patel can help with more advanced care. Schedule an appointment with either of our two offices by using our online form or calling us: (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.