• Otávio Santiago

Super smelly feet? Some people host bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds

It's normal for feet to have some smell, but having especially stinky feet can be unpleasant, embarrassing, and a sign that something may be wrong.

There are many reasons why your feet might suddenly smell more funky or foul than usual — you might have a sweating disorder, bacterial overgrowth, or a skin infection.

Here are five reasons why your feet might suddenly smell so bad and how you can treat the problem.

1. Hyperhidrosis

Hyperhidrosis occurs when your sweat glands are overactive, making you sweat heavily even when you aren't overheated or exercising. This can happen to your whole body, or you might just sweat excessively in one area like your feet.

There are many types of bacteria on the bottom of your feet, and "excess sweat creates moisture, which makes bacterial growth greater," says Dr. Stephen Mandy, a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Health System.

These bacteria break down skin oils and dead skin cells, and this process can create a strong foot odor akin to vinegar, Mandy says.

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