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New research has catalogued where you can find the most fungi on your body. Flickr/PHYLB
Gross

Scientists map fungi and where you can find it on your body

In an attempt to discover “what is normal” researchers have found that your feet can be home to more than 200 varieties of fungi and recommend flip flops in the locker room.

FUNGI AND BACTERIA can be found all over your body, but a US study has found that their favourite place to set up home is on your heel, under your toenails and between your toes.

The BBC reports that the nearly 200 different types of fungi can be found “colonising” on feet. Researchers report in Nature journal that they have catalogued and mapped out the places where the body’s fungi is found.

Helping to understand skin conditions

The first study of it’s kind, scientists hope their research will help fight against skin conditions such as athlete’s foot. The study, led by the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, took samples from the ear canal, between the eyebrows, the back of the head, behind the ear, the heel, toenails, between the toes, forearm, back, groin, nostrils, chest, palm, and the crook of the elbow.

They found that a person’s heel can have about 80 different types of fungi on it, while 60 types can be found in toenail clippings. Areas  like the head had the least  varieties of fungi.

Other areas where fungi can be rampant is on palm, forearm and inside the elbow. Lead researcher Dr Julia Segre said:

The data from our study gives us a baseline about normal individuals that we never had before.

“The bottom line is your feet are teeming with fungal diversity, so wear your flip flops in locker rooms if you don’t want to mix your foot fungi with someone else’s fungi,” she said.

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