Do I Really Have to Wear Flip Flops in a Public Shower?
Posted on March 18th, 2019
Wear shoes in the shower? It sounds like a sentence dripping oxymoron, right? After all, the big idea of a shower is to remove everything to get everything squeaky clean. So, why would you wear flip flops, sandals, or water shoes in the shower? Ironically enough, the answer is cleanliness.
It’s a Dirty World
When most people think about the public things they use on a daily basis, the dirtiest thing they think of is a public toilet seat. Yet, research has shown a plethora of things having more germs than the potty, many of which people don’t pay any mind to using, including:
- Gym equipment
- Elevator buttons and stair rails
- Restaurant menus
- Light switches
Public and communal showers, with their dark and moist environment, often too the list of dirty. They are prime breeding grounds for invisible germs that can make your feet very sick.
What are Communal Showers?
Communal showers are most often seen in places like:
- Community pools
- Private athletic, golf, and swim clubs
- School locker rooms
- Nursing homes
- Travel rest stops and welcome centers
And the above is not to even mention the showers, such as at hotels, that multiple people use and rely upon the business to clean between each and every customer.
With so much bacteria being left behind from others in these showers, you may be literally bathing your feet in infection-causing germs if you don’t don appropriate shower footwear.
Protect Yourself from the Dangers of Communal Showers
Expert advice, including that from the CDC, recommends to wear shower shoes in any public or communal shower to avoid negative health effects of highly contagious bacterial and fungal infections, including:
- Athletes foot
- Staph and MRSA infections
- Nail fungus
- Plantar warts
While flip flops and slides are better than no defense at all, they don’t offer a lot of traction in a slippery environment. Plus, if the drain gets clogged or drains slowly, then your feet may still get emerged by dirty shower water. A slip-resistant, enclosed, waterproof shower shoe is always your most thorough protection.
Don’t forget that shower mats and the floor surrounding the shower are also likely holding tons of germs. So don’t stomp on all your good efforts by walking barefoot across public flooring. It’s also a good idea to bring an antibacterial wipe to give your shower shoes a quick cleaning before storing them away.
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