For the past few years Ugg Boots and copy-cat designs like them have been found on the feet of women – and men – all over the world. Known for being as ugly as they are comfortable, the boots are a staple in the closets of those who can afford them. Aside from being rather unattractive, there is a new reason you might want to refrain from purchasing the boots other than simply not wanting to look like everyone else: they may increase your chance of contracting foot fungus, Fashonista.com reports.
According to Dr. Olivier Zong, DPM, the director of surgery at NYC Footcare, says that “fungus breeds in dark, wet environments. These are conditions that are usually seen inside trendy sheepskin boots.” Such fungi, according Dr. Zong, can be very difficult to get rid of once the fungus gets into your toe nails.
However, lucky for loyal Ugg-wearers everywhere, not all podiatrists agree that Uggs put their wearers at increased risk for foot fungus. The conditions described inside of an Ugg can really occur in any closed shoe.
“Foot fungus likes a dark moist environment–so any sock and shoe could provide that, especially during the winter,” says Dr. Howard Shapiro, a DPM with Manhattan Podiatry. “Uggs have a wool lining so I would think that if anything they would absorb the sweat [that leads to foot fungus].” Shapiro also notes that he’s never seen an Ugg-related case of foot fungus. “Foot fungus affects about 40% of the population,” says Shapiro, “prior to Uggs it was still affecting 40% of the population.”
We won’t discourage you from buying Uggs but here are some other easy ways to prevent foot fungus:
- Keep your feet dry and clean. Apply a topical anti-fungal medication on any cracking or peeling areas of the skin.
- Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton (acrylic wicks moisture away from the feet), and change your socks at least once a day.
- Cover your feet with antiperspirant. The active ingredient, aluminum hydroxide, keeps your feet from sweating.
- Don’t wear the same shoes every day. Shoes need about 24 hours to completely dry out from the last time they were worn.