Going to the gym? Good for you. But going to the gym, although part of living a healthy lifestyle, can expose you to all types of germs such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These germs can cause skin infections such as impetigo, warts, or ring worm, but even other infections such as colds and influenza can be unintended consequences.
Exposure is usually in the form of contact with surfaces such as floors, benches, and handles on equipment. The moisture of floors around pools, hot tubs, showers and locker rooms can create a breeding ground for germs. An example would be the viruses that cause warts on the feet.
Taking some simple precautions can make a big difference. Always wear footwear when at the gym, even in the locker room. Always wipe down any handles or objects that you plan to touch. Wipe down after use as a courtesy to the next user. This includes objects such as benches or even mats. Always wash your hands after your workout and take a shower as soon as possible.
Watch this short video from the American Academy of Dermatology.
Enjoy your workout!
Written by Margaret Kontras Sutton, M.D.