The ironic thing about working out and sweating hard to stay healthy is that the gym is one of the best breeding grounds for some pretty nasty infections. Skin infections in particular, such as athlete’s foot, can spread like crazy in the gym. There are things you can do to help prevent picking up a gym bug, such as:
- Wash your hands before and after using any equipment, including weights, weight machines, balls and even the water fountain
- Bring your own mat for yoga, Pilates and other floor exercise, and make sure you clean it after each use
- Shower after your workout and put on clean clothes
- Use your own towels, razors, soap and lotions
Hand hygiene is considered most important, but one of the other top pieces of advice, “shower after your workout,” has a special risk of its own. That’s because we often fail to cleanse and protect our feet when we shower and dress at the gym. With one in three people suffering from a skin disease that can spread to others, the locker room and shower floors aren’t healthy environments.
To avoid fungal infections related to exercise:
- Wear clean athletic socks for each workout
- Change underwear after working out
- Thoroughly dry armpits and groin after showering
And when it comes to avoiding the dreaded itchy rash of athlete’s foot, make certain to pay special attention washing your feet well, using plenty of soap. Plus:
- Dry your feet and between your toes after you shower
- Consider using a blow dryer to take your feet from damp to dry
- Use anti-fungal foot powder or spray
- Wear flip-flops in the gym shower (Because even though athlete’s foot is most commonly caused by sweat, you can also pick it up by coming into contact with a contaminated floor).
But, if after all your best efforts you still find that you have developed a scaly rash on your feet or between your toes, it’s time to visit Dr. Bucay. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of athlete’s foot.
Call for an appointment today: 210-692-3000.