Dermatology is an all-encompassing field of medicine including treatment and maintenance of the skin, hair, and nails. In an effort to honor the “toe” portion of our promise to provide “head to toe skin care”, Dermatology Associates of Atlanta would like to warn you about a recent development surrounding the popular Ugg® boots, and how they could be contributing to foot fungus. People buy Uggs® because they are warm and cozy, but wearing them all the time, especially without socks, may compromise health in the long run.
Many Ugg® wearers habitually forego wearing socks. The wool lining is nice and warm without socks, right? While they may seem warm enough, foot fungus is more prevalent without socks because the boot’s wool interior and thick suede exterior will make feet sweat. Without socks to help wick the sweat, the wool absorbs and holds the moisture (providing the perfect environment for fungus formation and bacteria growth). Without a barrier to protect the wearer’s foot, they are then exposed to the bacteria and possible funguses in the shoe’s interior with every subsequent use.
The most common type of foot fungus is athlete’s feet, which is caused by a fungus called Trichophyton. Some other skin conditions of the feet may include: contact dermatitis, allergic reaction, eczema, psoriasis, yeast infections, toenail fungus, or bacterial infections. As previously stated, the fungus and bacteria that cause these conditions usually grow in warm, dark, and moist places. Because these conditions are easy to create, socks are a worthwhile investment.
DAA does not blame the makers of Uggs® for their comfortable boots causing foot fungus. In fact, the skin conditions mentioned above can happen in any shoe if feet are not properly protected. Our dermatologists suggest always wearing socks, and not wearing footwear that doesn’t allow feet to breathe for long periods of time. If you’ve been experiencing foot conditions such as redness, rash, scaling, itching, cracked skin, or thick and discolored toenails it’s a good idea to seek medical attention to determine the proper treatment method.