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7 Common Habits You Might Not Know Can Lead To Athlete’s Foot

7 Common Habits You Might Not Know Can Lead To Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that usually appears as rashes between the toes. Scratching the infected skin and then touching other parts of your body can cause it to spread to the toenails,[1] hands and groin. It can affect anyone at any time, but it’s most commonly seen in athletes.

Medically termed tinea pedis, athlete’s foot isn’t a serious disease, but it’s not easy to cure unless you are consistent with your treatment, and continue to take precautions to prevent it from flaring up again. It is an annoying disease though, and the affected area may be itchy, scaly, dry, or blistered.[2]

Athlete’s foot is a contagious disease, and it can easily be passed from person to person. It is caused by fungus, and these microbes thrive in damp, warm, and dark places. This same fungus causes ringworm and jock itch. The common habits that cause this athlete’s foot are:

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1. Damp Feet

If your feet are not dry and clean, you may easily pick up the infection from a contaminated surface. Thoroughly wash your feet and gently dry them, especially between the toes. You can use talcum powder on your feet to help them stay dry.

2. From your Footwear

Repeatedly using the same shoes without cleaning, or not allowing the sweat and dampness inside to dry thoroughly are other contributors. Open-toed footwear allows the air to keep the feet dry, while closed footwear like sneakers hold the dampness in. Avoid wearing shoes that make your feet hot and damp. Wear roomy shoes made of natural materials like leather. It is advisable to change your shoes every couple of days to allow them to dry out between uses.

3. From your Socks

Sweaty, damp socks hold the moisture in and is one of the worst culprits behind athlete’s foot. Don’t reuse the same socks without washing and drying it well. Wear a fresh pair every day. Cotton socks are a better choice than synthetic ones, as they allow your feet to “breathe.”[3]

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4. Walking Barefoot in Contaminated Areas

Communal showers, locker rooms, and gyms are highly contaminated with disease, causing microbes, and walking barefoot in these areas can easily cause athlete’s foot.

5. Sharing Contaminated Items

As mentioned earlier, athlete’s foot is highly contagious. A person may scratch the affected area and then transfer the microbes to his personal belongings. So if you share a towel, socks, or shoes, you may end up with the same problem. Ensure that your own towels are washed regularly, and don’t share them with anyone in a communal setting, especially locker rooms.

6. A Weakened Immune System

These microbes are present almost everywhere, and if you have a weakened immune system, you will contract the disease much faster if you don’t take adequate precautions to keep your feet clean and dry at all times.[4] It is not advisable to use moisturizers between your toes, as the moisture helps the fungi multiply.

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7. Other Health Conditions

Some health conditions, like diabetes, make a person more prone to contracting these kinds of diseases. So, just same as a person with a weakened immune system, people with such health conditions should also take extra precautions to stay dry.

It is unlikely that athlete’s foot will get better on its own. Treatment is easy enough with pharmacy-bought creams. To speed up the recovery process and prevent athlete’s foot from returning, it’s important to practice good foot hygiene, during treatment and afterwards.

If not resolved, athlete’s foot can become infected with bacteria. Cellulitis[5] is a severe infection that can spread deep into the body, and this can become life threatening. Follow the steps above to heal yourself, and reduce the risk of spreading the infection.

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athletes-foot-infographic

    Infographic Source: defensesoap.com[6]

    Featured photo credit: www.drjefflamour.com via drjefflamour.com

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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