Mothers often find themselves shocked by the changes their nine to eleven-year-olds face during puberty, according to a new study by Galderma Laboratories and Kelton. The group looked at 2,000 mothers and analyzed perceptions of skin conditions like acne. The study showed that 66% of moms went a month or more without thinking about their children’s skin. Nearly three-quarters of mothers worried about the effects of puberty, such as their child feeling embarrassed or unattractive. We find that puberty woes go far beyond acne, however. Problems like foot fungus and sweaty, smelly feet can also be cause for concern in the lives of young people.
Foot Fungus In Children
Research suggests that kids generally do not contract foot fungus as often as adults. However, some families may be genetically predisposed to picking up and being adversely affected by a foot fungus. If some members of your family have come down with foot fungus in the past, then it is important that you take added steps to protect your young ones.
What To Do:
Do not share towels between family members or walk barefoot. Slippers should be worn inside and shower shoes or sandals should be worn at the beach. Be sure the feet are cleaned and dried thoroughly between the toes each day. In addition to washing your socks, use a UV shoe sanitizer to kill up to 99.9% of the fungus and bacteria living there. Antifungal foot powder may be helpful for kids that sweat profusely. It’s up to you to keep shower surfaces clean.
Kids With Sweaty, Smelly Feet
Foot odor can be a problem for anyone and is caused by two factors: sweat and bacteria. Our feet contain 250,000 sweat glands. As kids reach puberty, these glands begin to mature and secrete more moisture. When this wetness mingles with bacteria, the bacteria consumes it and proliferates. Since kids’ feet sweat about 2-3 times more than an adult’s foot, they wear down their shoes faster and may suffer from more malodorous feet during this phase of life. However, between 10 and 15 percent of people also have “pervasively smelly feet, children included,” says Dr. Andrew Weil. Excessive sweating and bacteria overgrowth cause worse odor in certain people.
What To Do:
It’s especially important to buy breathable shoes that lets heat and moisture escape. Materials like leather, mesh and canvas are better than synthetic materials or plastics. It’s a good idea to sanitize the shoes of bacteria, alternate shoes daily, and encourage children to change wet socks throughout the day. Also, some parents report having success defeating their children’s body odor by encouraging healthy eating and switching them to organic milk.