Exercising can be pretty disgusting – putting a soaked shirt in a work bag, stringy, sweaty hair in some kind of updo, damn acne … the list goes on. But what's even more alarming than the less than glamorous side of your workout? In your gym lurk the possible infections.
At the risk of emitting an alarmist, one could experience, from the locker, pool deck, benches, and treadmills, all kinds of germs, fungi, sick bacteria, and bacteria that are uncomfortable at best. In one study, the researchers found 25 different types of bacteria in fitness centers, from toilet handles to leg press machines to elliptical trainers. Large.
What can you do about flogging the suit to stay clean? We have six experts ̵
Ringworm (Tinea corporis)
Despite the name, there are no worms present. * Wiping beads from the forehead * The term "ringworm" was created because the fungus appears on the skin in the shape of a ring with a raised rim, scaly texture and the thickness of a worm, "says certified dermatologist Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce , MD, MS, FAAD.
Susan Bard, MD of Manhattan Dermatology Specialists, adds that this fungus is highly contagious and thrives in humid environments, so you're most likely to do so at the gym in the US shower on shared Yoga mats or carpeted stretch areas. ( Why are they still one thing ?!)
"Make sure these areas are properly sanitized with the towels and sprays available at the gym." says Bard Clorox Disinfectant Wipes, Commercially Wounded Hamamelis with Isopropyl Alcohol and Tea Tree Oil are all good disinfectants, but whatever the gym is for will work.
However, if you get ringworm Not necessarily because of the foam roller in your gym. Barden notes that it is also possible to get a ring worm out of the ground, to share a towel or a bed with someone who carries the mushroom, or even if you cuddle up to the puppy when he's been abandoned.
What to Do : Bard says that this is likely to be treated with a topical cream such as clotrimazole or terbinafine. However, if a larger area is affected or extends to the scalp (referred to as "tinea capitis"), your skin may also prescribe an oral regimen. Antifungal shampoos can preventively help to keep the infection away from the scalp.
Athlete's foot (Tinea Pedis)
An Athlete's Athlete's Foot is probably the most common infection that you can experience in the gym. Geddes-Bruce explains that it is actually caused by the same fungus as the ringworm. It is only on the feet and toes and can be transferred to the toenails. "It is an itchy rash that is usually red, inflamed and flaky, it is highly contagious and can be caught anytime you walk barefoot, in open shoes or wet socks," says Podiatrist Velimir Petkov, owner of Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey.
"To prevent the athlete's foot from gaining a foothold, avoid walking barefoot and keeping your feet dry," says Petkov. The fungus thrives in warm, wet environments. Therefore, he suggests to regularly wash and dry feet, change socks after exercise, wear shoes in all public areas of the gym and give time to the training shoes before they are reused, and regularly clean the gym bag and wear flip-flops in the shower. Do you have it all?
Petkov adds that your trusty rubber flip-flops are not enough to completely prevent an athlete's foot. Because the shoe itself can be warm and moist, creating a perfect breeding ground. The solution? Wear it under the shower, but then wash it with warm water and soap.
What to do : If you get treatment is the same as for ringworm. Since it is harder to treat once it has spread to the toenails and normally requires oral medication, it is best to take preventative measures. If has spread to your toenails, make sure that you put your socks in front of underwear and underpants to prevent the infection from – oh please, no – your groin
Skin Yeast (Tinea Versicolor)
"It's not really an infection, and it's not contagious or dangerous, but is very common in sweaty conditions," says Bard. "The yeast produces a bleaching agent that leaves bright spots on the skin that can itch and take several months to dissolve." It was blooming with sweat, therefore most often in people who live in humid environments and people who are in their sweaty clothes, says Donna Hart, FAAD, of Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas.
What to do: To give your skin the best chance of being free from fungus, use an exfoliant containing an antimicrobial ingredient such as tea tree oil or zinc. However, if you already have skin yeast, Hart says that dermatologists may suggest using an anti-dandruff shampoo on your skin, as it often contains antifungal selenium sulfide or zinc pyrithione.