“What?” We can hear you ask. “I thought podiatrists didn’t like sandals!”
You’re partly right. Not all sandals are bad for you. However, many types can hurt your feet if you wear them all the time, particularly styles that are flat and flimsy with no cushioning or arch support (flip flops being the most notorious example).
When it comes to locker rooms, even the lowly flip flop is much better than the alternative of going barefoot. The reason? Fungus.
How Does Athlete's Foot Spread in Public Places
The fungi known as dermatophytes—the ones that cause problems like fungal toenail infections, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch—like places that are warm, moist, and dark. Locker room floors fit the bill nicely, along with places like gyms, pool decks, public showers and restrooms, or even the inside of your shoes.
Although these fungi need some skin, nail, or hair to really thrive—they feast on the keratin present in such tissues—they can live on infected surfaces for extended periods of time until an unsuspecting human passes by. All it takes is for someone already infected with the fungus to leave some hair or exfoliated skin flakes somewhere where another person can come into contact with them.
Wearing Sandals Can Prevent Skin and Nail Fungal Infections
That’s why even a simple pair of sandals (or shower shoes) is so important whenever you use public facilities, or even share a private bathroom with others. That extra layer of protection can significantly reduce your risk of contracting a fungal infection and keep your skin and nails looking and feeling healthy and fabulous.
Once you contract an infection of dermatophytes—say a mild case of athlete’s foot—not only can you spread it to others, but you can spread it to new places on your own body, too. That can mean larger rashes, or the infection of toenails or fingernails. That’s why we urge you to take fungal infections seriously: prevent them if you can, and seek treatment early if you can’t. If your toenails are starting to look a little yellow or you need help eradicating a stubborn case of athlete’s foot, give the Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ a call at 623-584-5556 today.