In a robust, healthy relationship, sharing is necessary. Sharing microorganisms, though, might be going too far.
However, that notion is not as absurd as it may seem. No matter how clean you are, your feet are full with bacteria and fungi. The best conditions for spreading your foot microbiome to your loved ones are created by taking a shower and then strolling barefoot on the bathroom floor.
Although the gut microbiome may be familiar to you, a "microbiome" is actually a collection of germs (fungus, bacteria, and viruses). Your foot microbiome may also contain hazardous germs, such as the fungus that causes athlete's foot, in addition to typical, healthy bacteria. Even when your feet are clean, they still contain some typical contaminants.
Microbiomes are typically not harmful. On the bottom of the foot, however, a dangerous bacterial infection can occasionally develop. Some infections are manageable at home, but others may be serious enough to require hospitalization.
The skin microbiomes of these cohabiting couples showed significant commonalities, according to the study.
However, it wasn't skin-to-skin contact that was important, but rather interaction with the same household surfaces. Because we all occasionally walk barefoot in our restrooms, the foot microbiomes of the couples shared the greatest similarity.
Roommates and family members sharing a home (and bathroom) will also have similar foot microbiomes because bacteria transfer occurs via surfaces!
This is another reason to wear flip-flops or shower shoes whenever using public restrooms or changing rooms. It's acceptable to spread bacteria among loved ones, but you don't want to bring in fungus.
Bacterial Infection: Symptoms on the Foot
The symptoms of bacterial skin infections on the feet are usually similar. While many bacterial infections can be treated over-the-counter, many fungal infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications. Contact your healthcare professional if you notice any of the following infection symptoms that are not relieved by over-the-counter remedies:
- An enlarged foot or feet
- The foot or feet are an unusual color (red streaks or white patches)
- Discolored toenails
- The foot is oozing fluid or pus.
Your immune system normally does a fantastic job of protecting you from sickness, despite the fact that your feet are continually exposed to pathogens. However, occasionally you are more susceptible to infection if:
- You have a puncture wound that has caused a break in your skin.
- Your immune system is weakened or compromised.
- The microbes are especially aggressive.
Which infection types can get on your feet?
Infections with fungi
Fungi are powerful organisms that benefit from skin contact. Even while you could have been first exposed to it in a spa, pool, or gym, you can simply spread it by walking barefoot inside your home.
Fungus thrives best on human feet. Fungi prefer damp, dark areas, which makes the area between your toes and under your toenails very appealing.
Fungus under the nails or between the toes affects one in ten younger people, but it can affect up to 50% of persons over the age of 70.
Onychomycosis, which affects the toenails, is famously difficult to cure but is not thought to be life-threatening.
Tinea Pedis, a fungus that causes athlete's foot, is very contagious and highly widespread. The fungus will start to spread if the germs that causes athlete's foot come into touch with your bare feet. Athlete's foot can be acquired by the use of a towel, shoes, socks, or clothing that has been used by someone who has the condition.
Since the fungus is invisible, it is best to presume that it is present on any surface in a locker room or on a damp floor in a public area. Shower shoes are preferable for entering public spaces.
Additionally, athlete's foot can spread to any part of your body. You face the risk of spreading the fungus if you touch the infected area with your hand and then touch your mouth or another part of your body.
Itching between the toes, a red rash, and blisters are the typical symptoms of athlete's foot. Commercial preparations can frequently be used successfully if you are persistent. Topical antibiotics and antifungal medications like antifungal cream or spray are available as treatment alternatives. But if the condition is severe enough, a doctor will need to remove the fungus.
Bacterial foot infections
Skin infections caused by bacteria (usually Staphylococcus aureus) are much less frequent than those caused by fungi. However, they should be continuously monitored because cellulitis can become quite serious and infect the entire body. Watch out for enlarged lymph nodes!
Even something as simple as an ingrown toenail can cause a rupture in the skin's outer layer, which is how infections typically start. Eczema, foot wounds, abrasions, and severe sunburns can all cause skin cracks that allow bacteria to enter.
A bacterial illness can affect anyone, but there are some risk factors that make you more susceptible.
In order to prevent the development of bacteria and complications of foot diseases, experts recommend wearing DrLuigi medical footwear. It is not recommended to share shoes, neither with your partner nor with family members.