Monsoon Health Guide: Recommended Footcare and Footwear for the Rains
Gumboots, flip flops, floaters, closed toe shoes, or should we let our feet soak in rain-drenched kedsr? The dilemma of which shoes to wear for the monsoon hits most of us just as we see the clouds approaching, signalling another wet and stormy Indian monsoon. To put an end to this flood of arguments, we spoke to Dermatologist, Dr. Chetna Ramchandani with Evolve Medspa in Mumbai.
If you haven’t stooped down and touched your toes through the year, monsoon is the time to get down to it. Dr. Ramchandani is stern when it comes to your toes and hygiene, “Feet are the most neglected part of our body in our daily routine care, but with monsoon setting in it is important to take care of our feet by choosing the correct footwear.” Here is the dermatologist’s monsoon advice to maintain germ free toes.
Wet surfaces are breeding ground for all microbes specifically fungus. During the rains if we choose to wear our regular shoes water is retained, which then gives rise to infections like tinea (Athletes foot) and candidiasis.
When you put on a closed footwear, your feet start to sweat between the toes. Add to this a pair of socks soaked in rain water, the moisture is retained leading to increase in bacterial growth, and also gives rise to stinky smelly feet. So closed footwear are to be avoided in monsoons; open footwear like flip flops or strapped sandals should be the preferred choice.
But with very open and flimsy footwear your feet will constantly be exposed to water leading to bacterial infections like pitting of soles and nail infections (yellowish discoloration of nails, irregular nail plate).
Diabetics should take special care of their feet during monsoon as they are most prone to infections due to water retention. To avoid this, always have separate pairs of shoes for office and traveling; upon reaching the office wash your feet and dry them, if possible sprinkle powder between the toes and slip into your dry pair of shoes.
Regular foot care is very important, here’s what you can do:
- Feet should be soaked in lukewarm water, add a pinch of rocksalt to this, and gently scrub your feet.
- Toe web spaces should be cleaned, dried and powdered regularly.
- Nails should be well trimmed and cleaned if any sign of infection i.e, pain or pus discharge or if there's an instance of nail bed swelling, consult the doctor immediately (especially diabetics).
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images