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Copper Socks May Have Helped Treat Chilean Miners’ Foot Infections
The 33 Chilean miners whoِ wereِ trapped underground afterِ their mineِ collapsed inِ August 2010 spurred anِ impromptu experiment, ofِ sorts, intoِ treatments forِ fungal foot infections.
Socks containingِ copper particles treated theِ fungal infections theِ workers suffered betterِ than anti-fungal creams, suggests a report published today inِ the journal Archives ofِ Dermatology.
Within twoِ weeks ofِ living inِ the hot andِ humid conditions, manyِ of theِ miners began toِ experience skin problems inِ their feet.
One of the study researchers is employed by Cupron, Inc.
Preventing foot fungus
The Chilean miners received theِ socks afterِ being trapped forِ 36 days, andِ were rescued fromِ the mineِ afterِ 69 days.
Upon rescue, threeِ ofِ the miners hadِ athlete’s foot, sevenِ hadِ dry skin onِ the soles ofِ their feet, twoِ hadِ fungal infections onِ their skin, threeِ hadِ itchy blisters onِ their hands andِ feet andِ one hadِ nail fungus.
Overall, theirِ skin condition, especiallyِ on theirِ feet…was extremely good despiteِ 69 days ofِ exposure toِ anِ environment thatِ promoted theِ growth ofِ skin-damaging microbes, theِ researchers wrote inِ their report.
Nineteen of the miners later completed a questionnaire regarding their experience with the Cupron socks.
Those miners reported a significant reduction inِ discomfort, dry skin, irritation andِ scaling afterِ wearing theِ socks.
For instance, 13 outِ ofِ 14 miners whoِ saidِ they hadِ previously experienced dry skin whileِ inِ the mineِ said thatِ the condition disappeared afterِ wearing theِ socks.
More work needed
The findings areِ encouraging, saidِ Dr.
Shasa Hu, assistant professor ofِ dermatology andِ cutaneous surgery atِ the University ofِ Miami Miller School ofِ Medicine, whoِ wasِ notِ involved inِ the study.
For one, theِ miners wereِ notِ assessed duringِ the study, soِ the researchers can’tِ say forِ sure theِ skin discomfort andِ irritation experienced inِ the mineِ were inِ fact related toِ a fungal infection, Hu said.