School is fast approaching, and if you are off to your first year of college – or sending your child off to their first year of college – you’ve probably got a long packing checklist.
Shared showers, sweaty sneakers, and long hours on your feet can cause a variety of common foot ailments including:
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus and involve small hard growths on the bottom of the foot. Plantar warts are typically not harmful, but may cause discomfort to the afflicted area. Some warts disappear on their own over time due to the body’s immune response, or you can visit your doctor if a wart is causing discomfort.
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection which can occur in anyone: men, women, boys, and girls. The most common symptom of this condition is a scaly rash, causing itching or burning on the feet or toes. Athlete’s foot is usually not dangerous, but it is contagious and can cause discomfort. Visit a doctor if home treatments such as antifungal powder do not work within a couple of weeks, or if ulcers or sores become infected.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition involving pain or a burning sensation in the bottom of the foot, where the arch meets the heel bone. It is caused by inflammation and irritation to the plantar fascia ligament, and may be caused by overuse, improper footwear, being overweight, or overpronation of the feet.
To prevent these conditions before they ever happen, or treat them as soon as symptoms appear, be sure to pack these dorm room essentials:
1. Shower Shoes
When you’re sharing a shower with dozens of strangers, it’s vital to have a good pair of shower shoes or sandals. Because you will only be wearing these shoes for a few minutes at a time, cheap sandals will usually suffice. Sandals help prevent conditions that can be contracted through the skin like plantar warts and athlete’s foot.
2. Foot Powder
Foot powder is another essential you will want to keep on hand throughout your college experience. If you find that you’ve got itchy toes from communal shower use, or extra sweaty socks from long days on your feet, foot powder will kill the itch and prevent athlete’s foot from sweaty sneakers.
3. Well-Fitted Walking Shoes
From your first day of orientation you’ll quickly find that college life involves a lot of walking. Even if you’re not a student athlete, you’ll likely be walking several miles a day between classes, clubs, and activities. Ill-fitting sneakers and non-supportive sandals can cause sore feet in the short term, and longer-lasting conditions like plantar fasciitis.
4. Kinesiology or Athletic Tape
It’s always a good idea to have kinesiology or athletic tape on hand, no matter where you are. If you’re experiencing heel pain or anticipate that you’ll be on your feet for extended periods of time, kinesiology tape can help support your plantar fascia ligament and heel joint, reducing and preventing pain. Athletic tape can also come in handy for reducing daily pain, or taping injuries.
Enjoy college without worrying about your feet. Taking great care of your feet is effortless when you keep these dorm room essentials on hand.