Feet smelly and with small holes, bacterial?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I'm 23, I've had smelly feet for at least 7 years. On my right foot there are at least four small holes, I'll add some pictures below. I know that pitted keratolysis is one diagnosis for smelly feet and holes, but searching for pictures online there usually seem to be many more holes than I have.

So I have this rotten smell from my feet even with shoes on. If I don't wear shoes for a long time and stay barefoot, the smell goes away, but wearing shoes makes the smell come back. I have sweaty feet. Using a strong antiperspirant (20% aluminum chloride) and woolen socks help somewhat (woolen socks seem to be helping more).

I was thinking if maybe I have some kind of a bacterial infection or fungus, or if it is just the case of having to keep my feet dry and that's it. I have tried vinegar and salt foot soaks, zinc and talcum powder, they seem to help somewhat, but a lot of the smell still remains. I also use a foot file, wash my feet with soap at least daily and I use an alcohol based antibacterial spray on them. It helps somewhat, but if I walk around in shoes and get a little sweaty, the smell returns quickly, and because of the holes I'm thinking maybe it's a medical condition.

I have gone to doctors, tried terbinafine cream, clindamycin solution, benzoyl peroxide cream (either of those for at least a month at a time), but the problem hasn't gone away.

Serving in the military wasn't good for my feet, as they were often soaking wet all day. I used to have a few warts on my feet as well, freezing them fixed it.


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  • Posted

    Hi Andy. I've never heard of this and it appears you've done almost everything to help. I'm no expert but do you wear leather shoes or synethic? If you GP hasnt helped I'd recommend a foot specialist. Seems you have a stubborn fungi that doesn't want to go away which may be helped with antibiotics?

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    • Posted

      My shoes are more of the sneaker type, I don't think they are leather. Yeah I should try leather shoes maybe.

      My doctor wasn't convinced it is a medical condition and suggested that I just have sweaty feet. That might be true. However I conviced the doctor to try the medication I mentioned in the post above and it doesn't seem to have made a difference.

      It might be true that it might get better (it already has somewhat) by just continuing to wear woolen socks, taking extra care of hygiene and wearing good shoes. Mainly I am wondering if the small holes that can be seen in the pictures above indicate some kind of a medical condition like a mild case of pitted keratolysis or other skin bacterial infection, and depending on that if I should try to seek out some stronger medical treatment then the creams I have used.

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    • Posted

      Your feet dont actually look too bad so I wouldnt worry so much about the pitting. Sneakers are comfy but if you can get a leather pair of comfy shoes give it a try. Also try bamboo socks. My feet sweat at work because I wear safety shoes all day but the bamboo socks help alot.

      Try putting tea tree oil on the ptting in your feet too.

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  • Posted

    Get yrself to a registered choropedist - they will be able to advise as this is their area of specialism.


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  • Posted

    go to a dermatologist. Get pills erythromicin for 10 days, prescription for fucidin cream 3x day for a whole month, wash feet with hibiscrub in morning and evening, wash sheet and socks at 60 degrees. Buy cedar soles, leather shoes, drywicking socks to prevent reinfection and if you sweat alot, once youre cured use drysol in the evening to prevent sweating during the day.

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