Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about the 8 places where runners foot fungus lives in your home.
Toenail fungus is gross!
I know you probably don’t want to think about toenail fungus, but believe it or not, toenail fungus, the stuff that causes athlete’s foot, it’s all the same stuff, and it lives in your home.
If you get toenail fungus or if you get athlete’s foot and you’re treating either of those fungal infections on your feet and you’re a runner, you have to make sure that you get rid of all of the fungus in the areas in your home where it accumulates if you really want to get rid of it for good. Otherwise, if you spray some stuff on your skin, if you apply some stuff to your toenails, if you get laser treatment for your toenails or any of those things, and you don’t eradicate all of the fungus from your home, you’re just going to re-expose yourself to it, and you’re way more likely to get reinfected later.
You don’t have to take notes here. I actually created something for you. It’s a single page PDF. It’s called the Toenail Fungus Re-infection Prevention Checklist, and basically it’s a checklist of all the steps you have to take to get rid of all the fungus in your house that could expose you to the fungus again, and you can download it at the bottom of this page. It’s free.
So the first thing, the number one place that I think people have exposure to fungus in their homes when they’re runners, it’s your bathmat. That’s true of your bathroom floors, that’s true of your towels, it’s true of the carpet, it’s true of your running shoes, all of those things. Anywhere that you have lots of water, you’re going to get more fungus.
All right, so let’s talk about this. So the number one place that I think runners have exposure to fungus in their homes…it’s your bathmat.
Bathroom rugs and bathmats absorb a lot of moisture when you step out of the shower and onto the bathmat. If you have athletes foot or toenail fungus and step on the bathmat you create a fertile breeding ground for toenail fungus filaments and fungal spores. Wash it in hot water.
All day long your socks are in direct contact with your skin and toenails. When you have a fungus infection in the skin, or in the toenails you are shedding fungus into your socks.
Don’t use bleach. Bleach will ruin elastic and destroy socks. Wash all of your socks in hot water.
Shoes are the ideal incubators for fungus. Inside of your shoe is warm dark and moist. Anytime you have toenail fungus or an athletes foot infection you are coating the inside of your shoe with fungus. If you don’t get rid of the fungus in your shoes it will easily reinfect your toenails after you kill the fungus living in the toenails right now. Spray disinfectant in your shoes, or use an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer. Disinfect all of your shoes…even those you haven’t worn recently.
When you run, your feet sweat like crazy. You’re also adding a lot of friction to the skin on your feet. That combination really results in a lot of fungus in your shoes. To make matters worse, the perspiration on your feet well soak through the foam insert in your running shoes and create a damp layer underneath the insert on the inside of the shoe. Remove the running shoe insert and spray disinfectant on the inside of the shoe and the bottom of the running shoe inserts. Make it a new habit to leave running shoes in direct sunlight so they dry out completely after you run.
The carpet in your home can accumulate fungal spores and filaments from your socks and from your bare feet. But be cautious about steam cleaning. If you steam clean carpet and the carpet doesn’t dry completely, the extra moisture may make matters worse. Vacuum carpet thoroughly.
One way to make sure you have mold and fungus in your towels is to dry your feet, while infected with fungus. You’ll actually wipe off fungus and dead skin cells that have fungal filaments and toenail fungus spores. They will get stuck in terrycloth. If you then get the towel wet and let it sit, the fungus has an opportunity to multiply. Never, ever put your towels in the washing machine in the evening and then let wet laundry sit in the washing machine overnight.
Wash towels in hot water. As soon as the wash cycle ends put them in the dryer. Dry completely.
All night long your feet are moving around in the bed while you sleep. During the night, your skin is flaking and shedding skin cells and the live fungus filaments and fungal spores that cause athletes foot and toenail fungus infections. Wash all of your sheets once in hot water.
Bathroom tile floors
Bathroom floors tends to harbor fungus simply because they get wet and stay wet. Clean your tile flooring with disinfectant solutions known to kill fungus, like bleach. After you shower, leave a bathroom vent on until the humidity clears.
Less moisture will mean less fungus in the future.
That’s true of your bathroom floors, that’s true of your towels, it’s true of the carpet, it’s true of your running shoes, all of those things. Anywhere that you have lots of water, you’re going to get more fungus.
So just print out the Toenail Fungus Re-infection Prevention Checklist, and then you can go through, just mark these things off the list, clean your house, and get that stuff out of your home. That way, you won’t have to worry about picking up toenail fungus spores or athlete’s foot fungus spores and and getting them in your running shoes, and then going out, going for a run, and recontaminating your shoes and turning them back into those incubators.
Just take care of it now, and then you’ll have less to worry about in the future.
Enjoy your run…
Get your copy of the Toenail Fungus Re-Infection Prevention Checklist here:
If you think you might have toenail fungus, check out this video. It’s free. Get it now….
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!