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Foot infection risk warning for shoes without socks fashion

Thursday 2nd November 2017
Wearing shoes without socks significantly increases the risk of athletes foot, podiatrists have warned. Image: SanneBerg via iStock
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The fashion trend that sees people - primarily men - wearing shoes without socks is leading to an increase in foot health problems, podiatrists have highlighted.

The UK's College of Podiatry has warned that wearing shoes without socks for long periods of time significantly increases a person's risk of contracting fungal infections such as athlete's foot.

This is because the feet sweat more when no socks are worn and if shoes are not giving them room to breathe, this can cause bacteria to breed and manifest themselves in the form of fungal infections.

Athlete's foot can be contagious, so it is not just themselves that those following the latest footwear trends are putting at risk. If they walk around barefoot after removing their shoes, anyone else walking barefoot on those surfaces could contract the fungal infection too.

Podiatrists have felt the need to speak out on this topic after more and more celebrities have been sporting no socks with suits and smart shoes or with jeans and trainers in recent months.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, podiatrist Emma Stephenson explained: "The average feet sweat about half a pint a day. Too much moisture and warmth can lead to fungal infections such as athlete's foot.

"One of the worst incidents I've seen is a 19-year-old man who worked in a car wash. He had very sweaty feet and trench foot."

So, what is the recommended advice? Ms Stephenson states that people should only wear shoes without socks for short periods of time and should always spray their feet with antiperspirant before doing so in order to prevent excessive sweating.

In addition, she emphasises that people need to keep an eye on any areas of their feet that may be starting to feel painful, seeking advice from a professional podiatrist as soon as possible if there is anything they are concerned about.

Written by Angela Newbury

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