Not just Ugg-ly
Step away from the boots: Uggs pose a health risk, not just a fashion one
As the weather dips into the 30s some nights, many Houstonians sport Uggs to fight the cold.
The unsightly footwear is more than an assault on the eyes though: Sheepskin boots are a breeding ground for a host of icky foot problems like fungus, odor and painful inflammation.
Tossing the hideous boots is by far your best option, but if you still insist on wearing them follow these suggestions to keep your footsies healthy.
Fungi: Not So Fun
You know to wear flip-flops in the locker room or to foam parties, but your sheepskin-lined boots warrant caution as well. Moist sheepskin makes an ideal environment for fungus. While drugstores offer a variety of foot fungus treatments, toenail fungus is usually far more stubborn and requires a prescription. Your best bet is prevention.
- Wear clean socks. Socks absorb the moisture that invites fungus. Tip: Make sure your socks are cotton as synthetic materials are not as absorbent.
- Give your shoes a day off. While you may feel that the recent drop in mercury justifies daily wear, your shoes need a full 24 hours to completely dry out from the inside. Wearing shoes even a teeny bit damp with sweat or rain will increase your chance of contracting a fungus.
- Use antiperspirant on your feet if you've got especially sweaty soles. This may be a no-no for you holistic types, but deodorants containing the active ingredient aluminum hydroxide prevent feet from sweating. Tip: Try a clear gel to avoid the chalky white residue.
The flat, rubber soles of your Uggs may seem like a godsend, but they lack arch support. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, a painful condition sparked by inflammation of the tissue along the bottom of the foot. Symptoms include a stabbing or burning sensation that worsens in the morning since the tissue tightens as you sleep at night. Solution?
- Wear sock-absorbing footwear, like Dr. Scholl’s inserts.
While it’s not a medical problem, foot odor definitely needs to be addressed. Come on — you’re already torturing us with those unsightly boots. At least have the decency to keep the stink at bay.
The 250,000 sweat glands in your feet produce over a pint of sweat each day. While sweat itself doesn't smell, the dampness and bacteria combine for a rank stench. Like fending off fungus, keeping your feet dry is pivotal.
- Use powder. Regular old baby powder will do the trick. Before putting on your socks, sprinkle it on your feet and in between toes. You can also add a sprinkle to the outside of socks.
- Soak your feet in tea. For a more out-there DIY treatment, soak three to five bags of tea in a quart and a half of water. Bring it to a boil then cool the tea with two cups of water. Then transfer the tea into a plastic tub and soak your feet. Tannin, the active ingredient in tea, dries skin and alleviates odor. Tip: Try lavender or jasmine tea for a relaxing aroma.