I was recently at the airport and required to remove my shoes to pass security. I then began to wonder…what is living on the floor at the airport where everyone walks essentially barefoot and moreover, what can I catch from walking barefoot across this floor. Athlete’s foot? Plantar wart? MRSA bacterial infection? All possible and all in the name of our nation’s security. So how can we protect ourselves while airport security protects the nation?
Here are my 10 Tips for ‘Traveling with Healthy Feet’.
- Wear comfortable shoes through the airport. You never know how long you will wait in line, how far the terminal, or if you have to make a mad dash to make a connecting flight.
- Wear socks with those comfortable shoes. With security so stringent at the airports today, we’re asked to remove our shoes. Walking our naked feet across the security platform is less than sanitary.
- Bring flip flops or sandals. Avoid any barefoot walking in common bathing facilities as this can lead to athlete’s foot or plantar wart type infections.
- Pack a topical antifungal cream or powder. If you’re staying in a hotel or using common bathing facilities, help prevent athlete’s foot by using an antifungal cream after your activities.
- Place a towel on the floor before entering the shower or bathtub. This can prevent slipping once you’re clean. The towel will also help dry and protect those toes from opportunistic infections.
- If you are traveling more than 2 hours, be sure to stretch your legs and pump your feet. This will help circulate the blood to prevent blood clots.
- Consider wearing compression socks on the plane to help prevent blood clots by pushing the blood through the legs and back to the lungs and heart.
- Avoid bringing new shoes on vacation. New shoes tend to be stiff and unforgiving. If you plan to dance the night away, wear shoes that will make your feet as happy as you.
- Pack a small first aid kit. Chances are you’ll develop a blister from that long walk through the shopping village or scrape your foot on a piece of coral at the beach. Clean your feet with saline (eye solution), apply a small amount of antibiotic cream and cover appropriately with a band-aid or gauze.
- Be mindful of your traveling companions. Assure that your children’s shoes fit well as they will have to keep up with you.
Please remember to be nice to the security workers at your airport. They are doing their job and really don’t want to look at your feet either. In contrast, at 1Foot 2Foot we love feet, so feel free to bring ’em in. For more information on Foot and Ankle Health, check out www.1Foot2Foot.com.