Friday, October 13, 2006

Athlete's Foot

An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.


Kitty Cheng said...

Wow this is so interesting.

I normally wear socks in a shoes-off home actually.

In my own home, we prepare a few pairs of slippers for our guests as well.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...


I think in the UK, a lot of people would refuse the offer of slippers and prefer to go barefoot.

British guests might find it a bit weird wearing somebody else's slippers.

God Bless


Redeemed said...

I rarely walk around barefoot, Matthew. In winter it's always socks, and in summer flip-flops around the house. So I never worry about that.

How about your church nursery? Our women have to remove their shoes and put on a pair of slippers that we keep in a basket. But that's for hygene purposes. Besides, it more comfortable working with kids in a pair of slippers than it is with high heels!!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I try to stay away from the children, so I do not know about the creche. I doubt that shoes off is required in the church creche, that is not very British. If it was, I doubt slippers would be provided.

God Bless