How to Get Rid of Stinky Fungal Feet

Fungus on the feet, including athlete’s foot and nail fungus, can cause the feet to stink. Red or raw areas on the feet, thickened or distorted nails, and/or pain and itching are symptoms of foot fungus. Getting rid of the fungus on the feet is necessary to help control the stinky smell.

Applying an antifungal product to feet. Credit: PhotoAlto/Odilon Dimier/PhotoAlto Agency RF/Getty Images

Step 1

Keep your feet clean and dry. The Mayo Clinic recommends wearing synthetic socks as these wick away moisture better than cotton socks and other natural fibers.

Step 2

Apply an antifungal product to your feet and shoes. These are available over the counter in spray and powder forms. If, however, the fungal infection on your feet is severe, you may need prescription products.

Step 3

Wear shoes that fit properly. Tight fitting shoes don’t allow your feet to get any air. This makes it difficult to get rid of foot fungus.

Step 4

Rotate your shoes out so you avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row. This gives your shoes a chance to dry thoroughly. Damp shoes are a breeding ground for fungus and subsequent stinky smells.

Step 5

Disinfect your shoes to help minimize the odor and risk of bacteria. Spray a disinfectant into the inside of your shoes. Set the shoes in the sun and allow them to dry.

Step 6

Protect your feet in public places. Wear slippers, flip flops or shower shoes if you are at a public pool or gym or in any other public location that doesn’t work well with traditional shoes. Public areas are a breeding ground for foot fungus, so direct contact with the surfaces should be avoided.

Step 7

Walk around barefoot at home if possible. This allows your feet a chance to air out. If it isn’t possible for you to walk everywhere at home barefoot, go barefoot at bedtime.

Things You'll Need

  • Synthetic socks

  • Antifungal product

  • Disinfectant


Once your foot fungus is under control, you can still apply a foot powder to your feet each day to keep the odor and fungus at bay.


Visit a doctor or podiatrist if your feet remain smelly and continue to have fungus problems even after taking these measures. Medline Plus states that self-treatment should take two to four weeks. Prescription treatments are sometimes needed to get a severe infection under control.

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