Help me with my...friend's...stinky feet


So I’ve got this friend who has a foot fungus. At least, that’s what it seems like. It’s on his heel & the bottom of his big toe, tends to get white in the shower, and sometimes his socks stick to his feet on the effected areas. The skin in these areas is bumpy when wet and kind of calloused and mildly yellowed when dry. My friend—okay, so it’s me—thinks he got this from borrowing a pair of socks from someone whose feet were fungus-y (head slapping emoticon) and has been battling it for months to no avail.

Can you ID the fungus? If so, how can I get rid of it? If not, any general ideas as to how stop un-identifiable foot fungus issues? I’ll try anything short of amputation. It’s getting really annoying.

NOt a doctor, but most likely Athlete’s Foot. There are a variety of otc medication you can use. Foot powders, sprays, creams.

Commercials with buzz-cutted spokesmen tell me that Athelete’s Foot is supposed to be itchy, burning, etc. I’ve had that, back in my soccer days. I don’t think that’s what this one is…unless my knowledge of atheletes foot is woefully incomplete.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the SDMB.

You should probably see a dermatologist. Fungal infestations are extremely difficult to eradicate. There are over-the-counter topical products you can use, but they’re not very effective. There are more powerful prescription products, but they come with the possibility of attendant liver damage and other wonderful side effects, so you’ll need to be under the care of a doctor.

All fungal treatment products require strict adherence to the treatment regimen. You’ll also need to change your bedding regularly (I’ve heard recommendations of twice a week) and wash your socks in hot water with bleach. Don’t walk around barefoot; you may leave fungus which can then be picked up again later. Clean your feet well in the shower and make sure they’re dry afterwards.

Make sure your floors and your shower are cleaned regularly. Use bleach.

I too am not a doctor, but here is a cheap and easy treatment you can try (in addition to all the excellent “keep it clean and dry” advice from acaos): Go to the grocery store and buy plain white vinegar. Buy lots of it, but it’s cheap. For the first few days, soak the affected part of your feet in it for a few minutes twice a day, then let them air dry. After that, it will probably be enough to wipe some vinegar on and let it dry, but still twice a day.

I used white vinegar to cure toenail fungus, which everyone says can’t be done topically. It took 6 months because of being completely infested under the toenail. If your problem really is fungus, and it is all located in easy-to-reach places, it might take much less time for you. But keep at it until it is completely gone, because that stuff will come back if you give it any chance at all.

Why does this work? I’m told that fungus can’t live in an acid environment.

Anyway, it couldn’t hurt.


On the heel and bottom of the big toe? It sounds more like pitted keratolysis. Your friend should see a doctor – if it is PK, your friend will need antibiotics.

That looks pretty accurate I think. Time to regret not having health insurance…

It’s funny - I think I have this though my feet hardly stink…time for a dermatologist

Mine…friend’s, yeah, that’s right…stink sporadically, based, I’d assume, on how dry they were, if sandals were worn, etc. etc.

Why, oh why, would anybody ever do this ???

I was young(er) and stupid(er). Plus, I didn’t know his feet were teeming with fungus until after the fact. I’ve been paying for it for years, so: lesson learned.