10 Nasty Infections You Could Catch at the Gym

Most of us go to the gym to get into shape and become healthier. Working out promotes good physical and mental well being. And while the gym has proven to make people healthier, sometimes going to a gym could backfire. One such unfortunate situation is when you develop a nasty infection because of it. It must come as no surprise to all of us that the gym happens to be one of the most significant breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria.

Heres a list of 10 kinds of nasty infections you could develop from visiting a gym.

1. Folliculitis



This is a kind of skin condition in which the hair follicle gets infected. It is often a result of sweat and germs. This bacterial infection occurs when the follicle forms a pustule. You can spot one by its characteristic red and inflamed appearance. The follicle often tends to be tender and painful. You can prevent them from developing by wearing sweat-absorbent clothing and using an anti-bacterial body wash to bathe yourself with post your workout session (1).

2. Ringworm



Just the sound of it is enough to scare away most people. Also, known as Tinea, this skin condition is perhaps as gross as it gets. And can often be awfully painful. Despite its name, Ringworm is not caused by worms. Instead, it is caused by fungi. You can contract it when you come in contact with someone who already has the condition (2). Other ways you can get it at the gym are through dirty shower floors, towels, and through any infected surface. You can protect yourself from this skin condition by wiping down benches and equipment before using them and by carrying your towel to the gym and sticking to using it.

3. Jock Itch

Jock Itch


This condition could get really embarrassing. Caused by dermatophytic fungi, this condition is usually easy to spot and treat (3). It can affect both men and women alike and is caused due to friction and heat. You can manage it by using antifungal medicines and keeping the area cool and dry (4).

4. Athletes Foot

Athlete's Foot


It is quite common for a person to experience this condition at least once in their life. Caused by a fungus, this skin condition usually affects the area of skin between the toes. Particularly, the skin in between the little toe at the end and the toe next to it. The fungus can cause the skin to redden (5). This reddened skin is often accompanied by painful cracking and swelling. This skin ailment is spread through direct contact with the skin of an infected person and can be treated by antifungal creams. Remember to use only creams that have been prescribed to you by a medical practitioner. There are several other natural home remedies you could try out. Protect yourself against this nasty infection by dusting some antifungal powder on places where you tend to sweat most.

5. Lice



An infestation of these tiny parasites is bound to put any one-off. These parasites live in your hair and feed off blood it draws from our body (6). This means that any part of the body that has hair, including your armpits and beards, are capable of having lice. You can avoid contracting them at the gym by using your own towels, brushes, and clothing. There are also many FDA approved treatments that can be used to treat them.

6. Plantar Warts

Plantar Warts


The virus causes this nasty infection by the nasty human papillomavirus (HPV) (7). So how would you know if you have? Well, the best way is to inspect your feet after a long day at the gym. If they have cauliflower bumps with black dots, then the chances are that you have it. If you think you have contracted it, then visit a dermatologist at the earliest.

7. Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum


Also known as water warts and are transmitted through direct contact. They look like small bumps that are pink in color and are raised (8). If you squeeze them, which you shouldnt be doing, then a thick white secretion can be seen. These secretions are the most contagious and cause the infection to spread to people around you. If you notice these bumps, then visit a dermatologist at the earliest to seek treatment. These warts can be treated by either freezing, heating, or extracting it and must be done by a trained professional only.

8. Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus


This major human pathogen can be held responsible for a vast number of skin infections that plague the human race. This infection comes with some nasty physical effects such as fever and chills. Tiny bumps on the skin characterize the infection (9). The best way to avoid this infection is by cleaning equipment down before using it.

9. Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus pyogenes


These infections have been recognized for thousands of years now and continue to plague the human race. The main symptoms of this infection are swelling, blistering pain, and fever (10). Anti-biotics can treat this infection.

10. Toe Nail Fungus

Toe Nail Fungus


This repulsive infection is caused by dermatophytes and is the most difficult to cure but not all together incurable either (11). They are about the most common toe infections and can be contracted from dirty, wet shower floors and locker rooms. The best way to prevent them is to carry a pair of bathroom slippers to wear in locker rooms and shower rooms in the gym.

While working out, its important to ensure that you take all the steps necessary to not contract any of these nasty infections. Consult a dermatologist or a medical practitioner if, at any point, you do think you could have any of these infections.

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