Shorter days and lower temps can lead us back inside for our workouts. While it’s tempting to kick off our sneakers afterward, there are precautions that you should take to keep your feet healthy when you workout. Floors, bathrooms, and showers are potential breeding grounds for germs, fungus, and the wart virus. Any break or crack in your skin or nail is a potential entryway for foreign microbes.

Here are some tips to keep your feet healthy when you work out.

-Remove your socks and shoes after exercising. Many organisms, like the one that causes nail fungus, thrive in a warm, moist, dark environment – much like your post-workout socks!

-Wash and dry your feet well after a workout. Don’t forget between your toes! Ensure that your feet are nice and dry before you put on a clean pair of socks.

-Don’t walk around barefoot in locker room areas, shared showers, or toilet stalls. Keep a pair of flip-flops or sandals in your workout bag to ensure you are protecting your feet. Choose sandals that are nonporous and easily cleaned. Wash the surface of your sandals with antimicrobial soap and allow to air dry frequently.

-Stand on a clean towel or keep your sandals on when changing.

-Cover any cuts, blisters, or open wounds with a bandage during your entire workout and clean up. Even if it’s a minor cut, put on a band aid!

-Let the air in! Don’t leave sweaty sneakers and socks zipped up in a bag. If you are prone to fungus or your sneakers tend to smell, apply anti-fungal or anti-bacterial spray or powder, use a UV shoe sanitizer, or frequently change the inner liner of your sneakers to keep things clean.

If you have any concerns about the appearance of your skin, toenails, or feet, we are here to help.

– Dr. Julie