You know it’s proper etiquette to wipe the machines after you use them, but doing so before will help prevent icky skin conditions you can pick up at the gym. Likewise, you should wear flip flops when you walk around to keep your feet clean and sanitary. There are so many gross skin conditions you can pick up at the gym! However, with proper hygiene, you can ward them off. That means showering before leaving and washing your hands well each time you finish with the equipment, in addition to the other items on this list. Here are some of the things you’ll be keeping at bay.
1. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is one of the skin conditions you can pick up at the gym. And it’s probably one of the least comfortable and most painful ones too. You can get this from strutting around the gym barefoot. Never, ever take your shoes off for yoga, showering or while you stand there changing your clothes. This provides a barrier between your foot and the floor and is an ultra easy way to protect your feet.
2. Fungal Infections
You can get a range of fungal infections from the gym. They can occur anywhere on your body that comes into contact with the gym equipment, floor, drinking fountain, free weights, etc. That’s why it’s imperative to shower immediately after you finish your routine and wash your hands often. Keep your hands away from your face too, to prevent the spread of germs.
MRSA is a nasty skin infection that is very hard to treat with traditional antibiotics. It resists most of them, which means it can get worse as your doctor works to treat it. You can sometimes pick it up in health care facilities, but the gym is another breeding ground for it. You can get it from contamination through an open wound, so keep them covered well. You can also get MRSA from shared towels or athletic equipment. Again, wipe before you use it and always use your own clean towel.
Much like athlete’s foot, you can get warts on your feet from wandering around the gym barefoot. Warts are caused by a virus that is pretty contagious. That means you can also get them on your hands, so be sure to be vigilant about hand washing and wiping the machines. Wear flip flops all over the gym and you’re probably safe from ever getting a wart.
This is a form of staph infection and is pretty gross and painful. It causes crusty, painful sores that break out on your skin. You can pick it up from touching things that have been touched by someone infected with the disease or by coming into contact with the sores. If you get impetigo, you’ll need antibiotics to treat it so get to the doctor right away if you suspect it.
6. Acne Mechanica
Unlike traditional acne, this form of it is caused by tight workout clothing. When you exercise in clothing that is too tight and is damp from sweat, the friction can result in this skin problem. Once you have it, it’s hard to get rid of and will likely require a trip to the dermatologist for specialized medication.
7. General Skin Infections
While MRSA is one of the nastiest, there are other skin infections that can be painful or uncomfortable. They range in severity and can be mild or severe. The best way to prevent them is to be sure that any wounds are tightly covered the entire time you’re at the gym. If you have a cut or sore, it’s also a good idea to avoid the hot tub and sauna, which are breeding grounds for the bacteria that leads to skin infections.
Have you ever brought something nasty home from the gym? How did you treat it? I don’t usually work out at the gym, but washing and showering are the things I always make sure to do.