The summer sun often means less clothing and bare feet. But before you start strolling around shoeless, think twice. Although going barefoot in a grassy park seems like an innocent warm weather pastime, medical experts say that there are dangers, both seen and unseen, lurking just underneath your toes.
"When something doesn't happen to you, you don't consider yourself lucky," Dr. Judith Hellman, a Manhattan dermatologist and assistant professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine recently told the
New York Times
. "But when you go barefoot, you are exposing yourself beyond what you really need to."
According to Dr. Giuseppe Militello, an assistant professor of clinical dermatology at Columbia University, going barefoot in the grass may expose people to a number of infectious organisms, including the fungus that causes athlete's foot, and the virus that causes plantar warts. "These organisms are found in the common environment," he told the
. "It resides in the grass and earth, you pick it up and it festers in your shoes. I think the best thing to do is to wear sandals or flip-flops or to just not get your feet wet. And when you do get your feet wet, thoroughly dry them before putting your shoes back on."
So, next time your plans include a trip outdoors, remember to throw a pair of
flip-flops in your bag. The $5 foot coverings could save you a lot in doctor's bills. On second thought it may be a good idea to carry sandals all summer because going barefoot anywhere but the beach may be more trouble than it is worth: Doctors say that the bacteria that exists in the grass, is everywhere including the sidewalks and the subway. MainStreet has the full article where you can
learn about some more places where you might want to save your soles