Sulfur Soap for Body and Foot Odor (Bromhidrosis)
Sulfur has been known for millennia to have antimicrobial properties. This makes it an ideal element to be incorporated into a soap. Smelly feet are caused by overgrowth of bacteria which thrive in a moist environment—particularly in those people who wear enclosed shoes many hours during the workday. When the feet are affected the bacteria (Micrococcus sedentarius or Corynebacterium sp.) may actually eat away the top layer of the skin of the soles (stratum corneum) and create numerous holes or “pits”. The medical term for this condition is “pitted keratolysis”. Sulfur soap used on the feet (better if used twice daily) is a useful treatment for foot odor with or without pitted keratolysis.
Body odor (bromhidrosis) from any source on the skin may be abated with the regular use of sulfur soap in the shower. The underarms (axillae), the groin (perineal) areas, and the bottom of the feet (plantar surfaces) are particularly prone to odor in part due to many apocrine glands within the skin in these areas. Apocrine glands are modified sweat glands (eccrine glands) which deposit a nutrient (steroid) rich secretion into the hair follicles in these areas or directly onto the skin surface. The secretion makes its way over the surface of the skin where odor causing bacteria proliferate (primarily Corynebacterium species) and metabolize the apocrine secretions. The bacteria then produce volatile organic compounds (short chain fatty acids) which are responsible for the odor. Regular use of sulfur soap in these areas of the body will decrease the bacterial load and thereby help prevent the odor. However, not all sulfur soaps are alike. Most sulfur soaps contain oils (e.g. lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, etc.) which may plug the pores of the skin and prevent your skin from “breathing”. Plugged pores can lead to folliculitis (inflammation of the hair pores), exacerbation of acne, whiteheads (milia), etc. Also, many sulfur soaps contain sensitizers, which are chemicals that may cause irritation or allergic reactions on the skin (lanolin is also a major sensitizer). CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap is specifically formulated to be gentle (glycerin based), and it contains no lanolin or other oils and no sensitizers. Remember, there is no correlation between being allergic to “sulfa drugs” which are complex molecular compounds and sulfur which is an element. So you may use CutiCareMD® Sulfur Soap safely even with a history of “sulfa drug” allergy. Take care of your skin and choose your sulfur soap wisely.