The risks of poor feet hygiene

6 Apr

Feet hygiene is a very important health issue because there are many problems that may occur from poor hygiene, starting from offensive shoe odor to tinea pedis and toenail fungus, which is a very severe infection and must be treated as such. There are many types of bacteria and fungi and all sorts of other micro-organisms that cause such skin conditions and infections and people can contact them in many places, especially warm and moist environments, such as swimming pools, gyms, locker rooms or showers. This is the main reason for which athletes are prone to these conditions, but also very active people, spending a lot of time on their feet or walking. The treatment for toenail fungus, or any antifungal treatment for that matter, can be difficult and time consuming.

The most common risk of poor hygiene is foot odors, which can also be caused by the wrong footwear, such as shoes that do not allow feet to breathe. If you want to eliminate shoe odor, there are several options you can choose from, such as always wearing clean and dry socks, making use of shoe sanitizers or antiperspirants. Washing your feet regularly with abrasive brushes and washcloths is also highly recommendable. Absorbent fabrics, such as cotton and wool, are also a good way to remove shoe odor. Another very common condition is tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot shoes. It is very contagious and caused by several species of fungi. The best way to prevent getting infected is to sanitize your footwear with a UV shoe sanitizer, as well as avoid sharing socks or towels with other people. One other major risk would be wearing flip-flops and sandals in common moist areas, such as swimming pools, showers or gym locker rooms.

The biggest risk of poor feet hygiene is toenails fungus, which is a very serious condition. There are many causes for such an infection, including incorrect trimming, unclean sharp clippers and of course, exposure to fungi. The podiatric medicine has developed many courses of treatment, including oral medication, shoes sanitizers and toenail laser fungus procedure, which basically kills the infection with a blast of laser. Many people however opt for home remedies, such as soaking their feet in vinegar and rubbing alcohol, but those are only effective in the very early stages of the infection, which can be pretty hard to recognize, since there aren’t any obvious symptoms and, at the beginning, most people think they are just dealing with dry skin.

All things considered, a proper feet hygiene is extremely important, not only because of the cosmetic aspect, but also because poor hygiene can lead to more aggravating conditions. People suffering from diabetes for example should pay extra attention to the health of their feet, as the poor blood circulation associated with diabetes can lead to foot ulcer and ultimately amputation, which is very common among diabetes patients. So, in order to keep your feet clean and healthy, be extra careful in choosing your socks and footwear and also in walking barefoot in public areas, even if they are swimming pools, locker rooms or even airport security lines.


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