Diseases You Can Catch From Your Towels
Bring On the Clorox!
Are you sure you've properly washed your towels? Do you share your towels with a loved one or even your friends? Ewww! The next time you use a towel improperly, you might fall victim to one of the following contagions that's lurking on your towel!
Just because you got a good deal at Sears...
...doesn't mean they're a bargain.
I saw something really interesting at wrongdiagnosis.com:
Diseases contagious from __________
'Wow', I thought. Because really, it's practically a guide to anything you might catch from say pretty much anything you might catch something from. The general obvious ones are sex, animals, rodents, water, and food. But then I saw it.
"Diseases contagious from towels."
Harmless old towels? Why would they ever out to be vengeful against humankind? Sure, sometimes we wash them in boiling water and I'm sure some don't appreciate where we use them, but still. Is that enough harm to wreak havoc against us?
Either way, this makes a great topic for a lens, so let's explore!
"Skin infection in facial hair areas", also known as "Folliculitis". The underlying medical cause of this "rash" is Staphylococcus aureus or Staph Infection if you will. Staphylococcal infections can be notoriously hard to treat, and having one in your face... well... sucks to be you, dude. And it can spread to the rest of your body as well. Staphylococcus aureus isn't discriminatory!
Treatment is usually oral antibiotics. Don't be rubbing your face in a dirty towel, or with a towel used by someone who has a rash all over his or her face, ok?
"Contagious eye infection" aka "Pink Eye". Oh yeah, I had this a lot as a kid; I think if anything in a five foot radius had this, I got it. Mainly because I couldn't keep my hands out of my eyes. You try having such pale blue eyes any hint of light makes them water. Enough about me! Conjunctivitis is "a group of diseases that cause swelling, itching, burning, and redness of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that lines the eyelids and covers exposed areas of the sclera, or white of the eye."
Not really a pretty picture, you know. Symptoms include "pink" eye, irritated, reddened, crusting, gritty, itchy eyes, swollen eyelid, eye pain and/or discomfort, light sensitivity, yellow discharge from the eye, or your eyelids glued shut after sleep. No wonder I disliked kindergarten so much. Treatments include several types of antibiotics, eye drops and ointments, Penicillin, and warm water washings to remove the crusting.
"Neisseria gonorrhoeae", a sexually transmitted infection. Yeah, you don't wanna be rubbing that filthy towel where it counts, do you. We're just lucky this STI is curable, although the "common" part really sucks. The bacteria can infect the genital tract, the mouth, and the rectum, and can also wreck havoc in a woman's cervix, womb, birth canal, and fallopian tubes. The end result for a woman might include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy.
This is where you pay close attention to the symptoms! Which, I get to inform you, women especially might not see any of! Up to 50%! Geez. The list is long, so you get a stern order to read up on Gonorrhea!
Treatment is basically antibiotics, which range from Penicillin, Sulphonamides, Tetracyclines, Ceftriaxone, Cefixime, Ciprofloxacin to Ofloxacin; avoidance of rubbing your eyes and sexual activity, and careful hygiene to avoid contagion! Which means no towel sharing!
"Contagious skin rash from bacteria". Did anyone see Cycle 4 of America's Next Top Model? Contestant Michelle got this and her face looked like it was dying, the skin peeling away and looking like a zombie had bitten her.
Impetigo is caused by different streptococci strains than those that cause strep throat and is most common among children age 2-6 years. Bummer kiddies. Symptoms include skin rash with pus and discharge, pimples, blisters, itching rash, dried scabs, excessive scratching, and a blistery rash that spreads. Sometimes on your face! Treatments include topical antibiotics, lotions, and antiseptic lotions, oral antibiotics, washing infected areas with warm salted water, and good personal hygiene.
"An infestation of the skin with the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabei". Infestation is common, found worldwide, and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people. Like in hospitals, institutions, child-care centers, and nursing homes.
Symptoms are mainly rashes and itching all over the body, and infections that form in the skin from all the scratching. Ew. Treatments include lotions and ointments, sulfur, lotions to sooth the itching, hydrocortisone creams and washing every dang piece of linen and clothing you own in hot water.
"General term for various fungal skin afflictions" aka "That's NOT ringworm, buddy". Basically, not only can these fungal afflictions affect your skin, but also they can infect your nails. Symptoms include ring-like raised itchy patches, blisters, scabs, and temporary scalp hair loss at site of infection. Nail fungal infections include green or gray nails, and thick or brittle nails. You'll look like you're wearing Hallowe'en makeup effects on your hands.
Treatment includes antibiotics and antifungal creams, oral antifungal medications, good hygiene, and avoidance of synthetic material and moist skin.
"A chronic follicular conjunctivitis that leads to scarring in the conjunctiva and cornea." Can lead to blindness. Seriously, who ever thought this could come from a towel!? Early symptoms are red and/or watering eyes with swollen eyelids and sensitivity to bright lights. About 7 to 10 days later, small red lumps appear on the eyelids. About 3-4 weeks later, you get multiple lumps on your eyelids and they grow bigger. The fourth stage is when it spreads to the cornea and eye, giving you nasty eye pain, corneal scarring and dimming vision that gets progressively worse until you are flat out blind. No picnic.
Luckily treatments are available and include antibiotics, eye creams, surgical correction of eyelid deformity and corneal grafting. Basically a bunch of eye surgery once you reach 3-4 weeks of the condition.
"Sexually transmitted parasitic infection." Oh yeah, more bugs! Trichomonas vaginalis is a microscopic parasite found worldwide and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, mainly affecting 16-to-35-year old women. Again, most of the times you don't get symptoms, and men are the ones who really don't get any, but they can include itching, burning, pain, irritation, painful urination, discharge, and odor.
The two treatments are antibiotics and Metronidazole, plus you get to inform any sexual partners and make them get the same treatment. Woo! That's a buzz kill, isn't it! Failure to get treatment can lead to re-infection.
Learn more about the history of diseases!
© 2008 missbat