Surviving Hygiene

We all know how important basic emergency food and water is but what about personal hygiene? It doesn't take long for a superficial fungal infection to set in and spread over your body. Once you have a fungal infection it's only a matter of time before it becomes systemic (within the bloodstream) and requires medication (the most popular being Nizoral). Some signs of the most common fungal infection are discolored scaly spots that usual itch and dandruff. If you have a systemic infection you may also notice dark squiggle lines in your field of vision called "floaters".

Surviving Hygiene

Fungal infections are contagious. Do not touch or scratch an area then touch another area of your body without washing your hands first. Do not touch your pets or another person after scratching an infected area. The best way to prevent this infection is proper hygiene. It's very important to keep your skin dry and clean. If water is an issue there are many no- rinse products available. They include body wash as well as shampoo. Another great item to stock up on is anti-bacterial wipes. These wipes are not just for hands. When regular bathing is not an option, wipes are more effective than toilet tissue since bacteria builds up quickly on the groin and anal areas. More uses for anti-bacterial wipes are disinfecting your portable toilet seat area (if you do not have disposable paper seat covers), disinfecting your drinking cup and/or bottle tops, and disinfecting cooking gear (pots/pans/utensils etc). Medicated foot powder (such as Gold Bond) is a great preventative when battling sweaty feet and armpits.

Another crucial item to have on hand is antioxidant supplements. It's imperative to have a strong immune system to fight off all bacterial and viral infections. Your immune system is weakened by stress, extreme temperatures and lack of nutrition. Antioxidants are high potency doses of vitamins E, C and A which boost the immune system. I recommend the chewable form of pills since regular pills require water to swallow. All dietary supplements should be stored in dry, cool areas away from light, and tightly sealed to protect them from air oxidation.

Remember how important it is to wash and wipe your hands often and always before handling food under any conditions!

-Joanna Perry

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