As summer starts to roll around, you might find yourself tempted to ditch the shoes every now and then. However, what are the implications of going barefoot, according to podiatrists? By and large, podiatrists recommend avoiding it. 

Podiatrists generally agree that the only places you should be barefoot are at home, at the beach, or on your own yoga mat. When you walk around barefoot in places that fungus thrives, such as public pools, saunas, locker rooms, and gyms, you are exposing yourself to fungal spores that can come into contact with your nail bed, and grow there to eventually cause a nail fungus infection. 

However, preventing nail fungus is not the only reason podiatrists recommend against being barefoot. There are other germs and pathogens in the environment besides fungus that can cause disease, such as bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. For example, tapeworms and ringworms are parasites that you can commonly catch in water bodies, that can make you severely sick. 

Wearing footwear also acts as protection against injury. Podiatrists often see patients coming in for injuries that have come about from stepping on something inadvertently, and the risk of injuring yourself on rocks or glass increases when you are barefoot. Wearing shoes also improves posture, and since bad posture can result in back, foot, hip, and knee problems, wearing shoes is an easy step you can take to prevent more serious problems down the line. 

However, while podiatrists advise against going barefoot, you should not be slapping on any old pair of shoes. It is important to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly and allow for your feet to breathe. Wearing shoes and socks that are too tight will cause sweating, ultimately creating a moist environment for toenail fungus to thrive in. 

If you are already suffering from toenail fungus, one of your licensed podiatrists can help you with laser treatment using the FDA-approved PinPointe laser. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors at one of our over 120 locations.