The Dangers of Going Barefoot in the Summer

Summertime may seem like the perfect time to go barefoot. However, many hazards lurk that could be dangerous to your feet, especially if you have certain health conditions. In this blog, Kerry E. Berg, DPM, at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shares some of the risks of going barefoot.

Bacteria in the environment

Going barefoot at the pool may seem like a no-brainer, but bacteria and fungi are common in places like this, and these organisms can cause athlete’s foot, a common but annoying infection. The solution? Get yourself a pair of aqua socks.

Walking where dogs have been can also lead to an infection caused by exposure to feces. Furthermore, walking barefoot in gyms, locker rooms, and other public places increases your risk of contracting a methicillin-resistant staph infection. Your best bet is to put on some sandals or a pair of shoes and avoid the risks.

It can be dangerous with certain health conditions

Going barefoot can be especially dangerous to people with diabetes as well as to those who have other health conditions, such as circulatory issues. One typical problem for people with diabetes is that wounds often have trouble healing.

Walking barefoot can also increase your odds of injuring your feet. Whether it’s from stepping on a piece of broken glass or a nail hidden in the grass, foot injuries are common in the summer. And if you’re diabetic or have other health conditions, these injuries can become a big problem.

Feet need support all year

Feet don’t stop needing support in the summer. If you have flat feet, high arches, or any other condition that may put stress on your feet, you may need to spend the majority of time wearing supportive shoes. 

Furthermore, many foot conditions can lead to plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia ― which is the long band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes ― gets stressed and inflamed. By not wearing supportive shoes, you may increase your risk for plantar fasciitis flare-ups.

Foot sweat is a problem

Each of your toes has more than 250,000 sweat glands, with the ability to produce up to a pint of sweat each day. If you’re not wearing socks to absorb the sweat ― especially in the summer ― this can lead to a big problem. Sweaty feet can lead to cracked heels, scaly skin, and even fungal infections. 

Increased risk of skin cancer

Even people who regularly use sunscreen often forget to apply it to their feet. But the skin on your feet is as vulnerable to skin cancer as any other part of your body. So any time you do go barefoot, make sure to apply sunscreen to your feet, including between your toes.

If you have any foot issues, Dr. Berg can help. To get the best in podiatric care, book an appointment online or over the phone with Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates today.

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