The Trouble with Cotton Socks

A few people on Lymebusters have problems with their socks:

I threw away my shoes and wore old socks and treated my feet with tea tree oil. This seemed to stop the pain.Yesterday I put on a laundered, fairly new pair of cotton sweat socks. I think I got them recently from the Dollar Tree store. Wow, my foot pain came back and feet started peeling on bottom.Also, when I did my castor oil rubs on my arms last night, I started getting out ‘white, cotton looking’ fibers instead of my normal black ones. Like the socks had entered my system.

I was applying a lot of different creams prescribed by the dermatologist and thought that what was happening was that the material from my socks was being caught up with the cream and being drawn into my foot. However, it is definitely being absorbed as a couple of weeks back I wore a pair of black socks with purple heels and toes – that evening when I was getting undressed a purple fiber about an inch long and quite substantial emerged from my heel.

Just a suggestion, but drop the socks into boiling water before ever wearing them, then wash with borax and machine dry

For a while I wore plastic zip lock bags (cut to fit like a sock)over my socks so as not to keep contaminating my shoes. I also started throwing away my socks each day. I have been spending a bundle on socks. […] Now, however, a new situation has developed. It is minor compared to the previous foot infestation. Each night when I take off my white socks to throw them away, there are all these pieces of cotton fiber from the socks in webs between the toes and even balled up knots of sock fiber.It is not the sort of thing one goes to the doctor to show and tell,but each night it strikes me as very odd. First of all, the fiber is not on the top or bottom of the foot where the sock torches the foot but rather it is in between the toes. Maybe a single piece of fiber could go between toes occasionally. But every night to find a network of sock fiber BETWEEN the toes suggests some unaccounted for activity happening on my feet at the toe area.I do not wash these new cotton socks before wearing. I have never washed new socks before the first wearing. I have never had fibers stuck in webs and balls BETWEEN each of the toes. […] Yes, I have worried that the fibers are being drawn into the foot by these microscopic critters. They are definitely pulling fibers out of the new socks and practicing their knitting between my toes.

Our shoes and socks were very infected with the white and black balls and fibers. We got news shoes and Gold Toe socks that are kinda thin with lots of nylon. I spray my feet, shoes, and socks with Woodward’s Diabetic Basics Instant Foot Sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride. This works pretty well but I still have toenail fungus.

My elderly friend with morgs bought some micatin spray from Dermatechrx and sprays it on her clean socks inside out the night before. It was on sale or she would not be doing this. She has clipped all of the cotton linings out of her underpants carefully leaving the rayon or nylon ones and then after these are laundered, soaks them in rubbing alcohol in ziplock bags.

Lots of different and inspired approaches as per usual. I’ve been washing the socks in Borax and changing them a few times in the day but didn’t wash them when new. At night after applying Special No 1 ointment, prescribed by dermotologist, I then apply petroleum jelly to create a seal. This has been quite effective in healing some of the lesions so I’ve tried this during the day too but the tingling persists.

First of all – anything that comes into my house – if it’s fabric it gets sprayed with ammonia. New clothes get washed with a half-cup of ammonia added to the detergent. I don’t have carpets or curtains anymore. No fabric furniture. But do use blankets, and have had to get new mattresses (sprayed with ammonia)Every load of laundry I do gets ammonia in the wash cycle, not just new stuff. And, because I do chores around horses, and they are constantly wiping their noses on me, blowing their noses on me, etc., I buy shirts at the thrift shop. I wash those with ammonia and am just fine with that. No problemo – no itching caused by the thrift shop shirts – ammonia fixes stuff for me.

The socks i have been buying really have a lot of loose cotton fibers and balls on the inside. Today, I picke the stuff off before I put on a pair. Three hours later, I peeled them off and looked inside. All the loose stuff had re-appeared. Much was sticking to my feet and liked the area between my toes. I am coming to the conclusion that these socks are alive.

I was initially infected by new cotton socks right out of the sack that I did not wash first. There is little if any doubt that cotton is one of several of the more ubiquitous vectors for this thing.

I think what we are seeing here is the result of the culture of belief within Lymebusters. Nobody steps forward to suggest to B that it’s quite normal for cotton from new socks to collect between the toes. Nobody tells BLW that his socks are probably not alive, and everyone has experienced cotton balls and fluff on their feet from new socks. Nobody tells H that, yes, the fiber was probably just caught in your foot cream. Nobody tells CM that there actually is rather a lot of doubt that cotton socks are a vector for a novel pathogen.

I think willingness to believe others that some of the above people have, is paired with a willingness to believe themselves. Hence whatever idea pops into their head, they believe without question. Questioning themselves (are my socks really alive?) is tantamount to admitting they might have made some mistakes in other area, and perhaps an indication that they were deluded in some beliefs.

Socks are interesting since most people have two feet. It would be a very simple matter to perform experiments such as wearing a cotton sock on one foot, and a linen sock on the other for a week, and see if there is any difference. You could use this technique to test the various (“different and inspired”) sock treatments, such as ammonia, alcohol, bleaching, borax, boiling etc.

But is seems some people don’t want to investigate, to find the truth. They just want to believe.

This uncritical desire for belief is ultimately damaging their health.