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Say Goodbye to Fungal Freeloaders: Examining Candida, Symptoms, and Treatment

In elementary school, we learn about symbiotic relationships: the lamprey that cleans debris off the shark; the bio-luminescent bacteria that attracts food for the anglerfish; the bees that pollinate the flowers. We tend to think of ourselves as autonomous beings, but — just as you are comprised of cells and genes — you are also comprised of microscopic organisms from your environment. Sometimes these trillions of microbes help us, such as the case of the one kilogram of intestinal “good” bacteria. Yet, other times, the parasites take advantage of their kindly hosts, causing them harm.

candida diet

You can see the spores of candida albicans in this image.

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Just “Plane” Gross: What You Can Do to Beat Germs During Air Travel

As summer kicks into high gear, many people will be taking to the skies for vacation getaways. We’ll be the first to admit we don’t particularly love traveling by plane. While it gets us from here to there in record time, there can be a lot of hassles, from baggage fees to the icky shoe removal policy while going through security. Now researchers have a new reason for us to loathe air travel. Research shows that infectious, disease-causing bacteria and airplane germs can live for weeks on most airplane surfaces.

plane taking off

Find out where germs lurk on planes and how long they live.
Image Source: Flickr user Joao Carlos Medau

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Kids Can Learn about Foot Fungus and Germs with Infectiously Fun Children’s Book

Did you know that in some parts of the world, 80% of the population is infected with the “kitty-loving parasite” T. gondii? Statistically speaking, this microbe makes people more likely to “get into traffic accidents, prefer the smell of cat pee to pee from other animals, give birth to more sons, have slower reaction times and be more suspicious of others.”

This data comes to us from a rather unlikely source — a children’s book! It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes is written by Jennifer Gardyhead of British Columbia’s Center for Disease Control Genome Research Laboratory, and is geared toward children ages 8-12. Yet, it’s a book that parents will find extremely informative and engaging, as well.

It's Catching book cover

Can a children’s book make learning about disgusting pathogens more fun?

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Fungus in the News: Rhizopus in Hospital Linens Leads to Deadly Infection in Youngsters

A recent story in the NY Times plays into one of our greatest phobias — coming down with a sudden, fatal, unstoppable illness. The victims — a newborn boy in the NICU, a 10-year-old girl, and a 13-year-old boy — died at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans between August 2008 and July 2009. The children had horrible, mysterious open wounds on their abdomens, groins, and faces. Eventually, it was uncovered that the youngsters had come down with a flesh-eating fungal infection called mucormycosis caused by the fungus known as Rhizopus– and that fungus was spread by hospital bed linens and towels.

children's hospital of new orleans

What happened at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans could have happened anywhere. Administrators say they regret not being more proactive.
Image Source: CHNOLA.org

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The Importance of Close Examination: 7 Signs Your Feet May Be in Trouble

When was the last time you looked at your feet? We’re not just talking about noticing that your toenail polish could use replacing — but rather, when was the last time you really examined your feet from top to bottom? You can think of the feet as a snapshot of your total body health. If you have some sort of systemic problem going on, the signs could manifest in your feet. They also act as fortune tellers, revealing what might happen if you don’t take a minute to pamper them right away! In this article, we’ll discuss a few signs you might look for as an indication of your overall health.

foot inspection

Have you taken the time to really look at your feet today? Image Source: footexpress.com

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Take Strides to Protect Your Feet: 3 Reasons Diabetics Should Invest in Shoe Orthoses

People with diabetes can achieve the best possible health by managing the various risks they face. Poor circulation is one complication caused by elevated blood sugars. This condition makes it more difficult for wounds to heal — particularly wounds in the lower extremities.

Another complication — nerve damage — makes it possible for slow-healing wounds to go undetected for long periods of time. During this time, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can easily infect the wound. We wash our clothes daily, but fail to follow any regular protocol for our footwear — and yet, this dark, damp, warm environment is where pathogens like to procreate most.

To avoid dangerous diabetic foot infections resulting in hospitalization, surgery, and/or amputation, we recommend preventing foot wounds with orthoses and preventing microbial buildup with a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer.

diabetic orthoses

There are several different types of orthoses to choose from.
Image Source: KLMLabs.com

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Flip Flops: A Danger to Your Health? Popular Footwear Provides Haven for Bacteria

The snow is falling in many parts of the country in February, so flip-flops are but a distant memory for some people. Yet, our company, Shoe Care Innovations, is based out of Redwood City, California, so we can pretty much slip into a pair of flops year-round. Beach bums just can’t get enough of this lackadaisical style of shoe. However, podiatrists warn that flip flops can be a dangerous choice, according to an MSNBC health report.

dangers of flip flops

Some of us never pack our flip-flops away… and we are most at risk of picking up a pathogen!
Image Source: DelRayBeachPodiatry.com

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5 Ways To Keep Dangerous Germs Out Of Your Home

The home should be a place of respite and peace — not a revolting place full of bacteria, fungus and illness-causing germs. While it’s true that not all types of bacteria constitute as “pathogens,” wouldn’t you rather live in a sanitary environment if you could? There are a few guidelines for the industrious homemaker to keep in mind to ensure that contact with dangerous germs is kept to a minimum, with the goal that the family remains as healthy as possible.

household germs

Dangerous germs can lurk in the most unlikeliest places. Image Source: CNN.com

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Sexy Or Sinful: 5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Foot Tattoo

Foot tattoos are extremely popular, with celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Megan Fox, Rihanna, and Kate Hudson sporting them. A tattooed foot can look sexy when peeking out of a high heel shoe, but it’s important to remember that a fresh tattoo constitutes as an “open wound,” which can spell disaster if a bacterial or fungal foot infection grabs hold. Here we’ll discuss this and four other matters to consider before getting your foot tattoo.

foot tattoo

Foot tattoos can be very fashionable when paired with a nice set of heels, but buyer beware: they can also be a portal for infection!
Image Source: Tattooesque.com

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Are Antibacterial Soaps Making Us Sick? FDA Forces Manufacturers to Back Safety Claims with Research

Antibacterial soaps have long since become mainstream, now being found in homes, inside hospitals, and at schools across America. Many of the products we buy in bath and body shops nowadays bill themselves as “antibacterial,”  but do they really keep us safe or make us healthier? After decades of debate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made a sudden, surprising declaration that they will now be forcing manufacturers of antibacterial soaps to back claims of safety and efficiency with clinical research.

“Due to consumers’ extensive exposure to the ingredients in anti-bacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit from using anti-bacterial soap to balance any potential risk,” said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told the Chicago Tribune

triclosan

Three-quarters of Americans had triclosan in their urine. It also appears in breast milk. But is it safe?
Image Source: NPR.org

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