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Thread: Can you get fungus IN the water?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member Lui's Avatar
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    Can you get fungus IN the water?

    I always make sure that I wear flip flops when I'm in the pool so I don't get athletes foot or toe nail fungus. I was in a pharmacy today and was talking to the pharmacist about the topic because the pharmacy is across the street of the pool of the gym I go to. She mentioned that she goes to that gym too but the water in that pool isn't too clean and she wouldn't swim there because she's afraid to catch something like fungus. I mentioned that I thought that chlorine kills everything but she denied that
    Is it really possible to get fungus while you're swimming?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member Celestial's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    I'm not sure of the genus/type or anything, but I do know that you can get a type of skin fungus - which looks like folliculitis from some pools, no matter how much chlorine we put in them.

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    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    A two week prescription for Lamisil pills costs around $10 and it kills about everything.

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by aquageek View Post
    A two week prescription for Lamisil pills costs around $10 and it kills about everything.
    Chlorine is a very good disinfectant for killing most/all pathogenic bacteria and viruses, if it is present in proper amounts and pH. Only ozone is stronger, but also very aggressive and there is no residual to keep killing as is the case with chlorine.

    Chlorine kills by oxidizing the cell walls of bacteria and viruses. Chlorine will kill funguses given the opportunity (i'm not sure if there are any resistant fungus types - their cell walls would have to resistant to oxidation, which seems unliekly, but i'm not a microbilogist). It therefore seems unlikely that one would contract a fungus from swimming in water in a properly chlorinated pool unless the number of spores simply overwhelmed the disinfecting system or the system wasn't operating effectively.

    However, chlorine levels, penetration, and contact times are not likely sufficient on pool decks, showers, locker room floors, etc. to kiil fungus spores, and thus the spores survive and flourish in these moist environments absent disinfectants. You can where flip-flops (disinfect them periodically), dry your feet thoroughly, and use an additional anti-fungal agent occassionally to help prevent picking up atheletes foot fungus from the deck, showers, locker room floor, etc. An individual's immune system seems to have a lot to do with it too, e.g. some people get warts and others don't.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Participating Member Mini Shark's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    While fungi (like athlete’s foot) is a common problem in locker rooms, it’s extremely unlikely that it could contaminate the water in pools or hot tubs.

    If the filtration/disinfecting system is working and people practice good hygiene, there shouldn’t be any problems with being in the water itself. Open water swimming (in lakes or an ocean instead of an environmentally controlled pool) seems to be pretty safe too.

    Also, some people are more prone to contracting fungi infections regardless of where they go and some others seem to be very immune. The extreme case, Indians swimming in the Ganges River which is one of the most polluted waterways in the world:

    [FONT=Calibri][nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb_yDBmRgmU"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb_yDBmRgmU[/FON"]Ganges River - Pollution - YouTube[/nomedia]

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    Very Active Member Lui's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    I think the pharmacist was exaggerating. In general I'm not concerned but the way she pointed out that she goes to the gym but would never set a foot in their pool, made me a bit concerned since I swim there regularly for years. I realized the pool isn't squeaky clean but all of us who have been swimming for ages are sort of used to some pools not being the cleanest. It's a pity because I have a 25 meter pool almost across the street from my apartment but they don't put up lanes which means people swim in all directions, plus you have kids jumping in from the side

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    For chlorine action relies on physical properties to be effective . Any chunk of material floating around that has not yet been broken down or saturated to allow direct surface contact can vector whatever microbe, parasite, or toxin.

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    Very Active Member Sojerz's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by __steve__ View Post
    For chlorine action relies on physical properties to be effective . Any chunk of material floating around that has not yet been broken down or saturated to allow direct surface contact can vector whatever microbe, parasite, or toxin.
    This is true, and the reason that surface waters and most pool waters are generally filtered before disnifection and consumption or contact. Chlorine is not good at penetrating the surface pores of suspended materials. That said, you would probably have to have a "dirty" pool (high concentration of suspended solids and/or turbidity level- water color and cloudiness are not often good indicators of SS or turbidity levels) and a fairly substantial dose of microbes for infection to result in most people. Immuno compromised individuals could be more susceptible especially through an ingestion route and not just skin contact.
    Some guys they just give up living and start dying little by little, piece by piece. Some guys come home from work and wash up and go racin’ in the street. (Bruce Springsteen, 1978)

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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    I am no expert in this area but I have had some minor trouble with this in the past. The doctor and I aren't exactly sure if it came from the pool or the change room but it was easily cured with some pills.

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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lui View Post
    I always make sure that I wear flip flops when I'm in the pool so I don't get athletes foot or toe nail fungus. I was in a pharmacy today and was talking to the pharmacist about the topic because the pharmacy is across the street of the pool of the gym I go to. She mentioned that she goes to that gym too but the water in that pool isn't too clean and she wouldn't swim there because she's afraid to catch something like fungus. I mentioned that I thought that chlorine kills everything but she denied that
    Is it really possible to get fungus while you're swimming?
    Seriously doubt it, but you can get athletes foot walking around on deck, the locker room & or in the shower. Walking around in flip flops might help, what helps most is to dry your feet & spray your feet & shoes with an anti fungal spray. You can also get toe nail fungus. The fungus grows under your toenails. The fungus can cause your toe nails to warp & may discolor them. The only effective way to treat toenail fungus is with pills.

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    Very Active Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    I have found that the most effective way to manage fungus is to keep the skin clean healthy and dry when you're not in the pool.

    Clean socks, clean breathable shoes with toe wiggle room, and carefully drying between the toes each time they get wet.

    I like using the alcohol-based hand-sanitizer gel to help dry the skin between the toes.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Can you get fungus IN the water?

    Yes, let the feet dry before putting socks back on and returning to work

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