DMFA Blog

Posts for tag: hygiene

By Dr. Michelle Kim
July 15, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: hygiene   Traveling  

Summer means travel for many people in the United States. July especially is a month full of vacations and sun! Whether your plans call for a day trip to your lake house, a weekend the Dells or a fun Bahamas getaway, we want to make sure everyone takes care of themselves while they’re having summer fun.

 

Here are a few travel hygiene tips while you’re playing in the sun this July:

1.   Keep in mind that public places like airplanes and hotels may be quite germy!

Consider traveling with sanitizing wipes to clean off those plane seats. A disinfecting spray to use in your hotel shower and toilet can prevent the possible spread of fungi, bacteria and viruses.

2. Don’t go barefoot!

We've seen many cases of athlete's foot and plantar warts from patients walking barefoot so be sure to keep a pair of sandals handy to wear in all public places, including your hotel room and pool areas.

2.   Always keep hand sanitizer with you!

Shield yourself from germs while traveling by keeping a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you. The best kind is an alcohol-based hand sanitizers in gel form like Purell. Also, it is extremely important to wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom.

4.  Ditch the flip-flops and sandals!

When you’re going on hikes or tours and choose gym shoes instead. Not only will this keep your feet from getting dirty, but you will be more comfortable and give your feet better support throughout the day whether you’re walking around sight-seeing, hiking, or shopping!

Memorial Day is almost here and summer is on its way – warm-weather blockbusters such as “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” are already in theaters, and will soon be followed by the highly anticipated “Godzilla.”

Summer means travel for many people in Lemont. Whether your plans call for a day trip to the upcoming Taste of Chicago, a weekend in Wisconsin Dells or a getaway out-of-state, as podiatrists at DM Foot and Ankle Associates, Dr. Diana Emini and I want to make sure everyone takes care of themselves while they’re having summer fun.

Here are a few tips for travel hygiene when you’re playing in the sun this summer.

1.   Keep in mind that airplanes and hotels are public places, and they may be quite germy! Consider traveling with sanitizing wipes to clean off those plane seats. A disinfecting spray to use in your hotel shower and toilet can prevent the possible spread of fungi, bacteria and viruses. In our office, we carry Citrace, a hospital-grade disinfectant that smells citrusy. Also, it's best to avoid walking barefoot around the hotel. We've seen many cases of athlete's foot and plantar warts from patients walking barefoot in public.

2.   While in transit or spending the day in the hot sun, try wearing polyester "dry-fit" shirts that are lightweight, wrinkle-free and dry quickly. As a bonus -- they take up almost zero room in a backpack or suitcase. Stores such as REI also sell varieties of wrinkle-free clothing, including pants and button-down shirts. It’s also a good idea to keep a stain-erasing pen, such as Tide to Go, in your purse or backpack. On days when you've been sweating, remember to wash your feet and let them air out once you're back at your hotel.

3.   Shield yourself from germs while traveling by keeping a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you. The Centers for Disease control and Prevention recommends ethanol alcohol-based hand sanitizers in gel form that are at least 60 percent ethanol. Also, don’t forget to wash your hands before eating and after using the bathroom. Always wash with hot, soapy water. Be generous with the soap and rub your hands together for 20 seconds before rinsing.

4.  Ditch the flip-flops and sandals when you’re going on hikes or tours and choose sneakers instead. Not only will this keep your feet from getting dirty, but you will be more comfortable and give your feet better support throughout the day.

By Michelle Kim

The Chicago Bears have the week off this Sunday, but did you know that three players on another NFL team – the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have been sidelined and made news in recent weeks for infections that began in their feet? 

Three Bucs players have been diagnosed with MRSA.  The list includes: lineman Carl Nicks, cornerback Johnthan Banks, and Lawrence Tynes, who was diagnosed in August. 

NFL.com reported that Nicks missed the first two games of the season, then returned to the field before an infection came back in his left foot.  Meanwhile, cbsnews.com reported, Tynes was sidelined with an ingrown toenail when he was diagnosed with MRSA.

 

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is sometimes called a “super bug” because this strain of bacteria has become resistant to most antibiotics.  

 

Here are some facts about the bacteria, commonly referred to as “staph infections,” from webmd.com:

 

·        Plenty of healthy people carry regular “staph” without being infected by it – 25 to 30 percent of the population has staph bacteria in their nose.

·        Staph can become a problem if it gets into the body, usually through a cut. Once there, it can cause an infection.

·        Staph is one of the most common causes of skin infections nationwide.  Most of the time, these are minor and don't need special treatment.  Less often, staph can cause serious issues such as infected wounds or pneumonia.

 

The Centers for Disease Control reports the risk of infection can be increased with activities that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact and sharing equipment.  Folks such as athletes, students, members of the military in barracks may be at higher risk. 

 

This kind of skin infection can be spread through contact with an infected wound, such as showers or sharing towels, razors that touched infected skin.

 

Due to unnecessary overuse of antibiotics (such as taking antibiotics for a viral infection such as a cold,) or people not finishing the complete course of antibiotics, bacteria such as staph can mutate and become resistant to them.  MRSA is staph on steroids – standard penicillin and other types of antibiotics cannot kill it off.  When this happens, strong antibiotics may need to be infused through the veins, and the infected site may need to be surgically drained.  Left untreated, this bacteria can invade deeper into tissue and may pose a serious health risk. 

As podiatrists, Dr. Michelle Kim and Dr. Diana Emini suspect that walking barefoot in the locker room may have caused the spread of this nasty bug among the Bucs players.  Lesson learned:  Always wear shower shoes in public such as the pool or the gym! If you suspect you have any sort of foot infection -- an ingrown nail, a wart, or fungus – call DM Foot & Ankle Associates for an evaluation.

By Diana Emini