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Kids Health QA: Solutions for Stinky Feet

My 10-month-old daughter's feet smell! I wash them, use powder and lotion, and skip socks so they can "breathe." Nothing works. What else can I do?

Breathe a sigh of relief. It's okay for feet to be stinky -- nobody smells perfect, after all, and it isn't usually a health problem. (Very rarely, smelly perspiration can be a sign of a metabolic illness or early puberty, but if your daughter has no other symptoms, neither of those is going on.) If the odor is really bothersome, try these steps:

Wash her feet daily. Because bacteria cause the odor, getting rid of them with soap and water will help control their growth.

Ditch the lotion. It can actually block pores and make things worse. Instead, stick with your powder (talc-free) to help keep her feet dry.

Do slip on cotton socks. They may wick away sweat, and less moisture means less opportunity for bacteria to thrive. If the smell persists after taking all these steps, or if she develops a rash on her feet, give your doctor a call.

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