Now when I was applying to college and being scared about sharing a bathroom with multiple people, the idea of foot fungus did not even come to mind. I was made aware of this by my mother when she told me I needed shower sandals. Now, I hate sandals. Especially flip flops. I was not fond of the idea at all but after she told me all the nasty experiences she heard about, I was the first one out the door to go buy these shower sandals.
My theory is, people go into the shower naked and dirty and wash that all off. All the dirt accumulated during the day washes away for the most part but some of it stays on the floors of the shower. Maybe if someone had foot fungus already and used the shower, it gave birth to fungus in the shower as well. Now I don’t know much about science, like at all, but I do know that water or something being wet can cause bacteria to grow. So I pretty convinced that fungus in the community showers is an existing issue in colleges everywhere.
I knew this was a very real issue when I researched the topic and multiple articles popped up. I came across an article that really opened my eyes. The article talked about two possible fungi that you can get from shower floors: athlete’s foot and plantar warts. Athlete’s foot is a fungus that can be very itchy and burn. It can spread all over your foot, especially in between your toes. You can go to a pharmacy and usually you will be prescribed a cream or medicine to put on trouble areas. (Brichford, Protect Your Foot Health at College) According to D.C. Dugdale, fungus prefers dark, moist places. Showers are ideal places for fungus to thrive. The shower door or curtain keeps the individual stalls dark and the floors don’t fully dry throughout the course of the day. Plantar warts are a bit different. Not as much extensive research has been done on warts but studies show that you are more at risk to get plantar warts if you use communal showers. (Brichford, Protect Your Foot Health at College) According to Dugdale, all types of warts are considered viruses. To contract a virus, usually there is physical contact with the infected areas. There may be a correlation between communal showers and getting plantar warts, but there is no mechanism that really proves that communal showers cause plantar warts.
What I noticed about this article was that the true cause foot fungus from communal showers is still unknown. Doctors have hypotheses about what causes this fungi to grow but don’t have sufficient evidence to release an official cause. All I know is that I will definitely continue to wear sandals in the shower because I would rather be safe than sorry.