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Shoe Sanitizers Important Part of Foot Hygiene

Poor foot hygiene could lead to fungal nails and athlete's foot.

Proper foot hygiene can make the difference between having healthy feet and contracting toenail fungus or athlete’s foot. The human foot contains over 250,000 sweat glands, excreting up to eight ounces of sweat a day, turning shoes into the dark, warm, damp environment that fungi and bacteria thrive in.

Fungi can live dormant in shoes as spores, even when they’re left in the back of the closet, unworn for months.  However, the spores will start to grow again once they’re reintroduced to the perspiration and warmth of feet. A shoe sanitizer, though, will stop the spores, fungi and bacteria in their tracks.

Regular foot hygiene is important in preventing and treating toenail fungus, athlete’s foot and odor, but only treating your feet is not enough. Unfortunately, the microorganisms that cause disease and odor can linger in shoes for months. If not treated with a germicide or shoe sanitizer, they’ll stay there to reinfect feet time and time again.

Shoe sanitizers are available in a variety of forms, including sprays and medicated pads placed in shoes between wearings. They use chemicals to kill the lingering fungi and bacteria that cause athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and odor.

A new means of sanitizing shoes is SteriShoe. It’s a patented, doctor-approved shoe sanitizer that safely and effectively kills bacteria and fungi by emitting germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) light. SteriShoe fits inside shoes like a shoetree and eliminates the need for harsh chemical shoe sanitizers. Plus, it holds the shape of the shoe while neutralizing up to 99.9% of the microbes that cause athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and odor.

Shoe sanitizers are particularly critical for people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association and the American Podiatric Medical Association urge people with diabetes to practice daily foot hygiene to prevent infections that can lead to ulcers and ultimately, in severe cases, amputation. According to one study, people who have diabetes are over 150 times more likely than others to require an amputation as the result of a foot infection.

About Dr. Philbin

Terrence M. Philbin, DO, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon in Columbus, Ohio. He and his colleagues founded to provide patients across the country with convenient access to reliable resources and products recommended by physicians. Dr. Philbin supports advanced medical education by serving as a reviewer for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgeons and Foot and Ankle International, as well as director of the Foot & Ankle Service for the Doctors Hospital Residency Program. Dr. Philbin also provides care for local sports teams, including professional, collegiate, and high school athletic programs.

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