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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

    Reference

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    Anju Mobin

    Anju is a Certified Nutritionist, and a Highly Experienced Health, Fitness and Nutrition Writer.

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    Last Updated on January 11, 2021

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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    2. Stress Relief

    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Improved Sleep

    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

    4. Appetite Control

    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

    7. Mosquito Repellant

    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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    8. Pain Relief

    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

    9. The New Anti-Viral

    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

    10. Improved Cognitive Function

    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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    11. Money Saving

    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

    Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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