For some reason or other, fruitcake has become the ubiquitous sign of an unwanted gift. There are various theories that abound with regard as to why this has become the case, but it is hard to find a definitive answer supported by actual facts. It is quite possible that this holiday mystery will never be solved, but if you know that any of our friends or loved ones are thinking about getting us one as a gift, maybe you would be so kind as to steer them in a different direction?
If fruitcake is the prime example of a harmless yet unwanted gift, then perhaps athlete’s foot is its medical equivalent. This common fungal infection, also known as tinea pedis, is passed along—as unwanted as a fruitcake—from person to person. In most cases, the victim is unaware until the itching and burning sensations (the most noticeable symptoms) begin.
We know that you would likely prefer to avoid this condition from developing in the first place, and understanding how the fungus is passed along can certainly help.
The best place to start is a look at the environments that allow fungi to thrive. Light is not a concern for these microorganism, but warmth and moisture are essential for their survival. This means that they can often be found in warm, damp environments. Prime locations fitting this criteria include gym locker rooms and showering areas and indoor pool decks.
Another area that meet the “warm and damp” criteria? Feet covered in socks and shoes that trap in moisture. Once the fungus has latched onto the foot, it can multiple and spread.
Some top ways to avoid athlete’s foot include:
- Wearing sandals or shower shoes in locker rooms and on pool decks.
- Wearing socks that wick moisture away and keep feet dry.
- Wearing shoes made of breathable materials.
- Not sharing towels, socks, or other items with someone who has the infection.