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My Favorite Moisturizer
May 23, 2008 2:08 PM   Subscribe

You may have elbow germs and not even know it. Eeeww! "The crook of your elbow is not just a plain patch of skin. It is a piece of highly coveted real estate, a special ecosystem, a bountiful home to no fewer than six tribes of bacteria. Even after you have washed the skin clean, there are still one million bacteria in every square centimeter." Beware some of these germs may be on your hockey equipment.
posted by Xurando (22 comments total)

 
Have you ever smelt hockey equipment? There is no need for a "may" in that sentence.
posted by srboisvert at 2:30 PM on May 23, 2008


As referenced in the hockey link, cases of MRSA are prevalent as a result of athletic equipment ripe with bacteria infecting wearers and those whom they come into rough body contact. Companies have sprung up, like Gear Clean, to address the issue.
posted by ericb at 2:41 PM on May 23, 2008


Here's the original paper abstract and the full paper in PDF. It's open access (no subscription required) so enjoy!
posted by pombe at 2:41 PM on May 23, 2008


My elbow bacteria moisturizing department is obviously using outmoded technology and is losing the battle with the disgusting eczema-like chunk-flake stump-lesions which scare small children and cut adjacent folk when I eat with a knife and fork.
posted by jimmythefish at 2:50 PM on May 23, 2008


Killer hockey bag

I think hockey bags are like farts: You usually don't mind the smell of your own.
posted by Kabanos at 3:02 PM on May 23, 2008


I had septic elbow (third link) a few years ago. Hurt like hell, and I had a bulge like Popeye only in the middle of my arm for a couple of weeks. The doc couldn't tell me why I had it, but antibiotics cleared it up.
posted by Hogshead at 3:02 PM on May 23, 2008


I clean my hockey gear once a season (the end), whether it needs it or not!

In all seriousness, the bags can get pretty ripe and nasty...I've never been quite sure why it seems a point of pride with some players to never, ever, wash their gear.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:10 PM on May 23, 2008


Yay! I'm a superorganism!
posted by sir_rubixalot at 3:34 PM on May 23, 2008


This is precisely why I lick my elbows clean three times a day.
posted by redteam at 3:40 PM on May 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


as someone with OCD this was just about all needed to make me crack. guess I will start pouring rubbing alcohol over them several times daily.
posted by dawson at 3:48 PM on May 23, 2008


as someone with OCD this was just about all needed to make me crack. guess I will start pouring rubbing alcohol over them several times daily.

Seconded.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:04 PM on May 23, 2008


Muay Thai has a biological attack now.
posted by redteam at 5:04 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Remember, kids! If you or your loved ones have a hockey player, be sure to disinfect him before allowing him into your home! Flea collars are not enough!
posted by cmyk at 5:06 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another reason to cough into your elbow, and not into your hand. I get so grossed the fuck out when people cough into their hand.
posted by autodidact at 5:11 PM on May 23, 2008


In the near future high-end cosmetic companies and spas will market applications of genetically engineered friendly bacteria with superior moisturizing properties.
posted by bad grammar at 5:11 PM on May 23, 2008


It's not clear to me whether these bacteria are just living on the skin, or also in the skin. According to the paper, they reside "at all depths" (as measured after skin punch biopsy), but their collection technique would also get the bugs on the skin, no? Or is it well-accepted that there are bacteria in the dermis? (quite surprise to me).
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:17 PM on May 23, 2008


I'm just happy that someone's found a use for that enigma of a piece of skin.

Oh, elbow skin, you are a delightful mystery.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 5:25 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


And the backs of your knees are good for you too!
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 5:55 PM on May 23, 2008


George Carlin used to have a great comedy routine about swimming in raw sewage as he grew up in New Jersey. It's funny, but the truth is when you challenge your auto-immune system, it gets stronger. And what IS your immune system? A bunch of little teeny weeny tiny living creatures that are fighting other teeny weeny tiny living creatures that are not on your side. This battle is going on every day. On you. Right now.

Hate to break it to you clean freaks, but there's teeny weeny tiny living creatures all over your body. Even inside your eyelids. They crawl and do all kindsa gross nasty things all the time. Some of them HAVE to be there because they help keep you healthy. Not that they mean to. It's a kinda symbiotic relationship. You continue to live, and that gives them a place to live on.

Doctors don't just wear masks during surgery on the outside chance something in the patient might accidentally get in them. The truth is moreso the exact opposite. When being operated on, a patient is more susceptibe to infection and so the doctors and nurses are trying to keep what is inside them from accidently harming the patient any more than the scalpel already has.

You REALLY don't want to know what's going on inside your digestive system. We are so not talking about an antiseptic environment here. Things live on you and in you and it's grosser than gross. Deal.

As for elbows that can be used as weapons? I used to have that problem.

Using skin lotion helps a little bit but what has improved my elbows more than skin lotion is drinking more water. If you have elbows that feel like sandpaper, chances are it means you're a little dehydrated. Increase your fluid intake by trying to drink two litres of water a day, on top of whatever it is you already drink. Cut back on alcohol for a spell if you drink it - cuz alcohol actually dries out the body. I ain't saying QUIT drinking beer. Just cut back a bit and drink more water, until you notice your elbows improving. Skin moisturizer is helpful but it's only treating the symptom. If all else fails, stick your elbow in raw sewage from New Jersey. That oughtta do it.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:17 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


We are legion.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:13 PM on May 23, 2008


George Carlin used to have a great comedy routine about swimming in raw sewage as he grew up in New Jersey. It's funny, but the truth is when you challenge your auto-immune system, it gets stronger.

You're in the wrong place for giving potentially dangerous advice. What do you think this is? Ask meta?
posted by srboisvert at 5:30 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Curiously, "elbow germs" is an anagram for "bowler smeg", an alarmingly common related condition among players in the PBA.
posted by subgear at 7:47 AM on May 24, 2008


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