Just in case you needed another reason not to purchase Uggs there's this: they increase your risk of foot fungus.
At least that's what one podiatrist is claiming. Dr. Olivier Zong, DPM, the director of surgery at NYC Footcare, says that "fungus breeds in dark, wet environments--conditions that are usually seen inside trendy sheepskin boots." Whats more, Dr. Zong says that once the fungus gets into your toe nails it's hard to get rid of. Fun!
Luckily for Ugg-fans the world over, not all podiatrists are in agreement about whether Uggs put their wearers at increased risk for foot fungus. "Foot fungus likes a dark moist environment--so any sock and shoe could provide that, especially during the winter," says Dr. Howard Shapiro, a DPM with Manhattan Podiatry. "Uggs have a wool lining so if anything I would think that if anything they would absorb the sweat [that leads to foot fungus]." Shapiro also notes that he's never seen an Ugg-related case of foot fungus. "Foot fungus affects about 40% of the population," says Shapiro, "prior to Uggs it was still affecting 40% of the population."
Phew. Still gross, but phew. Franca Sozzani, Giovanna Battaglia, Sarah Jessica Parker and other assorted famous Ugg-wearers can rest a little easier.
Though, Dr. Zong may have a point. Feet can gets mighty hot and sweaty in those things, and if you're worried about contracting an Ugg-y fungus here are some tips from the doc on preventing it: - Keep your feet dry and clean. Apply a topical anti-fungal medication on any cracking or peeling areas of the skin. - Wear socks that are made of an acrylic fiber, not cotton (acrylic wicks moisture away from the feet), and change your socks at least once a day. - Cover your feet with antiperspirant. The active ingredient, aluminum hydroxide, keeps your feet from sweating. - Don't wear the same shoes every day. Shoes need about 24 hours to completely dry out from the last time they were worn.
Now you've been warned. Slip into Uggs at your own risk.