Avoiding toe jam, that icky buildup between the toes – ZellaNews


Toe jam, the gunk and particles between your toes, even made it right into a Beatles tune.

But it was unlikely John Lennon was interested by foot hygiene when he wrote the lyrics to the second verse of “Come Together“:

He put on no shoeshine, he obtained toe-jam soccer
He obtained monkey finger, he shoot Coca-Cola
He say, ”I do know you, you realize me”
One factor I can inform you is you bought to be free.

Toe jam is not a medical time period. There is not any formal medical time period to explain the lifeless pores and skin cells, sweat, sock lint and dust that mix in the small and sometimes cramped areas between our toes.

Toe jam can have the consistency of sentimental cheese or cake crumbs. It can scent or be odorless. And its shade can vary from white to grey-brown.

You’re extra more likely to create toe jam in case you put on closed-in footwear when it is sizzling, or gum boots that do not enable sweat to evaporate.

Poor foot hygiene will definitely make it extra doubtless you may develop toe jam. That’s as a result of sweaty particles accumulates in between the toes in case you do not take note of cleansing these areas in the bathe or bathtub.

Toe jam can also be extra doubtless in case your ft sweat lots for different causes. For occasion, we all know sweaty ft generally is a drawback for youngsters and adolescents, who’ve extra energetic sweat glands. And some folks have a critical medical situation referred to as hyperhidrosis, the place they sweat excessively.

Is toe jam like athlete’s foot?

The assortment of sweat and lifeless pores and skin between toes offers micro organism residing naturally on our pores and skin the probability to thrive.

These micro organism, which embody ones in the genus Brevibacterium, feed on sweat, releasing molecules that give the attribute “tacky” scent of sweaty ft. Brevibacterium can also be used to ripen some cheeses.
This heat and damp atmosphere can also be an ideal web site for tinea pedis, a fungal pores and skin an infection you may know as athlete’s foot.
Signs of tinea is perhaps soggy white pores and skin between your toes, which will be itchy, and pink areas, an indication of pores and skin harm. Damaged pores and skin between toes may develop small fluid-crammed blisters and can also bleed if the weak pores and skin is torn.

So whereas toe jam is not the similar as tinea, it’d present the good situations for the fungus to develop.

How critical is toe jam?

Generally, toe jam is a minor well being drawback. You can handle it with good foot hygiene. And in case you develop tinea, you should use a brief course of an anti-fungal therapy you should purchase from a pharmacy (see under).

It is sort of a unique prospect, nevertheless, for an individual residing with a continual illness reminiscent of diabetes, somebody who has poor imaginative and prescient (so cannot see toe jam or its problems growing) or who could also be unable to achieve their ft because of restricted mobility.

Diabetes not properly managed with food plan and train, or medicine, will increase the threat of an individual having diminished blood move (peripheral arterial illness) and diminished feeling of their ft (sensory neuropathy).

Broken pores and skin between the toes attributable to tinea can turn out to be contaminated quickly, growing the threat of:
  • an infection spreading to the foot and leg (cellulitis)
  • an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis)
  • gangrene (lifeless tissue attributable to lack of blood move)
  • amputation of a toe, a part of the foot or leg.

So early identification of tinea in a weak particular person is very necessary to stop problems.

4 methods to keep away from issues

Here are 4 tricks to keep away from issues with toe jam, together with growing tinea and its problems:

  1. Wash the areas between your toes and dry them rigorously after a bathe or bathtub, and after swimming. Gyms and swimming swimming pools are a typical place to choose up a fungal an infection in your ft so it is a good suggestion to put on thongs to cut back the threat of tinea.
  2. If attainable, keep away from sporting footwear that would not enable sweat to evaporate (reminiscent of closed-in footwear manufactured from artificial materials and gum boots). Going barefoot, when there isn’t any threat of harm, will even enable sweat to evaporate.
  3. Treat sweaty ft through the use of an antiperspirant containing aluminium chloride. More extreme circumstances of hyperhidrosis could also be managed utilizing medicine, reminiscent of Botox injections to the ft. Fungal infections (tinea) ought to be handled utilizing over-the-counter antifungal lotions such a terbinafine or clotrimazole. Resistant infections may require a course of prescribed antifungal medicines.
  4. Pay consideration to indicators indicating an an infection is spreading from the foot. These might be ache and swelling in the toes, or pink streaks alongside the foot and up the leg. This requires an pressing go to to a podiatrist or physician.


A 2009 Beatles exhibit in Hamburg, Germany. On the "Abbey Road" cover, Paul McCartney goes barefoot.

Lennon mentions a “walrus gumboot” in the third verse of “Come Together.” The remaining line of the second verse says “you bought to be free.” The cowl of the Beatles album “Abbey Road” exhibits Paul McCartney strolling barefoot (second from the left).

Maybe the Beatles did know a factor or two about toe jam and foot well being.

The Conversation

Caroline Robinson is an affiliate professor of podiatry at Charles Sturt University in Australia. Luke Donnan is a lecturer in podiatry at Charles Sturt University. Robinson and Donnan are affiliated with the Australasian Council of Podiatry Deans and the Australian Podiatry Association. Charles Sturt University offers funding as a member of The Conversation.

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