How Can I Prevent And Treat Foot Odour?

You call it having smelly or stinky feet, we call it bromodosis. Unpleasant foot odour is a relatively common, albeit often embarrassing, problem that affects approximately one in five people. It occurs when sweat and bacteria accumulate on the feet, creating an unpleasant odour. While foot odour is not usually a serious medical condition given that it often poses little threat to a person’s overall health and wellbeing, it can definitely make people feel self-conscious. The good news is that there are several ways to prevent and treat foot odour that often require little effort and can be done at home. Here’s a few things you can start with. 

Dry Your Feet Well After Every Shower

Drying your feet well after every shower, bath and any time you get wet – like after swimming – is an essential part of helping to prevent ongoing foot odour. This is because moisture creates a favourable environment for bacteria to grow, which is the leading cause of foot odour. When your feet are damp or wet, bacteria can easily multiply. By drying your feet thoroughly after every shower or bath, you can help remove excess moisture, which can limit the growth of bacteria. It is especially important to dry between your toes, as this is an area where moisture easily becomes trapped, particularly if you have hammertoes, claw toes, bunions or other foot problems which keeps the toes close together.

Wear Breathable Shoes And Socks

When your feet are enclosed in tight, non-breathable footwear, such as plastic or rubber shoes, they easily become moist and warm, creating a favourable environment for the growth of bacteria and fungi. These microorganisms thrive in warm and moist conditions, leading to smells developing. Breathable shoes and socks, on the other hand, allow air to circulate around your feet, helping to keep them dry and cool. This makes it difficult for bacteria and fungi to grow, reducing the likelihood of foot odour. Materials such as leather and canvas are excellent choices for shoes, as they are naturally breathable and allow air to circulate around the feet. Socks made of natural materials such as cotton or wool are also good choices, as they can absorb moisture and allow air to circulate around the feet.

Switch Between Different Pairs Of Shoes

Rotating your shoes allows your shoes to dry out completely between wears. Moisture is one of the main causes of foot odour, as it creates an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. When you wear the same pair of shoes every day, they may not have enough time to dry out completely, allowing bacteria and fungi to multiply. As an aside, when shoes are worn moist, they also wear out faster. By rotating your shoes, you can give them time to dry out completely, reducing the likelihood of bacterial and fungal growth. This is especially important if you sweat excessively or live in a humid environment, as your shoes may become damp more easily. Plus, you can also help prolong the lifespan of your shoes.

If You Have A Known Fungal Or Bacterial Foot Infection, Treat It

Given that the causes of foot odour are bacterial and fungal foot infections, treating existing infections can help solve a lot of the foot odour problem. Bacterial and fungal nail infections occur when bacteria or fungi invade the nail bed and nail plate. They can cause a range of symptoms, including thickened, discoloured, and brittle nails, as well as an unpleasant odour. These infections can also spread to the surrounding skin, causing additional symptoms such as redness, swelling, and itching. To treat bacterial or fungal nail infections, antifungal medications, topical antibacterials, or a combination of both may be used. This is something that should be discussed with your podiatrist or doctor, as your specific treatment plan will depend on the severity of the infection and your medical history. It should be noted that some smells may persist even after fungus and bacteria have been eliminated, as other factors such as sweating and poor hygiene can also both contribute to foot odour.

Wash Your Insoles

Periodically washing your shoe liners, if they’re removable, may also help. If you have orthotics, these can also be cleaned – just make sure to follow the instructions from your podiatrist carefully and ensure they are completely dry before putting them back in your shoe.

See A Podiatrist

While home remedies including the suggestions above can go a long way in treating fungal nail infections, if they’re not working for you, it may be time to see a podiatrist. Your podiatrist will evaluate your feet, understand the cause of the persistent odour and why it’s not responding to other treatment options, and recommend stronger treatments, such as prescription-strength antiperspirants or topical medications. If you’re struggling with foot odour and need help, book your appointment by calling us on 09 523 2333 or book online here.

How To Get A Splinter Out Of Your Foot The Right Way

So you’ve got a splinter stuck in your foot and despite trying with tweezers or other home first aid tactics, you can’t get it out. So, what can you do? Here’s the lowdown on splinters and when to seek help from our podiatrists. 

Do Splinters Need To Be Removed?

Splinters can be caused by a range of things – a prickle from a plant, a shard of glass, a wood splinter and more. As they are a ‘foreign’ object that pierces and enters the skin, aside from being very painful, they can also contain bacteria that can cause an infection if the splinter isn’t removed. This is why splinters do need to be removed from the skin, regardless of how shallow or deep they are. There are two ways to get the splinter out: try to do it yourself at home, or get help from your podiatrist. If you have diabetes, are prone to infections, have problems with sensation in your feet or have impairments when it comes to circulation or healing, we always recommend heading to your podiatrist if you can’t remove the splinter simply with tweezers. This is as part of the splinter may be left in the foot but you may not be able to detect it (and it can be very hard to see well when it comes to the bottoms of our feet!), or you may create a significant wound that may worsen when walking if your body is unable to effectively heal the area.  

Getting The Splinter Out Yourself

Given that part of the splinter is protruding from the skin, it may be simple to get it out yourself. Follow these hygiene and safety principles:
  • Wash your hands with an antibacterial wash before starting, and gently clean the area of your foot where the splinter is lodged
  • Disinfect any instruments you’re using like tweezers or a needle. You can do this with rubbing alcohol, iodine or boiling water, and then letting them dry and cool
  • Soak your foot in warm water for up to ten minutes if needed to help soften the skin
  • Start by gently pinching the skin around the splinter to give it an opportunity to come out naturally from being squeezed
  • If that fails, use the tweezers to pull the end of the splinter out. Make sure you are pulling at the same angle that the splinter has entered your foot, this will help prevent it from breaking
  • If the splinter is located just below the skin, you may choose to create an opening where the splinter is lodged so you can grasp hold of it. If doing this, be very careful not to dig for the splinter, this may push it down further. 
  • Once the splinter has been removed, clean and sanitise the area and protect it if needed

Getting Help With Your Splinter

While most splinters can be easily removed yourself, if you can’t get to it, it is better to have it removed than to leave it sitting in your foot. It can become very painful and may lead to an infection. As podiatrists, we often remove a range of foreign ‘bodies’ from the feet simply and easily. We then apply a sterile dressing to best help protect the foot and allow the area where the splinter was embedded to heal.  We recommend coming to see our podiatry team here in Remuera if:
  • You have trouble removing the splinter on your own
  • The splinter is deep, you were only able to partially remove it before it broke off, or the area is becoming very painful
  • You are getting signs of infection – redness, tenderness, swelling, clear/yellow discharge from the area
  • You have a ‘high-risk’ foot from conditions like diabetes

Auckland’s Leading Podiatrists

Our registered podiatrists are experienced in managing a range of foot problems – from splinters and other foreign bodies embedded in the feet, to treating corns or warts that were ‘disguised’ as splinters – or vice versa. We have a range of treatments available that are effective, safe and comfortable. We work extensively with children, often helping remove foreign bodies from the feet of kids who otherwise don’t want to be touched, are squeamish or are sensitive to pain. Book your appointment with the Perform Podiatry team by calling 09 523 2333 or book online here.

What Can A Podiatrist At Perform Podiatry Help You With?

Do we trim toenails? Do we correct your foot posture using orthotics? Do we remove your corns? Do we help correct bunions? The answer is a big yes to all of the above – and a whole world more.  Every once in a while, we’re reminded that for those that have never been to a podiatrist, or only had one specific problem treated, they have no idea about the number of people with a variety of conditions that we help every year. So today, we’re sharing ten of the many problems that you may not have known that we can help you with. 

In-toeing in kids

While in-toeing, as well as out-toeing, can be a normal variation when kids are first learning to walk, if in-toeing persists into the primary school years, or if it’s causing kids to trip, fall, be unable to keep up with their friends or causing them pain, they may need a little help with straightening their feet. This is something we absolutely offer, using an in-shoe device called a gait plate that your child won’t even notice! This is combined with some easy and child-friendly exercises to help kids walk straight and feel great on their feet.

Foot drop

Foot drop describes a situation where the forefoot drops down instead of being able to be lifted up to clear the ground. This can be incredibly frustrating for those affected, causing regular tripping with normal gait, or having to lift the knee at the hip to try to compensate, which may lead to pain at the hip, knee or glutes. We use specialised braces that are lightweight, modern and can often fit conveniently inside footwear, these prevent the foot from dropping down and help you clear the ground. 


Bunions describe the bony bumps that develop on the side of your big toe (or little toe!) that make it difficult – and possibly painful – for you to fit shoes properly. We can help with both encouraging the toes to straighten, as well as preventing or at least slowing the bunions from worsening. We have a number of treatments to try for this – and none of them involves surgery.

Falls & instability

Feeling unstable and unconfident on your feet is scary – both inside and outside of the house. We get to the cause of your instability, selecting the best strategies and treatments to help promote stable and confident gait. Whether it’s from years of repeated ankle sprains that have left you with chronic ankle instability, an accident and subsequent surgery that has restricted the movement on your feet, or it’s a condition or disease that has left you feeling less stable, we will work with both your lower limbs and your footwear to help you walk and feel your best.

Poorly fitting footwear

Have good shoes you love but that don’t quite fit properly anymore? Whether it’s a bunion, an altered foot shape following an accident or something else, we’re one of the only clinics in Auckland that offer shoe stretching where appropriate. 

Curly and overriding toes

Toes that are clawed or positioned over one another aren’t just an aesthetic problem – their position makes it difficult to fit comfortably into shoes, and puts you at risks of corns, callus, trapping moisture between the toes that may break down the skin, and much more. We can help by creating custom devices for the toes that will keep them separated and in a better position for regular foot function – and your comfort. We’ll also manage any corns, callus or wounds that have developed as a result of the position.

Retraining your gait (the way you walk and run)

The way you’ve learnt to walk and run can impact your energy output, performance, injury risk and more. We can help you retrain your gait by identifying your current patterns on the treadmill, prescribing stretching and strengthening exercises to help with any insufficiencies, and teaching you different techniques to promote healthy gait patterns.

Managing ulcer risk

Ulcers are one of the leading causes of lower limb amputations aside from Trauma. Whether you’ve recently discovered an ulcer or you’ve had one that hasn’t healed on its own for months, we offer wound care services to manage and monitor your ulcer, and help prevent it from causing you serious complications and side effects. We debride any build-up around the wound where safe and clinically appropriate, have a range of specialised dressings to offer the right level of moisture support and will help you offload the ulcer in a variety of ways. This might be using pads with your dressings or creating specialised orthotics (foot inserts) that have a cut-out or drop-down in the precise location of your ulcer, so that you stop applying pressure to it with every step you take in your shoes. We relay our findings and management plan to your GP and any other health professionals that you request, so we all work as a unified team to help get the best outcomes for your health.

Fungal nail infections

Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat for so many reasons. Some studies have shown that up to 50% of people who thought that they had a fungal nail infection actually didn’t – their nails were being affected by something else instead! This is why we offer in-clinic testing to confirm that the discolouration and other symptoms in your nails are being caused by a fungus. This simple test takes about 5-10 minutes and is performed by our podiatry team. From there, we can recommend the best anti-fungal treatment and teach you our tips for not just getting rid of the fungal nail infection – but keeping it gone in the future.

Foot & leg pain

Okay, so this one we know the majority of you probably already know that we treat – but given that foot and leg pain is one of the most common things we manage on a daily basis, it’s definitely worth a mention! From heel pain like plantar fasciitis, to Achilles pain, shin splints, knee pain, toe pain and so much more, this is one of our areas of special interest that we know inside out and love helping you with!

Can’t see your problem on the list?

Don’t worry! We offer many more services, including medical pedicures, ingrown toenail surgery, sports medicine and much more. Check out our range of services on our website – or just give us a call and let us know your problem – we’ll be happy to either book you in or point you in the right direction if we’re unable to help with your specific problem. Book your appointment online here or call us on 09 523 2333

Get Rid Of Painful Corns and Callus – Instantly!

Corns and callus are a big problem for many of our patients here at Perform Podiatry. Unfortunately, they’re often a problem that goes untreated for far too long and causes much unnecessary pain, that can otherwise be relieved instantly – in just a single appointment! We were inspired to write this by two patients that came in first thing today, one after the other. The first has corns that she gets taken care of regularly, so they never build up enough to cause her pain. The second patient hadn’t seen us in over a year as life had become busy and she just put off making those little maintenance appointments – which is totally understandable – until she realised that her corn had started causing her quite a fair bit of pain!

So, what causes corns and callus and why do they develop?

The answer to the cause is friction and pressure. It’s the rubbing or excess pressure (usually from walking) on an area of the foot that’ll lead to the development and longevity of the corn. We joked with a patient this morning that if you were to stop walking, then your corns wouldn’t come back, because of their direct result from excess pressure. However, we’re also all busy people that rely on our feet to get us everywhere so that’s not an option just yet. The reason you’ll develop a corn on the bottom of your foot but your walking buddy won’t, however, is also largely related to your foot biomechanics. Of course, there are other factors at play like your footwear, the type of ground you walk or run on, and many more. But most likely, it’ll be that a bone in your foot is sitting that little bit lower than the others – and not because of anything you’ve done – and there’ll be a lot more pressure on that bone with every step you take. Next minute, you’ve got a corn.

And why are some corns painful and not others?

Corns (and callus) is really just a build-up of hard, dead skin. It’s actually a protective mechanism from your body – think about it like this: There’s an area of your foot that is constantly undergoing a lot of pressure. Your body thinks ‘If I don’t do anything to protect this normal skin, it might tear/break/wear down and I’ll be susceptible to infection’. So the skin hardens. You develop protection from the regular pressure. But then… It keeps building to the point that it feels like you’re walking on a pebble with every step. The thick mass irritates the regular skin around it. It becomes tender and may redden. It becomes too big, and now uncomfortable and painful. Here we have identified the sweet spot… You’ve got to manage your corns and callus before they get to that painful point. And as podiatrists, that’s something we can do very easily for you. Just like this corn below – just one appointment and boom, the pain is gone. It really is that simple! To get rid of the corns, we use a scalpel very skillfully to debride the thickened skin. Because it’s just hard, dead skin, you don’t feel a thing. What you do feel is a feeling of relief as you place your feet back on the ground and no longer feel that painful lump. Success! If you or any of your family is suffering from painful or uncomfortable corns and callus, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Perform Podiatry. There’s nothing better for us as practitioners than to see patients who initially came in with painful feet walk out feeling great and pain-free. It’s why we love what we do! To book in with our fantastic practitioners, you can give us a call on 09 523 2333 or book online here.

How To Get Rid of Plantar Warts

If you or your kids have ever had warts, you’ll know that they’re unpleasant, unsightly and can at times be uncomfortable, especially if they’re on the bottom of your feet. They can quickly spread from one member of the family to another and once you’ve contracted them, they may pop up (literally) at any point in your life. So what exactly are warts and what can you do about them?  

Otherwise known as Verrucae

Plantar warts are medically known as verrucae and tend to present on the sole of the foot. Warts are actually a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). It spreads through a break in the skin, like a small cut or graze, either directly or through sharing the same surface like a shower or a floor.  

What are the symptoms?

A plantar wart appears as a small round-ish growth with rough or frayed edges. It remains rough within the wart itself. You may also notice tiny black/brown dots within the wart which are actually small blood vessels which will bleed if the wart is cut. You may notice that the lines of your skin move around the wart as opposed to through it. There may also be hard skin in the form of callus covering a wart. We typically reduce this hard skin in the clinic to both confirm that the lesion is indeed a wart and also for treatment.  

Is it really a wart or is it a corn?

Perhaps one of those most difficult elements of treating warts is their similarity in symptomology and appearance to the untrained eye. Even to the trained eye! We’ve seen plenty of patients come in to see us after they had previously been told they had a corn when it was a wart and so their treatment had been unsuccessful. Corns also present on the sole of the foot and are round in appearance. They are a build-up of hard skin and have a smoother appearance and edges than a wart. Corns tend to elicit pain on direct pressure whereas warts tend to elicit more pain on a sidewards squeeze. Unless you’ve picked at it and caused damage, corns don’t tend to bleed, either.  

How do you treat it?

To treat warts, you first need to see your Podiatrist. We don’t recommend at-home treatment because you risk damaging the surrounding skin and putting yourself at risk for a bacterial infection. We often see patients who have tried a stick-on pad over the wart as a means of treatment. Typically these pads contain some form of acid designed to break down area of the wart, eating away at it. The danger here is that the size of acid on the pad is usually much bigger than the size of the wart itself. The acid then works on the healthy skin surrounding the wart and it becomes very painful, red, tender and unpleasant. At Perform Podiatry we have a wide range of treatment options available depending on what is best suited for you and your wart(s) to see them gone. If you or your family are wanting an effective solution for warts from the foot health experts in Remuera, give us a call on 09 523 2333