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Our in-house pae­di­a­tri­cian an­swers all your child­care queries

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Dr Bi­jal Shri­vas­tava an­swers all your child­care queries

My child is four years old and is ex­tremely ac­tive. He loves to play around and is al­ways on his toes, and so am I. I love the fact that he is con­stantly on the move, but I am fac­ing one ma­jor is­sue—stinky feet. He does sweat a lot but over­all it is his feet that make it un­bear­able, and I have to make him con­stantly wash them. Now that he is in preschool, I do not want the other kids to make fun of him. Please sug­gest ways to com­bat this is­sue.

ANUSHREE ROY, KOLKATA

Hi Anushree, It looks like your young one is a fun-lov­ing and happy young man, and that’s al­ways a plea­sure to be around. Now, to tackle your con­cern of stinky feet.

Plan­tar hy­per­hidro­sis means sweaty feet, and is a prob­lem­atic sit­u­a­tion to deal with. Sweat­ing is a mech­a­nism by which our body cools it­self, es­pe­cially in warm en­vi­ron­ments and even dur­ing ex­er­cise. For no known med­i­cal rea­sons, some people tend to sweat a lot. They usu­ally have ex­tremely sweaty palms and sweaty feet, as a re­sult of ge­net­ics. Sweaty feet is not med­i­cally harm­ful, per se, but can cause func­tional or so­cial prob­lems, as you rightly fear might hap­pen to your son.

The rea­son be­hind stinky feet is be­cause bac­te­ria gets trapped in the glands and pro­lif­er­ate due to ex­ces­sive sweat­ing, re­sult­ing in a foul odour. This is why it is of ut­most im­por­tance to con­trol bac­te­rial growth and keep­ing the feet dry. This will pre­vent the bac­te­ria from in­creas­ing, and caus­ing the stench. Hence, good foot hy­giene is es­sen­tial. You can try the fol­low­ing things at home to help pre­vent your son’s feet from smelling: Try wash­ing his feet with an anti bac­te­rial soap twice a day. Dry the feet thor­oughly after wash­ing. Ap­ply­ing corn starch or anti-fun­gal pow­der be­fore wearing socks. How­ever, be care­ful as it can make his feet slip­pery, so avoid do­ing this when he’s bare­foot. Avoid plain cot­ton socks and ny­lon socks. Choose socks made from a syn­thetic ma­te­rial or a wool-cot­ton blend. Use airy footwear which al­lows the feet to breathe. Avoid plas­tic shoes or cloth shoes, es­pe­cially dur­ing the mon­soons.

Fol­low this daily rou­tine to pre­vent the sweaty feet is­sues. And all the best for the start of his school­ing.

Dr Bi­jal Shri­vas­tava MBBS and MD (Pe­di­atrics), is a neotol­o­gist at Dr LH Hi­ranan­dani Hos­pi­tal. She works full-time as a pe­di­atric con­sul­tant and has been a pe­di­atric prac­ti­tioner for the last 12 years.

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