Foot odor is common, and there are many ways to address it, including using foot deodorant. There are many options on the market today—from sprays to sticks—and they all work to keep your feet sweat and odor-free all day.
To learn more about foot deodorant, we spoke to Dr. Dustin Portela, board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon and founder of Treasure Valley Dermatology in Boise, Idaho, along with Marcela Correa, a Licensed Professional Medical Pedicurist at Medi Pedi NYC. Ahead, read their thoughts.
Meet the Expert
- Dr. Dustin Portela is a board-certified dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon, and founder of Treasure Valley Dermatology in Boise, Idaho.
- Marcela Correa is a licensed medical pedicurist at Medi Pedi NYC with over 15 years of experience.
What Is Foot Antiperspirant?
Foot antiperspirant helps individuals tackle and combat excessive foot sweating and odor, says Dr. Portela. "Feet, like our underarms, have sweat glands. The same reason we use an antiperspirant on our underarms would be why someone with overactive glands on their feet might use a foot deodorant as an extra layer of protection," adds Correa. In addition, she explains there are several reasons why one could have smelly feet, and deodorant is designed to mask that odor but doesn't necessarily address the cause of the smell.
"If there are underlying conditions such as Athlete's foot which can cause foot odor, excessive sweat, and itchiness, a foot deodorant can help alleviate the associated symptoms," says Correa. She adds that it also helps create a barrier between the soles to prevent blisters for those wearing heels or breaking in new shoes.
How to Use It
Foot antiperspirant can come in a spray, powder, wipe, or lotion format, so application methods vary. That said, always follow the instructions on your product's label and discontinue use if you experience skin irritation. Doing a patch test first is always wise to ensure you are not allergic or sensitive to the product.
You can apply foot deodorant daily or as needed, but you may want to clean your feet first to help wash away odor-causing bacteria and prep the skin for the antiperspirant.
Who Can and Can't Use It?
It's best to check in with your doctor before incorporating any new products into your foot care routine, according to Correa. Dr. Portela agrees, noting that it's important to address the causes of foot odor before turning to an antiperspirant. However, if serious ailments have been ruled out, he says foot antiperspirant can effectively manage the odor.
Once you start experimenting with foot antiperspirants, pay close attention to how your skin responds. Dr. Portela says if you've tried several brands of foot antiperspirants and experienced skin sensitivity, you may not be a good candidate for foot antiperspirant. "It's important that the active ingredients don't throw off the skin's pH level or make a potential ailment like athlete's foot worse," Correa explains.
The Final Takeaway
If you're dealing with sweaty, stinky feet, consider using a foot antiperspirant. There are several options on the market today—Correa recommends Gehwol Foot and Shoe Deodorant ($27). Meanwhile, Dr. Portella suggests Dr. Scholl's Probiotic Foot Spray ($10), Carpe Antiperspirant Foot Lotion ($20), and Gold Bond No Mess Foot Powder Spray ($8). Regardless of which you try, you can count on your foot antiperspirant to keep moisture and odor at bay, allowing you to have fresher-smelling feet all day.