How Often Should You Change Your Socks?
Dec 07 , 2021
Tags - How Often Should You Change Your Socks
It’s that time of year again when we’re faced with lots of rain and snow.
But sloshing around and neglecting your feet can lead to serious problems.
Now, we’re not saying you don’t know the basics of hygiene, but whilst it’s easy to change your socks post-gym workout, it can be very easy to neglect day-to-day foot care.
It may seem obvious to some, but just how often should you change your socks?
Yes, even if your feet aren’t sweaty, you shouldn’t really wear the same pair of socks two days in a row.
The reason being, is your feet contain around 250,000 sweat glands and can excrete as much as half a pint of moisture a day.
And along with this moisture, your feet will shed dead skin cells and all of that accumulates in your socks, which creates a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, including harmful types like staphylococci.
Furthermore, by wearing the same socks twice before wearing them, the high level of bacteria growth can have an effect on the ability for body tissues to regenerate and repair the skin on your feet.
In other words, it’s not just smelly bacteria you need to worry about, but its byproducts include enzymes that can degrade and irritate the skin, which could result in nasty infections.
Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of wearing the same pair of socks for a couple days in a row at some point, and the one off occasion won’t cause you any harm.
To keep your feet happy and healthy, here are 3 considerations to think about when it comes to socks:
1. Foot Infections
If you have a fungal infection, chances are your feet may sweat a lot.
So, you will have to change your socks every day, if not twice a day to prevent bacteria from breeding in these conditions.
In particular, if you have Athlete’s foot, you will need to change your socks frequently throughout the day, especially after high intensity activities.
However, simply changing your socks will not prevent Athlete’s foot from developing.
As such, you should wash and clean your feet and toes thoroughly between each sock change, and use an anti-fungal cream to prevent any extra microbes from joining the party.
But, even if you don’t have any infections, you should still change your socks daily to keep your feet free from bacteria and fungus.
2. Don’t Layer Socks
Yes, I know, when it’s winter and bitter cold, it’s very cozy to layer pairs and pairs of socks in the effort to combat ice cold toes.
After all, your feet are the closest part of your body to the ground, so it’s inevitable for them to feel freezing!
However, in an attempt to keep them warm, layering socks will cause your feet to sweat.
And you’ve guessed it - this will trigger bacteria and fungus to grow, especially since it flourishes in warm, dark, moist conditions.
So, unless you are in sub-zero conditions, there’s no need to layer socks .
3. Choose the Right Fabrics
So now that we’ve thrown layering socks out of the window, it’s time to take a look at what material is best for keeping your feet warm and bacteria away.
Despite everyone shouting about how great cotton socks are, it doesn’t actually absorb moisture as well as synthetic materials do.
Think about it: there’s a reason why gym wear is not made out of cotton - it’s because synthetics can absorb moisture far quicker and return to a dry state regularly.
That said, the same goes for socks too.
And so, in the winter, you’ll want to look for thermal socks with moisture wicking properties that are great at soaking up moisture and keeping feet dry.
Generally, merino wool socks are great at doing this; it’s a natural fiber, which means it is breathable and is able to transport moisture from a higher area of humidity by the skin to a lower area away from the skin.
Overall, the longer you wear socks, the more you are optimising the environment for bacteria to grow, and infections like Athlete’s foot will only become worse.
Sometimes, you won’t even realise just how much your feet sweat, but as we mentioned earlier, dark, moist environments are the perfect breeding ground.
So, do yourself a favour and change your socks every day - your feet will thank you for it!
Want to know more? Get in touch today.
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