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Foot Health at the Pool – Should You Go Barefoot?

A woman relaxing in the pool with her arms resting on the edge.

Swimming is a fantastic exercise and it's a great way to stay cool during heat waves, but many people don't consider the number of germs at the pool. They walk around barefoot without considering potential risks.

We talk about how you can maintain healthy feet both during and after your visits to the pool this summer. Read on to learn more.


What Risks Can Come from Going Barefoot at the Pool?

No one wants to think about what types of germs and bacteria linger at the local public pool, but it's an unfortunate reality that whenever you're in a public place, you're subject to whatever germs other people carry.

Plantar warts are a common risk at public swimming pools. Plantar warts are caused by HPV infection, a virus that can enter through tiny cuts or breaks on the bottom of the feet. They thrive in warm and moist environments, such as damp swimming pool locker rooms, rinsing areas, and even the deck of your local pool.

Plantar warts are small and rough. They usually show up on the balls and heels of the feet, where the most pressure is applied.

Athlete's foot can also come from going barefoot at the pool. This common foot fungus doesn't just impact athletes. Fungal infections like this are highly transmissible, meaning that if someone at the pool has it, you have a significant chance of contracting it. 


What About While You're Swimming? 

Most people swim barefoot, and it's far less risky than walking barefoot around the pool. That said, there are still a few risks associated with swimming barefoot. Again, if the bottom of the pool is rough, you may end up scraping your feet. While chlorine keeps pools sanitary, scrapes will still hurt.

Wet feet can also lead to lingering bacteria and moisture between your toes (which will allow that bacteria to thrive).


Tips for Maintaining Foot Health at the Pool

While walking around the pool (especially in the locker rooms), we recommend wearing sandals or slippers. It will make a huge difference because you minimize your contact with the unsanitary floor and deck.

While you're swimming, you can go barefoot, but you should ensure that you dry your feet well as soon as you're done. When you get home, clean your feet right away. Moisturize your feet and consider using an antibacterial foot powder.

You can also wear swimming shoes for more protection (though you'll still need to dry your feet afterward). They should protect your feet from damage, and you'll be able to walk around without worry. 


Don't Neglect Foot Care at the Pool

Your foot health is important! Don't neglect it while you're cooling off at your local public pool. Have fun while you're swimming, but take proper steps to prevent scrapes, warts, and foot fungus.

At Complete Foot & Orthotic Centre, we're here to help if you struggle with plantar warts, foot pain or other foot-related conditions. Our foot specialists have years of experience treating various foot problems. Set up an appointment with our foot specialist in Windsor today. We also offer orthopedic-friendly shoes and compression socks.

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