Can Your Flip Flops Kill You?

Don't you love sensational headlines like the title of this blog? I took that little gem right off the front page of a major Internet news source. I know there is a lot of news out there and they are trying to get our attention, but this useless scare tactic just bothers me. The simple answer is "yes" your flip flop can kill you...just like about anything else in this world. The premise of the story is that flip flops collect germs. I know this is may be very hard to believe, but they do. You know, because you walk outside in them. Apparently they even contain bacteria that is found on your skin. Also an amazing and newsworthy story. One of these particular bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus can make you sick. Well the truth is many of the bacteria that can make you sick live on your skin all the time. In fact, if you look at it on a cell by cell basis, there are more bacteria in us and on us then there are our own cells.
Let me explain a little further. There are many bacteria in our mouths, on our hands and in our stomachs. This bacteria is supposed to be there and actually helps us in various ways. If however, you have a cut on your skin and these bacteria get into your circulation you can get sick. If stomach bacteria pass in your waste and then you touch your eye or your mouth you might get sick. This is not news. We all know this. This is why good hygiene and hand washing is so important. We live in a dirty world. I hate to break it to you but your feet are dirty. Your shoes are even dirtier than your feet. Don't touch your feet or your shoes and then touch your eyes or mouth without washing your hands. This is the most basic advice that your mother ever gave you.
There is no need for the news to try to scare us, but they do. It is important that you inform yourself so you won't be scared unnecessarily. As far as flip flops go, they can be worn for limited time periods without any fear. They are not very supportive and if you have some foot issues they may get worse with extended use of flip flops. Use some common sense and wash your hands if you touch the bottom of your flip flop or any shoe for that matter.

Committed to your health,

Dr. Craig Conti
Sarasota Foot Care Center

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