Seven surprising fungal infections

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The house should function as a source of protection from the harsh conditions of the outside environment. This, however, isn’t always so as our homes often times harbour pathogens (fungi and bacteria) that could lead to infections.
Lots of items at home are especially prone to getting fungi-infested and could lead to nasty fungal skin infections and other health problems.

Pet beds and toys

Ringworm isn’t a worm. It’s actually a zoonotic fungus that spreads between animals and humans. Its spores are found in the soil and could be picked up by a pet. It is then transferred from your pet to all surfaces they come in contact with, including you.
To curb tendencies, we suggest you monitor your pets closely. If you notice a sign of ringworm, consult a vet so that your pet is given proper medical attention, which may include oral antibiotic.
Ringworm, however, may be difficult to get rid of. You may also have to treat your environment as ringworm can and does survive for more than a year. If it is confirmed that your pet has ringworm, limit them to a single room or area so that the infection does not spread around the house. Vacuum your floors and rugs properly and dispose of the bag hygienically. Wash all pet beddings and toys and disinfect floors and surfaces with a mild, diluted bleach solution.

Your bathroom cabinet – personal grooming items

In your bathroom cabinet, you have your toenail clippers, makeup brushes, sponges, hair brushes. These are mainly stuff that you come in contact with regularly. Unfortunately, we don’t always clean up these items as regularly as they should be cleaned.
A research carried out on personal belongings like beauty equipment and toiletries have found that Bacillus, Staphylococcus spp., Pseudomonas spp., Enterobacter , Aspergillus, Penicillium and Candida are the predominant organisms found in cosmetics.
To curb tendencies, everyone in the family should own their personal grooming tools. These personal tools should also be sanitized in a solution of hot water and antibacterial liquid. Clean tools, especially if you’ve had an infection, or better still, get rid of them.

Your sock drawer

If you have a bad habit of keeping unwashed socks in your drawer for a second wear, you’re setting yourself up for athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection caused by Tinea fungus, which thrives usually in wet and sweaty conditions.
This is unhygienic and you may also end up transferring fungal spores from your dirty socks to the clean ones (or whatever else you stash in the same drawer).
To curb tendencies, always wear your socks just once and wash them afterwards. You could also make a switch to cotton socks as they are less likely to cause sweaty feet. If you suspect a foot condition, pay attention to it by getting an anti-fungal cream, at least so that it doesn’t get out of control.

Your razor

Majority of folks think that just rinsing your razor after shaving is enough. However, did you know that leaving the blade wet will cause it to rust and wear out faster but will also create a perfect environment for organisms responsible for fungal and yeast infections. It could also lead to ringworm, either on your face or your groin area.
To curb tendencies, it is best to switch to disposable razors, especially if you have a fungal infection on any sites that you usually shave. Keep your razor clean by drying and airing the blade. It shouldn’t be kept in the shower and you should not share blades.

Shower gel

Heavily-fragranced shower gel can upset the pH balance of your vagiba, making you a lot more susceptible to yeast infections. Normal shower gels could potentially lead to yeast infections, even though some feminine hygiene washes are better formulated than they were before and more useful in keeping the vagina’s pH balanced.
A study concluded that whatever upsets the pH balance of the vaginal environment can cause overgrowth of microbes like Candida albicans, leading to yeast infections and others.
To curb tendencies, it’s best you wash down there with plain water and mild scented soap. Avoid using heavily scented shower gels.

The washing machine

It may not make sense, but washing machines can harbour bacteria. These devices are simply used to launder clothes not sterilise them.
One study says that pathogens that could lead to fungal skin infections could enter the washing machine through clothes, towels and bed linens.
This is especially true for towels and bed linens which tend to harbour more bacteria. When laundry happens, it isn’t necessarily to sterilise the materials, it is more to get rid of visible dirt and odour.
The surviving bacteria may build up in the washing machine and stay on your clean laundry which could then be transferred to your skin.
To curb the tendencies, we suggest that you separate the wash bed linen and towels and wash on the hottest setting. Air out the drum of your washing machine by keeping the door open after a load.
Clean the drum of the machine regularly using a solution of vinegar and baking powder, which is a natural disinfectant. Also ve7aure to regularly wipe off the soap scum from the detergent drawer.
If you feel that your machine’s hot cycle may not do the trick, then you could soak the pet bedding, bed linen and towels in hot water and a diluted bleach solution. Rinse well afterwards.

Pillowcases

Your pillow is meant to be a safe place where you can rest your head after a long day. It’s important that you don’t overlook the simply fact that it can harbour nasty bacteria if not changed regularly.
Pillowcases can harbour bacteria and organisms including fungal spores that cause ringworm, especially if your pets stay on the bed too. Plus, Since you sweat at night, your pillows could grow mould spores if not aired properly. This will not only lead to fungal skin infections but could cause respiratory problems as well.
To curb the tendencies, change your pillowcases regularly. Wash them on the warmest setting possible and then air properly. Also let your pillows air out too.
Practice good hygiene before going to bed. This means that you should wash off your face to get rid of makeup, dirt, oil and dead skin cells as these could cause bacteria to flourish.

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