Common Infections You Can Catch at the Gym

You go the gym to for your health—but the gym itself can be a breading ground for germs and bacteria that could make you sick.

Folliculitis

What it is: An inflammation of the hair follicles on your body that may be caused by sweat and heat (heat rash), bacteria, and fungus, among many other causes,” says Ross Radusky, MD, dermatologist at SoHo Skin & Laser Dermatology, PC.

In the case of a heat rash, the pressure from your clothes can choke off hair follicles. Bacterial and fungal folliculitis can be spread by sharing towels and loofa sponges, says Dr. Radusky.

Symptoms: Look for red, sometimes tender bumps around each hair follicle. There may or may not be pus.

Ringworm (tinea corporis)

What it is: A common infection of the skin caused by a variety of fungi. You can catch it from skin-to-skin contact, dirty towels, wet gym shower floors, and other infected surfaces, says Dr. Radusky.

Symptoms: Look for a raised red patch of skin with scale along the periphery. Common areas for ringworm to show up include the chest, back, buttocks, and thighs—but in reality, the rash can be anywhere on your body.

Jock itch

What it is: Jock itch, otherwise known as tinea cruris, is a fungal infection of the groin. Despite the name, it can also affect women (often under the bra line); however, men get it more often because of friction and humidity, says Dr. Radusky.

Symptoms: “The first sign is usually itch,” says Dr. Radusky. “Next look for a light pink or red rash with scaly flakes, usually on the outer edge of the rash.

Athlete’s foot

What it is: “A common fungal infection of the foot that you get from skin-to-skin contact, wet gym shower floors, and pools,” says Dr. Radusky.

Symptoms: Itching is the most common complaint. Look for a raised red rash with scaling (much like ringworm); typically, the sides of the feet and between the toes are prone areas.

Lice

What it is: “Lice is an infestation of the head, groin, or body by wingless insects,” says Dr. Radusky. Note that lice can infest any curly haired parts of the body, including your chest, armpits, eyebrows, eyelashes, and beard. You need direct contact to get the bugs: Hair, brushes, hats, towels, clothing—if they’re from an infected person, tag, you’re it.

Symptoms: Intense itching is most common.

Plantar warts

What it is: An infection of the foot by a type of human papillomavirus (HPV).

Symptoms: Inspect your feet for cauliflower-like bumps that can have little black dots in them. “These are actually little blood vessels the virus hijacks from your circulation to keep it well fed, says Dr. Radusky.

Molluscum contagiosum

What it is: Molluscum contagiosum is an infection of the skin caused by a pox virus. You contract it through direct skin-to-skin contact, pools, dirty towels, and sexual contact, says Dr. Radusky.

Symptoms: Look for small, raised, round, pink, or skin-colored bumps, says Dr. Radusky. “These may be confused for pimples, and when you squeeze them a firm white secretion is seen. But be warned—those secretions are actually the most contagious part of the viral skin rash and you can infect other parts of the body,” says Dr. Radusky.

Toenail fungus

What it is: The most common cause of toenail fungus is distal subungual onychomycosis, the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. And like athlete’s foot, it is commonly contracted from locker room floors and wet surfaces near pools.

Symptoms: You’ll notice a change in the texture of your toenails. Your toenails may become thickened and yellow, and may also have a crumbly texture.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

21 Weight-Loss Tips That Actually Work

Do you want to lose weight but nothing seems to work for you? Try making once again your weight loss plan, but, this time with some pieces of advice from

5 Simple Remedies for Occasional Bloating

Fluid retention, puffiness, or bloating refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid throughout the body. Quite often this extra fluid settles in the ankles, face, hands, legs, and abdomen. It

8 Things That Can Damage Your Liver

Most people associate alcohol abuse with damage to the liver, but other factors can also play a role. These are the health conditions, drugs, and lifestyle habits that can cause

5 of the Healthiest Salads You Can Eat

Do Eat: Greek Salad Registered dietitian Andy De Santis says, “The main strength of the Greek salad is its high monounsaturated fat content which comes from the olive oil and

5 Ridiculous Myths About the Flu

What you need to know about the Flu Shot: The flu vaccine is the first and the best way to protect yourself against the flu, but if you are severely

5 Things That Can Cause Vitiligo

The color of your skin, hair, and eyes comes from a pigment called melanin, which is produced by cells called melanocytes. The skin disorder vitiligo, characterized by white patches of

These Are the Scary Signs of Colorectal Cancer

Unhealthy dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyles have been shown to increase the risk for colorectal cancer. Fortunately, colorectal cancer is largely preventable by maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle and a

7 Worst Things You Could Do to Your Sight

Skipping Eye Exams Ideally, you should get your eyes checked by a specialist once a year. This fact alone can help doctors spot any kind of problems early on. Doing

Why Am I So Itchy? 9 Possible Reasons

Itchy skin can be annoying – especially when it keeps you awake. Itch-transmitting nerves called C fibers lead to a satisfying release when we scratch, prompting us to dig in

Scroll to Top