It’s hard to even talk about cringe-worthy body problems, let alone deal with them. But the quicker you get to the root of embarrassing foot issues like toenail fungus, odor and excessive sweat, the quicker you can get back to feeling like a normal person.
Embarrassing Problem # 1: Stinky Feet
Having smelly feet can be just as detrimental to your confidence as acne prone skin. Luckily, knocking out cheesy, stinky foot odor (called bromodosis in the medical world) is usually as simple as using anti-bacterial soap every day, wearing moisture-wicking socks and switching out your shoes on a daily basis. These methods help combat foot sweat, which feeds the bacteria that contribute to the funky smell. You can also try rolling antiperspirant onto your feet before slipping on shoes and socks to further fight foot odor from forming (yes, the kind you use on your underarms).
Horrifying Issue #2: Hairy Toes
It’s annoying enough having to deal with hair on the legs, underarms and vaginal area, but hair on your feet and toes, as well? Mortifying. So it’s a good thing that dealing with hairy feet isn’t as impossible as finding Bigfoot. Podiatrists say shaving and plucking foot and toe hair (which is a sign of good circulation and quite common, by the way) is completely safe. However, if you’re sprouting fairly thick patches, you may have a hormonal imbalance, which a podiatry specialist or dermatologist can help you manage.
Foot Problem #3: Excessive Foot Sweat
If your feet produce more moisture that summer sprinklers, you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which is when the more than 250,000 sweat glands in the feet go into overdrive and pump out excessive amounts of foot sweat. Not only is the condition in and of itself super embarrassing, it can lead to equally humiliating conditions like foot odor, Athlete’s foot, and toenail fungus. Podiatrists and dermatologists usually recommend simple fixes like thoroughly washing and drying the feet on a daily basis, wearing breathable shoes and socks, and using a antiperspirant on the feet. But if those methods don’t help cut back on the sweating, operations such as iontophoresis, botox and sympathectomy may be your best bet.
Mortifying Issue #4: Dry, Scaly Feet
If your tootsies look more dinosaur than human, you probably have a serious moisture problem. Start using a heavy duty foot cream like AmLactin on a daily basis, which can help restore moisture and prevent common foot problems like corns, calluses and blisters. However, if your peeling skin is splotchy or itchy, you may have a skin condition like Athlete’s foot, eczema or psoriasis. These require a visit to a doctor, who can prescribe an anti-itch or antifungal cream.
Nasty Problem #5: Plantar Warts
Having a wart on your foot isn’t as bad as having a witchy wart on your nose, but it can certainly feel like it’s just as embarrassing. After all, warts are caused by HPV (the human papillomavirus), which we all know as a sexually transmitted infection. What’s good to know is that the strain that causes plantar warts is not the same strain that causes genital warts. Pause for your sigh of relief... And now, for how to tackle the painful suckers: Most plantar warts disappear on their own within the span of two years, but if you can’t wait that long (and don’t want to risk the infectious growth spreading), there are several over-the-counter medications you can buy. Compound W Freeze Off, Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away, and Clear Away Plantar Wart are a few popular brands, but they don’t hold a candle to prescription strength salicylic acid or cryotherapy, which podiatrists recommend for stubborn warts that just won’t seem to disappear.
Embarrassing Issue #6: Foot Fetish
If you’re freaked out by the fact that feet totally turn you on, don’t be. Feeling aroused by feet is actually quite common, with erotic foot massages, toe sucking and other foot-focused foreplay being normal activities for many couples. Still not convinced? Try to remember that if getting frisky with feet is your thing, you’re in good company: Quentin Tarantino, Elvis Presley, Thomas Hardy, Andy Warhol, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, George du Maurier and Giacomo Casanova are all guilty of a fascination with feet.