No Shirt, No Shoes…………No Problem?

We have all accepted the inevitable process of slogging through airport security. We meander through a theme park line, with no exhilarating roller coaster at the end. If you travel often, you are prepared when your time comes to place your bag on the conveyor and step through the metal detector. Your jewelry is off, along with your belt, coat, AND shoes. If you are the lucky one, you are chosen to have an x-ray of your entire body taken. As a sheep following its shepherd, you do as youre told and quietly pass through, assuming all is safe and secure. What you fail to understand is that not all IS safe and secure. In fact, the security of your body may have been compromised, depending on if you chose to wear socks as you passed through.

Fungus and bacteria: the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde of the microscopic world. In the correct environment and quantity, both are advantageous and necessary. Outside of their boundaries and in riotous form, they are dangerous and potentially lethal. Fungal spores and bacteria are on every surface and can survive for days. Some types are easily eliminated with standard cleaning, but many are able to survive due to their more advanced defense mechanisms. They sit idly, waiting for the opportune moment to hitchhike. The condition of the foot may determine the behavior of the newly acquired passenger. For instance, a barefoot traveler with a portal of entry (i.e. cracked skin or cut), is at risk for colonization and infection.

  • Fungal Infection: Athletes foot, or Tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the feet. Signs and symptoms include: redness, itching/burning, possible formation of tiny blisters/bumps. Now unless you are a big fan of John Madden and what he supports, I dont imagine you will want athletes foot.
  • The same fungus can infect the toenail, producing the beautifully discolored, deformed, thickened nail. You will have no career as a foot model with this infection guaranteed.
  • Bacterial Infection: Similar principle as a fungal infection with the following signs and symptoms: redness, swelling, pain, possible abscess formation, fever, chills, nausea/vomiting. Lets consider this in a person who has a compromised immune system and is more at risk of infection, like the diabetic with loss of sensation in the foot. They could have a cut or crack on the bottom of the foot, walk barefoot through security, pick-up some fungal/bacterial freeloader, and eventually develop an ulceration and infection that may lead to amputation of a toe or foot.

The odds are probably low of any of these events happening, but as Dirty Harry once asked:

For more information on treating any type of foot fungus contact Dr. Jeffrey Bowman in Houston, Texas at 713-467-8886 or online where appointments can be made and more information on any foot or ankle problem at

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Problems

Tags: Athlete's Foot, Bacteria, Bacterial Infection, Foot Problems, Fungus, Nail Fungus, Tinea Pedis