Nothing will dampen your spirits during a beautiful summer like a foot infection. You won’t feel like taking a long stroll by the beach when you have a painful plantar wart on your sole. You won’t want to head to a pool party when you have a bad toenail fungus. And you won’t want to go for a hike through a national park when the itch of your athlete’s foot is driving you up the wall.
If you don’t want to deal with a foot infection for the entire season, you should follow these simple rules:
1. Don’t Go Barefoot at the Pool
The best method of prevention of foot problems in the summer is to cover up your feet with high-quality shoes because the ground is covered with bacteria, fungi and viruses that can infect your feet. Areas that are warm, wet and have lots of visitors will be especially risky. So, you should sport protective footwear when you’re walking across the deck of the community swimming pool or using the locker room showers at the gym.
Get a pair of waterproof shoes that you can wear to the swimming pool deck, public showers and locker room. After every use, you should rinse your shoes with warm water and dry them. You should also start washing your feet and drying them with a towel after going to these locations in case any contaminants got onto your feet. Then, put on a clean pair of socks and outdoor shoes.
2. Don’t Go Barefoot at Home
You should break the habit of walking around barefoot, even at home. Other residents in your home could unknowingly transfer a contagious infection like athlete’s foot to the floor that you’re walking on every day. Wearing a pair of comfortable slippers or socks will protect your feet and prevent a frustrating cycle of infection.
If you’re worried about slippers or socks being too warm to endure in the summer heat, you can look at Feet First shoes and sandals from companies like Birkenstock, FitFlop and NAOT.
3. Change Your Shoes and Socks Often
You should change your shoes and socks often if you want to avoid problems like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. As previously stated, bacteria and fungus thrive in warm, moist conditions — this includes inside of your sweaty shoes and socks.
Whenever your socks get sweaty, change them and put on a cleaner pair. Don’t wear one pair of shoes every single day, especially if you’re exercising in them. Give them a chance to air out.
If your shoes are starting to smell like foot odour, let them dry in the sunshine to kill off the bacteria. You can also put your shoes in the freezer to destroy any leftover bacteria clinging to the material, as long as you remember to put the shoes in a plastic bag first.
4. Don’t Share Your Shoes
Do you remember being told never to share hats in school because one of the other children could have lice and give it to you? You should give your shoes a similar treatment because sharing shoes with other people puts you at risks of contracting a toenail fungal infection or a bad case of athlete’s foot. Keep your shoes, boots, inserts, socks and everything else you put on your feet to yourself.
When you follow these essential rules, your feet will stay healthy and infection-free all summer long. You can go back to enjoying your favourite activities, whether it’s going for a walk through the neighbourhood park or taking a quick dip in the community swimming pool.