|1. Infections and warts and fungus...oh my!
Spending a hot summer day lounging by the pool sounds just about perfect, right? Unfortunately bacteria and virus' love it just as much as we do and thrive in the warm, moist environments found in and around pools and change rooms.
Athletes foot, plantar warts and fungal nail infections, some of the most common conditions contracted, are highly contagious and therefore are easily passed between family members.
2. You won't get a kick our of this
Going barefoot outside leaves your feet vulnerable to a large number of injuries including cuts, scrapes, bruises, stubbed toes, insect bites and punctures, which may require medical attention or a tetanus shot.
Mowing the grass barefoot, a very unsafe practise, is unfortunately more common than you may think - with 16% of lawn mower injuries resulting in amputations.
3. A green thumb can be a pain in the foot
Gardening is a relaxing hobby for many and a great way to unwind and get some exercise. But for anyone with dry, cracked heels, going barefoot in soil can lead to infection.
Tips to remember: use a cream as a barrier to protect the feet and to aid in after-garden clean-up; wash your feet carefully being sure to dry thoroughly between your toes and cover any abrasions or cuts with a bandage and antiseptic.
4. Anything is possible if you have the right support
Shoes provide essential support for our feet. They also provide shock absorption that our feet lack while walking or running barefoot. The loss of stability going barefoot causes added stress of the feet and can lead to slips and falls, especially for seniors.
5. A shoe-in for sunburn
The feet are often overlooked when it comes to sunscreen but melanoma and other skin cancers occur anywhere on the feet - on the top, on the soles, between your toes and even under your nails.
If you are barefoot outdoors make sure to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your feet and check regularly for any abnormal moles or freckles.
It's important to note that diabetics should NEVER go barefoot. The lack of sensation in the feet can mean that an injury can go completely unnoticed leading to infection, amputation and other serious health complications.