I have conversations most people don't have. Probably because when people find out that I invented a shoe deodorizer to help me with my stinky shoes, they feel comfortable to share back their experiences with foot problems. So I thought I would share a few stories of how people caught their foot and toe nail fungus so you can be aware and help prevent transferring this problem to your loved ones.
1. Touching Toes While Snuggling
I usually avoid playing footsy with my husband. It's because I am super ticklish, and for him luckily so. One gal told me about her toe nail fungus, and how she believes she got it from her husband while touching toes in bed. Wiggling toes together is a sign of great affection, but can be very dangerous if one's feet are infected with fungus. So, be honest with your partner and let them know you really enjoy sharing affection, but you are scared to get (or give) foot fungus. There are many other ways to show you love each other.
2. Barefoot at the Community Pool
This one is actually my story. I signed up for a class to learn how to kayak, specifically how to roll the kayak so when I flip upside down on a river, I could flip myself back up quickly. This class took place at the local community center, and it just so happened that I forgot to bring my flip flops. I had a bad feeling about it. What triggered me was the dank smell of the gym, which could only be caused by icky microbes. Well, within a week the skin on my toes started to look white and peel, and then my toe nails turned yellowish. I recommend you always bring a pair of flip flops to the gym and avoid touching your bare feet to the floor, or anything in the gym for that matter.
3. Oops! In a pinch I took the socks out of my hamper
One gal told me about the time her sister visited from out of town. The sister forgot to pack enough socks for the trip, so she borrowed some. After the sister left this person had to go to work the next day, but hadn't done laundry all week long and ran out of socks. So she dug a pair out of the laundry to rewear, but what she didn't realize was that it was the pair she loaned to her sister. What happened...she got her sister's toenail fungus, which presented within four weeks after this unfortunate mistake. Lesson: don't ever rewear socks, especially if they've commingled with other laundry, like in a hamper.
4. Using the bottom of a hot springs pool to scratch an itch on their heel
You know how the bottom of a pool feels rough, kind of like a pumice stone. It seems like a good surface to exfoliate your foot on, but don't! That porous surface can harbor fungus and bacteria. One fellow shared his story of how his heel itched while he was soaking in a hot springs pool, so he decided to scratch it by rubbing his heel on the bottom of the pool. The itch went away, but in about 3 weeks his heel had cracks about 3 mm deep...evidence of a fungal infection. It hasn't been easy to get rid of those cracks...it's been almost 20 years, and that pesky fungus is still there. Keep in mind that once you wear a pair of shoes while having foot or nail fungus, those shoes now have that fungus and can reinfect your feet.
5. And the worst on the list: Forced to Share Shoes
This story is from a friend of mine. Her husband worked at a construction site where steel-toed shoes were mandatory. One of the higher-ups in the organization came to the site for a tour. Not having any steel-toed shoes of his own, they had to borrow a pair from one of the workers. Unfortunately, my friend's husband was the only one whose shoe size was the same as the visitor, so he was told give up his shoes for the hour long tour. About 4 weeks later, the big toe on his right foot started growing out yellow and crumbly. This happened over a decade ago, and he's tried every over-the-counter remedy on the market to get rid of it...without any luck. So...Just Say No! Don't ever share your shoes, and when it comes to buying used shoes, we recommend disinfecting them with a strong spray, and then continuing to use Shoe Defenders on a daily basis.
I hope these stories give you the confidence to protect your feet and the feet of others. Don't be shy about letting people know why sharing footwear and socks is NOT caring, and why walking around barefoot in communal environments can be harmful to your foot health and the foot health of others. Be safe my friends!