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Fungus hiding in socks

 Athlete's foot under toesATHLETE'S FOOT is a common fungal infection of the skin that can cause peeling and itching.

Does laundering clothes eliminate the fungus?

Researches tested socks worn by patients suffering from athlete’s foot after the socks were washed in either warm or hot water (104° and 140°F, respectively). The results, published in the International Journal of Dermatology, demonstrated that:

  • Dermatophytes, the most common cause of athlete’s foot, were eradicated in hot water but not warm water.
  • Yeasts, a less common cause of athlete’s foot, were eradicated even when using warm water.
  • Some Aspergillus survived even in hot water.

In summary, laundering at lower temperatures is NOT as effective in eradicating fungal pathogens. You can check the water temperature with a cooking thermometer.

The effect of dryer temperature remains unanswered, as the socks tested were dried at room temperature.

 

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