ZocdocAnswersCan I get Athlete's Foot from doing my laundry in the same washer as someone with Athlete's Foot?

Question

Can I get Athlete's Foot from doing my laundry in the same washer as someone with Athlete's Foot?

We have a communal area in my dorm for laundry. I know of the guys here has Athlete's foot. Can I catch it from putting my clothes where he washed his clothes?

Answer

The thing about the fungus that causes athlete's foot is that it is ubiquitous, and you quite likely have the fungus on your skin already (especially because you live in a dorm!). The reason that some people react to it with the extreme irritation has more to do with the amount of fungus that is growing, and the way that it is treated. Warm, moist environs are a haven to the fungus, allowing it to grow unchecked. The best way to control and prevent it's spread into becoming an infection on you or your toes, therefore, is to make sure and wash regularly using plenty of soap. By so doing, you remove the bulk of the fungus before it can get a foothold, if you'll pardon the pun, and be able to avoid the uncomfortable after shocks of having athlete's foot. Additionally, washing your clothing and bedding regularly is advised to prevent the transmission of all fungi, and so it should not be a problem to share a washer, provided you are using laundry detergent. Finally, there are many excellent over the counter treatments available, should you be so unfortunate as to require their assistance. Please speak to your doctor as needed.

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