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Swimming pool foot health issues

Swimming pool foot health issues

How to look after your feet at the swimming pool

Swimming is a fantastic form of non-weight bearing exercise for the whole body, feet included, but there are a few little things to watch out for when you’re planning to spend a lot of time at the pool. Find out how to look after your feet while swimming in our handy guide.

Wear shoes around the pool

It can be tempting to go barefoot around the pool, but there are a few different infections that thrive in the warm, wet pool environment. Here are some of the most common culprits.


Verrucae are a type of wart that grows on the sole of the foot and the virus that causes them is the Humanpapilloma Virus that thrives in the hot and wet spaces often found near swimming pools. It is highly contagious and is spread through skin contact with contaminated objects. So, the feet are a prime area for the virus to make contact with. Verrucae are small growths, cauliflower like in appearance that are usually found on the bottom of the feet. Sometimes they can be painful as we are applying pressure on them as we walk. Once they appear, if not treated, it can take years for them to disappear.

You can treat a Verruca with over the counter products such as our Scholl Wart & Verruca Complete Treatment Pen, or our Scholl Seal and Heal Verruca and Wart Removal Gel. If you have a verruca and you’re planning on swimming, be sure to cover it up before hitting the pool, so that you don’t pass the virus on to other people.

Athlete’s Foot

Not just for Athlete’s, this is caused by a fungus that’s often found in hot humid areas like the pool and changing rooms. It generally causes dry, itchy and scaley skin on the soles of your feet or between the toes. We have a variety of products to soothe Athlete’s Foot, including Athlete’s Foot Cream with a 7 day treatment time.

Because the fungus can continue to thrive in your shoes, treating your footwear with an Antifungal Shoe Spray can be helpful to avoid reinfection.

Fungal Nails

It’s also possible to pick up a fungal nail infection if you spend a lot of time with damp, hot feet. They occur when a fungus infects the nail and can cause discoloured or brittle nails. When Athlete’s Foot is left untreated, it can sometimes spread to the nails too.

Scholl Fungal Nail Treatment is a uniquely designed system for the treatment of fungal nail that also helps to prevent the spread of the fungus and protects against recurrence.

One way to protect your feet from fungal infections and or a verruca is to make sure you wear pool shoes when you’re walking around the pool or changing area. Flip flops or sturdy shoes can help protect your feet from infections between swims as well as provide some much needed grip on slippery surfaces.

Dry your feet thoroughly after swimming

Making sure your feet have been thoroughly dried after a dip in the pool can help keep them protected. Take your time to make sure you dry properly between your toes, as bacteria can thrive in a hot and damp environment.

Keep your feet moisturised

When we spend a lot of time in and out of the pool, our feet can end up stripped of their natural protective properties. There are also some factors that could dry your feet out more than normal, from salt water to the chlorine found in pools. Explore our range of foot creams for ways to hydrate dry feet.

Don’t forget the sun cream

If you’re swimming outdoors, then be sure not to skip your feet when you’re applying sun cream. Water reflects ultraviolet (UV) rays, which increases your exposure and means you’re more likely to be burnt when you’re swimming on a sunny day. The coolness of water can also trick you into think you’re not at risk. Choose a water-resistant sun cream and apply before and after swimming.

Give your feet some attention

One of the best ways to look after your feet is to pay them attention. Give them a check each day, perhaps after a shower, to look for small cuts, blisters or signs of infection. This gives you the chance to treat any problems right away, before they have a chance to worsen. Just after a shower is also the perfect time to moisturise, as that can help you retain moisture – perfect if your feet are dry after lots of time in the pool. Remember to always dry your feet properly before applying your moisturiser.

Keep your toenails trimmed

Tending to your toenails and making sure that they are neatly trimmed is a good way to protect the skin around them and to prevent in growing toenails. Use Toenail Clippers to keep nails short, cut straight across and avoid any jagged edges.

By taking all of these simple precautions, you’ll be ready to enjoy a dip in the pool while also looking after your feet this summer!

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