Smell My Fingers

Yesterday, after drinking my normal gallon of coffee, I smelled my fingers. For some reason, maybe the oodles of caffeine or maybe the lack of real food, I smelled my fingers. To me they smelled like feet. I turned to my coworker and stated “my hands smell like feet.” She laughed in an “oh my god you are so crazy don’t kill me” way and then went back to her work. I started to wonder why my hands smelled like feet. I have decent hygiene. I shower regularly, with soap even. As a resident of New York City who takes mass transit daily, I either wash my hands or use hand sanitizer frequently. It is not an OCD thing; it’s a not getting swine flu thing.

After the elimination of cleanliness as a cause of the smell, I started to wonder if something in my diet was oozing out of my hands making them smell like feet. I do love cheese and some people seem to think that cheese smells like feet. What if my consumption of cheese was to blame? I guess I would just have to live with foot-smelly hands for the rest of my life since I have no intentions of ever removing cheese products from my diet. However, my cheese intake has not increased in recent days. I therefore must remove that from the list of potential causes.

Naturally, the next most likely cause of podiatric smells emanating from the my manual area is cancer. But what kind of cancer causes that to happen? I searched through my television memories for an episode of “ER” where someone comes into the hospital with a papercut on his left index finger and Dr Green smells feet leading to a diagnosis of cancer of the esophagus, but there was no such episode. I then did what no one should ever do when faced with a potential medical mystery: googling. Hypochondria is on the rise due to the wealth of medical information available to the average person through the internet. I know. I dated a guy with this disease and he was all about the crazy diagnoses he read online. After typing “my hands smell like feet” into the search engine, I found that some woman’s husband had this issue and that some person was worried about their dog’s feet [sic] (they are called paws, people!) smelled like corn chips. I did not find any type of cancer that causes your hands to smell like feet.

What if my hands didn’t smell like feet at all? What if this was all in my head or was some form of olfactoryhallucination?  I got scared that I was developing a weird mental disorder that would cause me to walk on my hands all the time. I have terrible balance, so this is my worst nightmare. Besides I would never find shoes that would fit correctly.

In the end, I decided that I should probably stop focusing so much time on why my hands smelled like feet. I went back to work and forgot all about it until I came home and wrote this post. I still don’t know why my hands smelled like feet, but I do know a lot of ways to procrastinate.


7 thoughts on “Smell My Fingers”

  1. Okay, this isn’t feet-smell exactly, but I noticed from time to time my hands would smell funny. I finally figured out it was when I used this one particular kind of dishcloth in the kitchen (Pampered Chef – yes, I’m calling you out). The whole point of this fabric was that it wouldn’t grow germs, but when it got wet it left a horrid smell on any hands that touched it. Even if you took a clean one out of the drawer and the first time it was wet and used you ended up with stinky hands that took a fair bit of soap to cut the smell. Once I figured that out, those clothes bit the dust. So it could have been something like that. Did you use a new soap or hand sanitizer that didn’t mingle well with your natural manly attractive smell? That can happen too. Hopefully it was a one-time occurence for you.

  2. OMG smelly dishcloths! Eww! Back when I could stand living with a roommate, he’d always make fun of me for constantly replacing our sponge. I can’t stand the smell of stinky sponges. In my house, they last about 2-3 weeks, MAX.

    Mikey, I think you should just wash your hands more often and get back to work. Either that, or have your coworker confirm the odor, and then seek immediate medical attention.

  3. I didn’t try new soaps or sanitizers, but eventually the smell went away. The stinky sponge means your house is well humidified, Adam! If they dry out….then you are too dry…something the science nerd in me loves to know

  4. I’m very impressed with your ability to procrastinate. Good luck with the whole stinky hand thing. If it gets really bad you could always wear gloves. Scented gloves. Or rubber gloves. If you’re into that sort of thing.

  5. Feet don’t smell, fungus does. There’s a type of fungus that causes that foot smell and it got transferred to your hands. Just because it doesn’t itch, doesn’t mean it’s not fungus. It’s not athletes foot, but the same treatment for atheletes foot fungus will work. Kill that foot smell and get it off your hands. I used clotimazole cream followed with tolnaftate spray on top before bed and upon waking. I also put odor eater powder in my shoes and never wore the same pair two days in a row. Now my hands don’t smell and neither do my feet. At all. The only thing that smells is my nose.

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