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Five Skin Infections You Could Catch At Your Local Gym

- 22nd June 2017

When you head to the gym every day, all you really think about is your workout, the progress you will be making, and how good you are going to feel once you’re done. Catching an infection is probably the last thing on your mind.

But, it could happen.

Think about it. On an average, there are about 50 people who use the same gym, the same locker room, the same shower room, and the same gym equipment every day. That’s a lot of sweat and germs floating around. Well, that’s exactly where the infections come from. That’s why, hygiene matters.

Here are some of the most common infections you could catch at your local gym.

1. Ringworm:


Like the name suggests, this infection looks like a ring carved on your skin. It is a fungal infection that spreads across the top layer of your skin in the shape of a ring. You might discover one anywhere on your body and it is usually accompanied by an itch or rash.

The type of fungus that causes the ringworm breeds in wet and damp places. So, the next time you sit on a mat or bench, make sure it’s not wet.

This is how you treat it:  

Visit a dermatologist. Your doctor may prescribe you a clotrimazole       cream, like Lotrimin. This will kill the fungus that’s the culprit.

2. The Athlete’s Foot:

Ring Worm

This is simply another name for a ringworm on your foot. It may show up on the soles of your feet, or around the cracks of your skin between your toes. You may experience an annoying rash accompanied by itchy blisters if you have the athlete’s foot.  

The fungus that causes the athlete’s foot thrives on moisture. It is advisable to not walk around the locker room in your gym barefoot.

This is how you treat it:

Apply ointments such as Lotrimin or Tinactin on the infected areas for relief.

3. Staph:


Blame a bacterium named staphylococcus for this infection. It is a rare one, but can become serious if it’s not treated well. When you have a staph infection, you have little red bumps on your skin. These bumps are warm to touch, get swollen and eventually fill with pus.

Staphylococcus gets transmitted through open cuts on your skin. Avoid sharing your towel or walking barefoot on a dirty floor.

This is how you treat it:

Antibiotic ointments and tablets can rid you of this infection.  

4. Folliculitis:


This is another name for a staph infection in the hair follicle on your skin. If the bacteria responsible for the staph infection enters your hair follicle, you get folliculitis. Just like the case of a staph infection, folliculitis shows up as red, pus-filled, and itchy bumps on your legs and chest.

Just like the fungus of the ringworm, the folliculitis bacteria feeds on moisture and dampness. Make sure the equipment you use in the gym is not sweaty.

This is how you treat it:

Use an antibiotic OTC Bacitracin ointment on the affected areas. You will be better off if you don’t shave before your workout. You can protect your skin by washing it with antibacterial soap or an acne cleanser with benzoyl peroxide.

5. Plantar Warts:

Plantar Warts

A little parasite called the humanpapilloma (HPV) is responsible for this infection. Plantar warts look like little, skin-coloured bumps on your skin freckled with tiny black dots. These warts always occur in clusters.

Plantar warts usually show up on the soles of your feet or the palms of your hands and you are most likely to contract them from contaminated gym equipment.

This is how you treat it:

Apply an ointment called Compound W that contains salicylic acid directly on the wart.  

A man from Texas recently posted some nasty pictures of some warts he contracted from his local gym. He got infected because he walked barefoot, didn’t bother much about hygiene and left his wounds untreated for a long time. This could happen to you, but now you know better. 

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Five Skin Infections You Could Catch At Your Local Gym