National Handwashing Awareness Week and Your Feet

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all been washing our hands more than ever. Now that things are beginning to return to normal, we mustn’t forget the essential importance of handwashing. For that reason, December 1-7 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. Let’s take a brief look at why it’s so important and related to foot health.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.

Germs can spread when you:

  • Touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Prepare or consume food or drinks with unwashed hands.
  • Touch any contaminated surfaces or objects.
  • Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands, then touch other things.


It’s recommended you wash your hands using soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to clean the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the nails. Remember to dry your hands afterward with a clean towel. If soap and running water aren’t available, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can be a suitable alternative.


Numerous foot health-related issues, such as plantar warts and athlete’s foot, can occur when microscopic viruses or fungi enter the body through tiny breaks in the skin. By washing your hands, the number of opportunities for this to happen drastically reduces.

For this reason, it is especially important to wash your hands before touching your bare feet. We touch our feet all the time for all kinds of reasons. When we trim our nails, use nail polish, apply a bandage to a wound, put ointment on a blister, use lotion to prevent dry or cracked skin, or when we apply any medication at all.

Call Syracuse Podiatry, located in East Syracuse, New York, for more tips and expert advice. Dr. Ryan L. D’AmicoDr. Donal M. EricksonDr. Keith Sherman,  Dr. Riane Teagarden, and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.

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