Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Fungus Among Us

Hey, Matt:

I see guys in the gym, usually older, who wear sandals in the shower, presumably to avoid athlete's foot. Now, if I drop my trunks on the gym shower floor and then put them back on, or if I were to sit in the tub at home and my roommate has athlete's foot, can I get athlete's ass? How about athlete's wang?

-- Let's keep me anonymous, eh?

D ear Anonymous: You may already have won $10,000,000! And you may already have had a case of athlete's crudbutt without realizing the foot connection. Ever had jock itch? Doctors would call that athlete's foot of the ass. The same little fungus buggers cause both problems (Tinea pedis). But I suppose, unless you'd been practicing naked kickboxing, there wouldn't be any reason for you to figure out the foot-ass crossover. The Tinea thingies are opportunistic and highly spreadable, as you might expect from a life form that depends mainly on damp, warm, wrinkly humans in order to procreate. They can't pass up any chance to hop on peopleskin if they want the species to survive.

You might spread athlete's foot from your feet to other parts of your own body with your hands or those sessions of naked meditation in the lotus position. But sitting on a wet shower floor or a wet tub might do the trick too. Athlete's elbows and athlete's pits can come from drying yourself with a damp, infected towel. Any cozy, humid place will keep Tinea happy. Old sneakers are a veritable Shangri-la.

Here's where I get a chance to stomp on a weird legend that has attached itself to athlete's foot. You cannot rid yourself of the insidious dermatophytes by peeing on them. This particular wrong-headedness might come from the fact that urea is one ingredient in medical creams prescribed to treat fungal infections. Therapeutic urea is very concentrated and only helps soften the crusty skin layer so the other ingredients in the salve can reach the root of the problem. It doesn't solve the problem. Cow pee was once the source of urea, but it's now made synthetically. Somebody should look into this "pee on it" school of first-aid advice; there's also a legend that peeing on a stingray wound will somehow help the situation. That's wrong too. I'd be interested to hear any other "pee on it" stories to see if we can establish a trend.

Pee's and Qs

We're still soliciting any stories you have about using urine as first aid. Apparently people believe it will cure stingray and jellyfish stings and athlete's foot. JoeM. from Encinitas adds another sea creature to the list.

[While diving in the Philippines] I felt an excruciating pain in my foot. Thinking I was stung by something and on the verge of death, I managed to swim back to shore in a panic. I told my Filipino friends what happened...[and] they told me I stepped on a sea urchin, and I should pee on my foot. After being assured I wasn't going to die, I let them know I wasn't going to pee on my foot. Later, when I went to the doctor, I told her about the "peeing on the foot" remedy. She said urchins' spines are very sharp and brittle so you can't pull them out, but you can help slowly dissolve them over time by applying spirits of ammonia to the affected area, hence peeing on it was actually helpful and not a joke. I applied ammonia to my foot for a month until the pain finally subsided. I have not checked to see the soundness of this medical advice when I got back to the States....

We'll save you a trip. Our own Dr. Doctor sez the ammonia and pee-on-it ideas are pretty much useless. A exotic form of international misinformation. Ammonia (and pee) might neutralize any venom from the sting but won't "dissolve" an embedded stinger. If you can't remove it, your body will eventually absorb it. Spontaneous recovery from an urchin sting usually takes about a month. Infection is your biggest risk. And if pee on an urchin or stingray sting is of no value, pee or ammonia on a jellyfish sting is counterproductive. It stimulates the release of even more stinging agents from the adhered tentacles. So pee isn't quite as valuable as we seem to think.

A different doctor, Doctor Larry, swats me with his diploma for calling all athlete's foot fungi Tinea pedis. Tinea is the critter's full name. The pedis part means it's living on your foot. It's T. capitis in your scalp, T. unguium under your toenails, and T. cruris if you've got jock itch. There are many more. Call Larry for a complete list.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nathan Fletcher, wife Lorena Gonzalez, and Ben Hueso roll in dough

Faulconer turns off police access to hidden cameras
Next Article

Not your father's Normal Heights

"All the neighbors came out and danced in the streets"

Hey, Matt:

I see guys in the gym, usually older, who wear sandals in the shower, presumably to avoid athlete's foot. Now, if I drop my trunks on the gym shower floor and then put them back on, or if I were to sit in the tub at home and my roommate has athlete's foot, can I get athlete's ass? How about athlete's wang?

-- Let's keep me anonymous, eh?

D ear Anonymous: You may already have won $10,000,000! And you may already have had a case of athlete's crudbutt without realizing the foot connection. Ever had jock itch? Doctors would call that athlete's foot of the ass. The same little fungus buggers cause both problems (Tinea pedis). But I suppose, unless you'd been practicing naked kickboxing, there wouldn't be any reason for you to figure out the foot-ass crossover. The Tinea thingies are opportunistic and highly spreadable, as you might expect from a life form that depends mainly on damp, warm, wrinkly humans in order to procreate. They can't pass up any chance to hop on peopleskin if they want the species to survive.

You might spread athlete's foot from your feet to other parts of your own body with your hands or those sessions of naked meditation in the lotus position. But sitting on a wet shower floor or a wet tub might do the trick too. Athlete's elbows and athlete's pits can come from drying yourself with a damp, infected towel. Any cozy, humid place will keep Tinea happy. Old sneakers are a veritable Shangri-la.

Here's where I get a chance to stomp on a weird legend that has attached itself to athlete's foot. You cannot rid yourself of the insidious dermatophytes by peeing on them. This particular wrong-headedness might come from the fact that urea is one ingredient in medical creams prescribed to treat fungal infections. Therapeutic urea is very concentrated and only helps soften the crusty skin layer so the other ingredients in the salve can reach the root of the problem. It doesn't solve the problem. Cow pee was once the source of urea, but it's now made synthetically. Somebody should look into this "pee on it" school of first-aid advice; there's also a legend that peeing on a stingray wound will somehow help the situation. That's wrong too. I'd be interested to hear any other "pee on it" stories to see if we can establish a trend.

Pee's and Qs

We're still soliciting any stories you have about using urine as first aid. Apparently people believe it will cure stingray and jellyfish stings and athlete's foot. JoeM. from Encinitas adds another sea creature to the list.

[While diving in the Philippines] I felt an excruciating pain in my foot. Thinking I was stung by something and on the verge of death, I managed to swim back to shore in a panic. I told my Filipino friends what happened...[and] they told me I stepped on a sea urchin, and I should pee on my foot. After being assured I wasn't going to die, I let them know I wasn't going to pee on my foot. Later, when I went to the doctor, I told her about the "peeing on the foot" remedy. She said urchins' spines are very sharp and brittle so you can't pull them out, but you can help slowly dissolve them over time by applying spirits of ammonia to the affected area, hence peeing on it was actually helpful and not a joke. I applied ammonia to my foot for a month until the pain finally subsided. I have not checked to see the soundness of this medical advice when I got back to the States....

We'll save you a trip. Our own Dr. Doctor sez the ammonia and pee-on-it ideas are pretty much useless. A exotic form of international misinformation. Ammonia (and pee) might neutralize any venom from the sting but won't "dissolve" an embedded stinger. If you can't remove it, your body will eventually absorb it. Spontaneous recovery from an urchin sting usually takes about a month. Infection is your biggest risk. And if pee on an urchin or stingray sting is of no value, pee or ammonia on a jellyfish sting is counterproductive. It stimulates the release of even more stinging agents from the adhered tentacles. So pee isn't quite as valuable as we seem to think.

A different doctor, Doctor Larry, swats me with his diploma for calling all athlete's foot fungi Tinea pedis. Tinea is the critter's full name. The pedis part means it's living on your foot. It's T. capitis in your scalp, T. unguium under your toenails, and T. cruris if you've got jock itch. There are many more. Call Larry for a complete list.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Hancock Street to get sharrows

"This area will be the next Little Italy"
Next Article

Little Italy landmark gets red marble and white marble

Our Lady of the Rosary – beyond the Genoese fishermen
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close