Fighting the Bad Bacteria of Winter

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We’ve reached the middle of November meaning, someone, somewhere is playing Christmas music right now. And it’s time to bust out the extra warm coat, hats, and gloves.

Winter is coming. No, really.

Of course, cold weather means warmer clothes, more layers, and less airflow circulating around your skin. Which can lead to a host of issues caused by sweat, heat, and bad bacteria. Luckily, probiotics eaten, or applied topically can help fight off some of these conditions.

Probiotics for Skin

Winter can be a challenge for your skin; dry air, scratchy clothes, and rich foods. It can all add up to irritation and inflammation. Probiotics can help. Eating probiotics or applying it topically to the skin helps reduce inflammation.

The bacteria inside your gut gets irritated by too many simple carbs, and other inflammatory foods. This irritation causes a system-wide inflammation, marked by acne, redness, or dry patches on the skin.

Editing your diet helps, but the real trick, according to Dr. Whitney Bowe is by eating probiotics. Balancing gut bacteria brings happy, healthy balance to our skin.

Athlete’s Foot and Stinky Feet

It’s common to wear closed-toe, insulated shoes and boots all winter long. In turn this leaves our feet sitting in warm, dark conditions for hours at a time. This can cause the dreaded stinky feet smell on your feet and inside your shoes, or even athlete’s foot.

Sticky feet or bromodosis happens when bacteria on the skin break down sweat on the foot causing a foul odor. Athlete’s foot, a more serious foot fungus, can also cause the bad smell happening inside your shoe. Keeping good hygiene is important for reducing embarrassing odor in shoes, but probiotics may also help.

Traditionally both conditions, especially athlete’s foot, need antibiotics for treatment. However, James Madison University biology professor Reid Harris hopes to cure athlete’s foot with probiotics. Currently, Harris is using probiotics to help frogs in Central America and Caribbean fight off skin fungi. The use of probiotics for the treatment of athlete’s foot is only in the trial stage. For now the topical application of probiotics to feet may help control populations of bad bacteria on your feet.

Feminine Health

Wrapping up in tight synthetic material, think tights and leggings, and eating not so healthy holiday meals, the female ‘nether regions’ may not enjoy winter as much as other body parts. Although no one wants to talk about it, winter is a common time for yeast infections.

More snug, under aerated clothing choices. Taking antibiotics due to other illness. Reduced nutritional intake. They all increase the risk of having bad bacteria down there, but don’t worry, probiotics can help!

Eating probiotics is a preventative method to reduce your risk of yeast infection or UTI. An Italian study even found placing a probiotics pill directly inside the vagina reduced the rate of infection of those with chronic yeast infections by 87%. Until that study is duplicated we think we’re going to stick with traditional consumption methods.

And if you’re already on an antibiotic for your condition you can take probiotics concurrently to balance your gut bacteria.

Now if only probiotics could solve hair static it’d be a perfect winter.

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