Tinea pedis also known as Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin which is one of the most common skin infections. The most common causes of this infection are Trichophyton Rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Fungal organisms have been shown to survive a long time in socks worn by people with infection.
Research shows that socks can harbour fungal pathogens and contribute to reinfection.
It has been shown contaminated socks washed in a domestic washing machine at 40deg, with 36% of the socks still positive for fungal culture at the end of cleaning and drying cycle.
When the washing was repeated at 60degrees only 6% tested for fungus.
A further study showed socks containing the dermatophyte Trichophyton Rubrum showed 10% could contaminate clean laundry within 1hour
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Hammer T.R. et al. Infection Risk by Dermatophytes during storage and after domestic laundry and their temperature-dependant inactivation. Mycopathologia. 2011; 171:43-9.