September 15, 2021 3 min read

Our feet are left in shoes and socks all day that we sometimes forget that they need sunlight too!

As little as 15 minutes a day of direct sunlight to the feet can allow for much more Vitamin D to be absorbed to the body considering the amount of receptors we have in them. With over 23% of the Australian population suffering from Vitamin D deficiency that extra bit of sunlight absorption can go a long way. 

As a podiatrist, I see firsthand the impact that the environment can have on our feet. One environmental factor that is often overlooked is sunlight. Many people are unaware that our feet need sunlight just as much as the rest of our body. In fact, there are several benefits to exposing your feet to sunlight. In this blog post, I will discuss why our feet need sunlight and the benefits that come with it.

First, let's discuss why our feet need sunlight. The most important reason is that sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for maintaining healthy bones, and it plays a crucial role in our body's absorption of calcium. Without enough vitamin D, our bones can become weak and brittle. This can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. Our feet, which bear the weight of our entire body, are especially susceptible to bone problems. By exposing our feet to sunlight, we can ensure that they are getting the vitamin D they need to stay strong and healthy.

Another reason our feet need sunlight is that it can help prevent fungal infections. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, which are often found in shoes and socks. When we expose our feet to sunlight, it helps to dry out any moisture and prevent the growth of fungi. This can be especially helpful for people who are prone to fungal infections, such as athletes or those with diabetes.

In addition to these health benefits, exposing our feet to sunlight can also be beneficial for our mental health. Sunlight is a natural mood booster and can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Getting outside and enjoying some fresh air and sunlight can be a great way to improve your overall sense of well-being.

Now that we know why our feet need sunlight, let's discuss the best ways to get it. The easiest and most effective way to get sunlight is to go outside and expose your feet to the sun. Depending on where you live and the time of year, this may be more challenging. In some areas, the winter months can be dark and dreary, making it difficult to get enough sunlight. However, even on cloudy days, some sunlight can still penetrate through the clouds, so it's still worth going outside and exposing your feet to the natural light.

Another way to get sunlight is to use a UV lamp. UV lamps emit UV light, which is similar to the sunlight that we get outdoors. Using a UV lamp for just a few minutes a day can be an effective way to get the vitamin D that our feet need. However, it's important to use caution when using a UV lamp, as overexposure can lead to skin damage and an increased risk of skin cancer.

It's also important to note that while our feet need sunlight, we need to be mindful of the potential risks associated with sun exposure. Too much sun can lead to sunburn, skin damage, and an increased risk of skin cancer. It's important to protect our feet (and the rest of our body) with sunscreen, especially if we're going to be outside for an extended period of time. When applying sunscreen, don't forget to apply it to the tops and bottoms of your feet, as well as any other exposed areas.

In conclusion, our feet need sunlight just as much as the rest of our body. Exposing our feet to sunlight can help maintain healthy bones, prevent fungal infections, and boost our mental health. While there are risks associated with sun exposure, it's important to find a balance and make sure that we're getting enough sunlight without overexposing ourselves. So next time you're outside, take off your shoes and socks and let your feet soak up some natural vitamin D from the sun. Your feet (and the rest of your body) will thank you!

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