Are Your Feet Contagious?

Health & Medical Blog

Many people find feet a little gross. "Get your dirty feet off of me" is a refrain that your significant other may utter while you are sharing snuggle time on the sofa. If you accidentally touch someone's foot under the table, you both may jerk back. Really, only a baby's feet are considered cute in our culture. So, are adult feet really that nasty, or are people just being paranoid?

Athlete's Foot

If you expose your feet to warm, damp surfaces, including the showers at a gym, you can pick up an unpleasant case of athlete's foot, a condition that can cause your feet to itch wildly and develop ugly, patchy skin between your toes. Painful fissures, or cracks, in the skin can develop, causing you serious discomfort. If you are not careful, you can spread the condition to other areas on your body, including your torso and even your private areas. Caused by a fungus known as Trichophyton, you can spread it to your family members through direct contact or through sharing your socks and shoes. When you have athlete's foot, your feet are actually nasty and need to stay away from others.

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can cause your nails to become abnormally thick, ridged, and discolored. You can catch toenail fungus without a great deal of difficulty, particularly at a nail salon that isn't careful enough sterilizing its equipment. If someone has toenail fungus in your home, you can can catch it by sharing socks, using the same nail clipper, or swapping nail polish. More men get this condition than women, and the reason is simple: athlete's foot can morph into toenail fungus. You can also invite this condition by injuring your nail bed, an excellent reason not to vacuum while barefoot.  Getting rid of toenail fungus can be a long and trying process that includes visits to the podiatrist for treatment, although you can try OTC products first. Until you do get the condition under control, you may want to avoid wearing sandals. You should definitely keep your feet to yourself at home and elsewhere.

Other problems such as bunions and hammertoes can make your feet look unattractive, but at least those conditions are not contagious. Unfortunately, foot fungus is, and it's a gift no one else wants to receive from you. Wear flip flops in locker rooms or other damp areas, and treat any problem as soon as you notice it. Just to be safe, limit your foot-to-foot contact with others unless you know your feet are healthy.


29 September 2016

Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

My name is Katie Langer. For a long time, I was bed ridden and I felt like I had no control over my life. I simply went along with what was instructed by my doctor and I didn't ask questions. It wasn't that my doctor wasn't willing to work with me, but I preferred to simply not think about the illness I was suffering from. I didn't realize that some of the symptoms I was suffering from were side effects of my medication and were not normal. After communicating more with my doctor, I was able to alleviate my symptoms. Since then, I've taken an interest in patient-doctor relationships and how to improve them.