Thursday, July 4, 2013

Smelly Feet

I have an absolutely adorable son that has INCREDIBLY stinky feet. It is always a wonder to me that a ten year old boy can create a stink like that which emanates from his feet. It's not that he doesn't wash them or TRY to keep them clean but being a boy and prepubescent hasn't helped the situation at all. 

We have found some things that have helped, and knowing I can't be the only mother with a child that has this issue I thought I'd share some ideas on how to help this problem. We do most of these daily, but we have found changing things up helps to keep the odor controlled. 

- Washing feet daily, this is a MUST for us. He either takes a shower and washes them in there or, if he doesn't need a whole shower then he goes and just washes his feet with regular soap and water before bed at night. In some cases he has to do this a couple times in a day, especially if he has been really active and wearing tennis shoes.

- Flip flops or sandals help keep feet aired out and drier than tennis or closed toed shoes. While mine still can get stinky feet, they aren't nearly as bad. 

- Soaking feet in an Epsom salt foot soak. They have some great products that have essential oils already in them or add your own. Lavender (antiseptic and bactericidal), Tea Tree (antibacterial, anti fungal, antibiotic properties), Peppermint (helps cool and kills the odor nicely along with its antibacterial properties), Oregano (it's anti fungal so it helps with athletes foot if that is an issue), Lemon Balm (anti microbial and antibacterial properties), Eucalyptus Globulous (antibacterial and anti fungal), Cinnamon (antibacterial), Cassia (antibacterial and anti fungal), and this list goes on. Make sure to look at if a carrier is needed prior to placing directly on the skin, however, being that all these can cause irritation if not used properly. Soaking in the salts help dry the feet out, so if you do this too often you may find that your feet can get very dry. 

- DIY foot spray, place some of the Essential oils listed above in a spray bottle and use on feet prior to putting shoes on. We like using about 10-15 drops of Cinnamon or Peppermint/Lavender (mix) with about 5 drops of Tea Tree placed in a 4-6 oz spray bottle filled with distilled water. 

- DIY Shoe powder, we do a 50/50 mix of baking soda and cornstarch in a shaker container I have from the baking section with a finer mesh shaker top. Then I add 15-20 drops lavender and 5-10 drops peppermint and shake to mix it into the powder. My son just shakes some into his shoes at night and then they have time to sit and are ready for the next day. The baking soda helps with the odor and the cornstarch is there for the moisture control. 

- Clean socks are KEY, I actually wash my sons socks with some baking soda, tea tree and lavender added to the wash a few times a month just to help kill any lurking bacteria in those loads of wash. 

- Creosote bush, the leaves of the creosote (chaparral) bush is what gives a fresh smell after a rain in the desert in the Southwest. This herb is also great for freshening shoes and killing odor. Just crush the leaves down after drying and sprinkle into shoes. It is supposed to have anti fungal properties and kills mold. We have not tried this yet so I can only go by the fact one guy at our local nursery LOVES and swears by it being used to kill foot odor. I also know it is used in different ways to help kill athletes foot. 

- Keep those toe nails cut and neat. This can cause a great place for bacteria to grow so if they are kept cut and clean it will help with the common cause of the odor. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things that can be done to help control foot odor but hopefully it helps as a start!! I love making my own stuff so I am always working on new creative ways to use my essential oils. I will add more as I come across and try new things. 

Disclaimer: Please understand that this information is for educational purposes only. The statements made here have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and they are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease. Don’t take my word for it…you should always engage conventional wisdom and consult with your medical professional to determine potential drug interactions and safety of use.

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