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

14 Tips to Improve Your Bone Health

Building a strong skeleton happens all day. From the best ways to exercise to the top foods you should have on your plate, these tips will help fortify your frame.

10 Tips From Masters to Enjoy Your Life More

With these amazing tips even the hardest pessimist will smile. Life is beautiful, so try enjoying it, because you’ll never know what tomorrow will bring. For putting a smile on

8 Warning Signs You Might Have Sun Poisoning

Sun poisoning is a severe sunburn that brings flu-like side effects alongside standard sunburn symptoms. It doesn’t mean you’ve actually been poisoned by the sun. You might not know that

8 Reasons Why Yoga Is Good For Your Health

It Makes You More Flexible Even though the idea of doing yoga sounds scary at first, it’s actually easier than you thought. The first changes you will notice are flexible

Sleep Better With These 4 Essential Oils!

Herbal oils have been used to relieve stress and relax the human body. Fortunately,  modern research continues to support the incredible benefits of essential oils. We’ve all been through periods

7 Most Common Health Problems Veterans Face

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there were 20.4 million U.S. veterans in 2016. Around 9 million of them are registered at VA health services. Some come in

Top 10 Reasons Why You’re Losing Your Hair

Stress “When you have a really stressful event, it can shock the hair cycle, (pushing) more hair into the shedding phase,” explains Marc Glashofer, MD, a dermatologist in New York

Popular Hair Myths You Should STOP Believing

Cutting your hair frequently makes it grow faster “Trimming your hair doesn’t affect growth,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital

How to Rev Up Your Organism After You Turn 40

“Your metabolism may start to decline when you hit 40,” says certified nutritionist, New York Times best-selling author of Radical Beauty, and Well+Good Council member Kimberly Snyder. If you’ve already

6 Signs You Need to See Your Dentist Right Away

If you’re having pain, bleeding, swelling, or other unusual symptoms in your mouth, it’s best to seek urgent dental care before the underlying problem becomes worse, says ADA spokesperson Ana

Scroll to Top