Breakthrough nanoparticle technology offers a fresh solution for smelly feet

Breakthrough nanoparticle technology offers a fresh solution for smelly feet
Breakthrough nanoparticle technology offers a fresh solution for smelly feet
LUGANO, October 30, 2020 – New research results (1) presented at the 29th EADV Congress EADV Virtual show that socks coated with zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) can cause bromodosis (foot odor) and keratolysis (bacterial infection, which causes smelly feet), thereby reducing the negative impact of this embarrassing condition on quality of life (2).

The socks with ZnO-NP coating developed by the Royal Thai Airforce were tested under real conditions by researchers at Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University in Thailand. They found that the antibacterial effectiveness of ZnO-NPs, along with their safety and compatibility with human skin, are the perfect combination for textiles, including socks, to prevent unpleasant foot odor.

The double-blind, randomized, controlled study was conducted with 148 cadets at the Thai Naval Rating School. Bromodosis and hole keratolysis are a common complaint among military personnel, with foot lesions, including hole keratosis, occurring in over a third of marine cadets in Thailand (38.5%) (2).

The study showed that those with ZnO-NP-coated socks had significantly less foot odor compared to baseline (p = 0.009). This was compared to the group of uncoated socks who had a more intense foot odor with a stronger negative impact on their daily life (p = 0.04). They also found that participants with uncoated socks were more likely to develop keratolysis with pitting than participants with ZnO-NP-coated socks (p = 0.05).

The study is the result of the experience of lead author Dr. Firsthand Punyawee Ongsri, a naval officer and last year in the dermatology department of Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. He saw a problem with military personnel while working in the naval medicine department. Dr. Ongsri explains: “During my internship as a naval officer in the medical department, I noticed a high number of foot infections among military personnel. I wanted to find a way to prevent and treat these fungal and bacterial infections and the diseases that come with them. Previous studies had shown the antibacterial properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles, so my Professor Dr. Bunyaratavej, Dr. Leeyaphan and our research team are testing the effectiveness of this new technology in practice. ”

He continues: “Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of ZnO-NP coated socks in preventing bromodose and inhibiting the development of pitting keratolysis. These socks could represent a new primary prevention option for both military personnel and those prone to these embarrassing and uncomfortable conditions. We are continuing our research with other textiles and hope to be able to treat and prevent the growth of bacterial and fungal infections. ”


Notes for editors

In submitting information in this press release, reference must be made to the 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), EADV Virtual or EADV Virtual 2020.


For more information or to schedule an expert interview, please contact [email protected] or:

Lewis Picton – EADV Press Secretary

[email protected]

+44 (0) 208 971 6419

Nina Vadjaraganian – EADV Press Officer

[email protected]

+44 (0) 208 971 6408

Sophie Graham – EADV Press Officer

[email protected]

+44 (0) 208 971 6413

About hole keratolysis

Hole keratolysis is a common skin condition caused by several gram-positive bacteria, including Corynebacterium species, Kytococcus sedentarius, Dermatophilus congolensis, and Actinomyces species (3). These bacteria “eat” the keratin on the skin of the soles of the feet, forming small tunnels that cause a “scarred” appearance and an unpleasant “cheesy” foot odor (4). It is commonly found in young adult males, particularly soldiers, miners, and athletes.

About Punyawee Ongsri

Was born in 1988. He graduated from Chulalongkorn University Medical School. He has been with the Royal Thai Navy Department of Marine Medicine since 2013 and currently serves as Lieutenant Commander. He started his education in the Department of Dermatology, Medical School, Siriraj Hospital and Mahidol University and is now in his senior year.

About EADV:

Founded in 1987, EADV is the premier community promoting the knowledge of health professionals and lawyers in the field of dermatology and venereology. It is a non-profit organization with over 7,000 members in 113 different countries around the world that offers a valuable service to all types of dermatovenerologists. The EADV has set itself the goal of improving the quality of patient care, continuing the medical training of all dermatovenerologists in Europe and beyond, and advocating for the specialist field and the patients. Find. Further information can be found at https: // /.

About EADV Virtual:

This year’s congress is a first in the history of EADV. EADV Virtual – New Frontiers in Dermatology and Venereology offers colleagues from around the world an exceptional opportunity to explore the latest developments in science and patient care that are at the heart of the Academy’s mission. The user experience is impressive and easy to follow. Further information can be found at https: // /



(2) According to Punyawee Ongsri, MD RTN *; Asst. Prof. Sumanas Bunyaratavej, MD †; Asst. Prof. Charussri Leeyaphan, Prevalence and Clinical Correlation of Superficial Fungal Infection in Thai Naval Assessment Cadets, MILITARY MEDICINE, 183, 9/10: e633, 2018

(3) Derm Net New Zealand, keratolyis with pitting. Available at: https: // /Subjects /Lochkeratolyse /#: ~: text =Pitted% 20keratolysis% 20is% 20much% 20more, Athletes access October 2020

(4) Netdoctor, Bromodosis. Available at: https: // Kingdom/Conditions/Skin and hair /a30678595 /smelly feet bromodose / Accessed October 2020

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