Do Crocs Cause Your Skin to Peel?

Wearing Crocs with socks may contribute to the development of foot infections.

Photo: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

If you've got a soft spot in your heart for Crocs, don't worry -- wearing them is not likely to cause the skin on your feet to start peeling. "Not likely" is the operative phrase here, as Crocs might cause allergic reactions in some people. If you fly in the face of fashion and wear your Crocs with socks, you might also manage to give yourself a fungal infection. The biggest foot-worry you should concern yourself with when wearing Crocs doesn't involve peeling skin at all, but sharp objects and escalators.

Allergic Reaction

Peeling skin on your feet combined with frequent Crocs wearing could be a signal that you've got contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction caused by your skin touching something that causes it to become itchy and inflamed. There aren't too many cases of Crocs-caused skin allergies, but the medical journal "Contact Dermatitis" reported on one in 2008 that was cured when the boy involved stopped wearing the shoes. If you think your Crocs are bugging your feet, take a break from them for a few days and see if the peeling dies down.

Athlete's Foot

The fungal infection commonly known as Athlete's foot loves a damp, moist, cozily warm environment. In fact, this is just the sort of environment you set up if you run around wearing your Crocs with socks all the time. If you have peeling skin on your soles and between your toes and you are in misery with constant itching and burning on your feet, try an over-the-counter antifungal product to clear things up. Get yourself over to the doctor's office if the peeling and irritation doesn't clear up after a few days.

Crocs Rx

Diabetics who've got poor circulation in their feet and legs know all about the type of peeling skin that goes along with frequent foot infections. If this is you, you might want to consider Crocs Rx, a prescription-only pair of uber-Crocs designed specifically to prevent fungal and bacterial infections in diabetics. These aren't your run-of-the-mill, off-the-rack Crocs. Crocs Rx are made from Croslite, a material that's water-resistant and antibacterial. Crocs Rx feature plenty of ventilation holes along the sides to keep moisture and heat from turning the shoes into germ incubators.

Other Health Risks

Even if you're not worried about peeling foot skin caused by Crocs wearing, you should exercise some caution if you wear the shoes at work or are regularly bounding on and off escalators at the mall or in the subway. According to a 2007 article in "The Telegraph," Crocs wearers may be more likely to get their toes stuck in the machinery at the top or bottom of escalators, causing some nasty toe gashes. Although Crocs are popular with nurses since they're comfortable and easy to clean, some hospitals in the U.K. have banned medical staff from wearing them since they don't provide much protection from AWOL needles or medical tools and might increase the chance of infections if stray body fluids drip into the shoes through the holes on top.

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