The Science Behind Stinky Feet

Ever wonder what’s causing your feet to stink?

An informative video produced by the American Chemical Society reveals how chemistry plays a big role in causing your feet to produce really nasty odours.

The human body has lots of sweat glands to help us cool down. Some areas in our bodies, particularly our feet, have higher concentrations of sweat glands. Although sweat is odorless on its own, the bacteria that thrives on its moisture is responsible for the stench.

Of course, these bacteria need warmth, moisture, source of oxygen, and source of nutrients to actually live in your feet. Unfortunately, all of these are present in your sweaty feet.

“When all these bacteria feast, they spit out nasty gases. The main culprit of your stinky feet,” the video says.

Bacterial waste products such as propanoic acid, methanethiol and isovaleric acid are the ones with unpleasant aroma.

Methanethiol, which is produced from dead skin, makes your feet smell like sulfur and cheese.

On the other hand, isovaleric acid smells like a combination of cheesy scent and rancid vinegar-like aroma. Propanoic acid, meawhile, has a rancid sour smell.

How to Get Rid of the Nasty Smell

In order to live with nice smelling feet, you need to eliminate sweat, dead skin and bacteria.

This can be done by washing your feet with antibacterial soap and scrubbing off dead skin. You also need to use fresh cotton socks to avoid the stinky smell. Allow your shoes to air dry. Finally, you can spray deodorant on your feet

Watch the video below.

Smelly Feet Attracts Mosquitoes

A study conducted by researchers from the University of California Riverside revealed that mosquitoes are capable of detecting body odors including smelly feet. The mosquitoes’ olfactory neurons located inside the maxillary palp on the insects’ moths can detect carbon dioxide released by humans and animals. These same sensors are used to detect body odors.


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