Foot Fungus? Huh?

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.


Link for the photo

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.

10 thoughts on “Foot Fungus? Huh?

  1. Victor William Gregory

    Whenever I see someone not wearing shower shoes, it drives me crazy. Sharing a bathroom with 30 some guys is disgusting. I have a difficult time comprehending how gross they all are, but when you look at the shower floor, it becomes quite clear. I’m not a germaphobe however, I will say that from time to time i want to wash my shower shoes because i feel that they too have become dirty and gross. The concept of wearing shower shoes to avoid getting a foot fungus has been around for awhile. Here’s an article that develops the idea of wether or not it’s necessary.

    1. gcm5149 Post author

      I totally get where you are coming from. I look at my sandals after I shower and they’re covered in water. I’m never sure if the water is just from the shower head or some of the shower floor water got on my sandals. It’s gross. I thought it was going to be annoying having to wear sandals in the shower but I am grateful that I do it. Thanks for reading!

  2. Madeline Elizabeth Dittrich

    I enjoyed reading your article, especially since this topic is so relevant for college students today. It’s important that we all try our best to keep the showers as clean as possible. I wasn’t too crazy about the idea of sharing showers with multiple other people when I went to college, and I was right. The showers in the dorms are pretty disgusting. I’m sure all kinds of gross stuff is on those floors. For now, I’ll just try not to think about it, and keep wearing my shower shoes. Here’s and article I found about ways to stay healthy in college: Check it out!

    1. gcm5149 Post author

      Thanks for reading! I am definitely glad and grateful for the people that clean our bathrooms because even after one day they get pretty messy. Everyone who takes a shower is dirty in some way so all the run off of dirt is probably all over the shower floor so at least if some of it is cleaned, we are not at as much risk to get something like athlete’s foot.

  3. Madison Danielle Starr

    This is definitely a topic where correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation; especially due to lack of knowledge. I’ve sadly seen how gross a person’s feet can get if they have a communal bathroom. While I’m not sure it’s due to some type of fungus or another variable, it’s enough for me to wear shower sandals religiously. Here’s an article talking more about why you should wear them: .

    1. gcm5149 Post author

      That article was really interesting. I think one thing people always fail to think about is cleaning their shower sandals. Just because you’re in the shower and water gets all over them doesn’t mean they get cleaned. Bacteria will continue to build up on the bottom of the sandals and that is very gross. Thanks for sharing the article, definitely more convinced that communal showers are very gross.

  4. Michael Gerard Shevlin

    I also had no idea about foot fungus until my mom came home with some ridiculous shower flip flops. She explained to me in an over-exaggerating tone that I had to wear them. Now, I wear them every time I take a shower, but I learned there are other ways to obtain the evil fungus. Check this out to keep your feet safe..

      1. gcm5149 Post author

        That is really gross. I’m a first year student so we have the community showers so I think it’s two drains for five showers. So I can totally see where you are coming from. Definitely wearing sandals will keep you less at risk for getting fungus but it still isn’t aa sure thing I’d assume. We have to do everything we can to stay clean. Thank you for reading!!

    1. gcm5149 Post author

      Wow thank you for sharing that article. I wear socks all the time and had no clue that it could be bad. I figured protecting my feet with socks was the best but now I see the benefits to not wearing socks all the time. Thanks for reading!

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