Protect Your Feet in Public Places
For some people, there’s nothing better than the natural feel of going barefoot. The cool breeze, feet on gentle grass or cold stone—we definitely sympathize! That said, bare feet are a prime target for fungal infections and accidental injuries, and the risk might be higher than you realize.
As natural as it might feel to go barefoot, you definitely need to protect your feet when you leave your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to wear closed-toed shoes everywhere, of course. There are times when a good pair of sandals, or even (on occasion) flip flops, are entirely appropriate. But you should almost always opt for some form of footwear, unless you have complete control over the environment.
Keratin-loving fungi—the kind that can ruin your day with a bad case of athlete’s foot or fungal toenails—love to live in moist, warm, dark environments. Viruses, such as those that can cause warts on the hands and feet, do as well. Transmission can occur indirectly, meaning a floor, towel, or mat used by an infected person can later spread the fungus or virus to you, too.
Pool decks, public showers, locker rooms, fitness centers, gymnasiums, playgrounds—these are all great examples of the kinds of places where infecting agents love to reside. Bringing along, at the bare minimum, a pair of sandals or shower shoes will significantly reduce your risk of developing one of those pesky infections.
Of course, contact with fungi, bacteria, and viruses isn’t the only reason you should protect your feet. Cuts, puncture wounds, and other injuries are obviously also more likely when you don’t have something sturdy between your feet and the ground. That’s bad news for everyone, but cuts and scrapes are especially troublesome for people with compromised immune systems, including those with diabetes.
So, the Kansas Foot Center recommendation is clear: protect your feet! Give them at least the benefit of a flip flop when you’re out on the town. Once you’re back home, you can air out your toes to your heart’s content! For help with addressing an existing foot injury or infection, please give us a call today at (866) 222-5177.