Summer is fast approaching, and persons who suffer from smelly feet will find the situation more embarrassing as temperatures rise.
Many blame sweating, but they only get it half correct.
Sweat itself is odorless, but when it gets into your shoes and you don’t let them dry before you wear them again, your feet will gradually be affected.
Bacteria on the skin that break down sweat will magnify the problem.
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, there are two major causes of sweating and thus smelly feet – repletion and vacuity.
Repletion is due to poor blood circulation in the area of the foot as a result of the humid weather.
People who sweat heavily and those with bad breath are more vulnerable.
Many of those who eat too much junk, spicy, starchy and oily foods as well as excessive dairy products suffer from this condition.
They often lack sleep or have poor quality of sleep. Smokers and drinkers also belong to this category.
As to vacuity, people who are plump, reserved and easily tire are vulnerable to the condition.
Patients who have chronic illnesses or have just recovered from major illnesses would often sweat even if they are not engaged in strenuous activity.
Women who are menopausal also belong to this category.
People with smelly feet should pay attention to their eating habits.
They should take three ample meals a day, and on time. They should not overeat or skip meals.
Cold, raw, oily and starchy food items as well as dairy products should be avoided.
They should also wear different shoes on successive days to give their footwear at least 24 hours to dry out and breathe.
Change socks at least once a day. Before washing your socks with soap, soak them in lukewarm water with salt and vinegar for 15 minutes to remove the unpleasant odor.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 9.
Translation by Darlie Yiu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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