Is your Gym causing you Fungal Skin Infections?
With the allure of a healthy, trim, and svelte body, you must be a regular at the gym. But, did you know that this temple of health is also a petri dish of thriving microbes?
This revelation sure has you astounded, but like any other hot and humid space, a gym is as much a magnet for skin infecting germs as any other. And how likely are you to come in contact with these skin infections? Well, about as likely as being in contact with any machine, equipment, shower or other items in the gym. With sweaty, heated bodies swapping machines after every exercise, working out at the gym makes you most susceptible to a fungal skin infection.
Scared? Anyone truly concerned about their health would be. Fear not, we have it all figured out for you. Rather than stressing over the inexplicable skin dangers lurking in the gym, we focus on how to make this experience a better one; one without the possibility of the fungal skin infections or any other troubles.
Some of the common fungal infections you can pick up at the gym include
You can simply catch this from any warm, moist surface, so most likely from anywhere in the gym. A superficial skin infection caused by fungi, this infection results in a ring-shaped rash that is red, scaly, and with a clearing in the center. It can occur almost anywhere on your body.
· Athlete’s foot
Another fungal infection caused by fungi thriving in warm damp environments, this infection causes red, flaky, itchy skin on the soles of your feet or between your toes. Walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces has been identified as the primary reason for this infection.
· Jock itch
As the name suggests, this fungal infection is a condition which affects the inner thighs and genital region. This infection leads to an irritable, itchy/scaly red rash on the skin. This is similar to having ants in your pants, which result in consistent itch in the groin area
· Skin yeast
Not truly an infection, but skin yeast causes the skin to develop light-colored spots that may take a few months to resolve. Most active in sweaty and humid environments, skin yeast can be cured by using a good anti-microbial ingredient such as tea tree oil.
· Nail fungus
Caused by the same fungi that cause the athlete’s foot, this infection makes the nails or toes turn yellow, thick, and crumbly. Treated through oral medication, the healing process for this skin infection can take up to a few months’ time.
Other than the fungal infections mentioned above, you can also come in contact with numerous other skin infections (bacterial, viral, and others) that can cause mild to extreme discomfort. These infections include Staph infections, Hot-Tub Rash, Herpes, Impetigo, Plantar Warts, Colds and Flu, and MRSA, among others. To avoid catching these infections, it is of utmost importance that you workout in the gym with certain precautions. Some simple steps to keep in mind while using and after using the gym after been listed below.
To avoid infections at the gym you must:
1. Ensure gym cleanliness
While choosing your gym, make sure that you are aware of the cleanliness routine of the facility that you would be exercising in. As per the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), gyms and locker rooms should be cleaned at least daily with detergents or disinfectants. You should also ensure that the equipment is cleaned before and after use. There should be no damaged outer surfaces of the equipment such as a ripped seat, which would make cleaning the machine a difficult task.
2. Wear loose-fitting clothes
Loose-fitting clothes help dry up the skin faster and thus prevent the accumulation of germs. You should also ensure that you start your workout with clean clothes so that there are no germs already present, which might get aggravated thereon.
3. Shoes are mandatory
Walking bare feet in a gym is another one of the blunders that makes you extremely susceptible to infections. The risk of fungal infection through your feet is exponentially higher in case of public gyms and even greater in wet areas, such as steam rooms and shower areas. You can keep
an extra pair of shoes, flip- flops, or sandals in your gym bag to ensure that you never walk barefoot in a public gym.
4. Safeguard the skin
Since skin is the center of the concern, you need to ensure its complete protection. If there are any cuts and/or wounds on the skin, they should be kept clean and properly covered. A section of exposed skin makes skin infection a greater possibility. You should also avoid using saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs until your wound is completely healed.
5. Disinfect the equipment
You should always consider cleaning the equipment before use. You can either use disinfectant wipes or spray to ensure such hygiene. For additional protection, you can also use a towel as a barrier between your skin and the shared surfaces of the equipment such as benches, holds, or seats.
6. Be stingy with your stuff
Always avoid sharing things in a gym, especially the things that come directly in contact with your skin. Things such as razors and towels should always be personalized when you are working out in a gym. In fact, to avoid any germ infected surfaces, you can also take your own exercise mat. The equipment might be taken care of, but it is usually the gym mats which are used for floor exercises and yoga which aren’t sanitized regularly. Therefore, carrying your exercise mat isn’t a bad idea.
7. Wash or sanitize hands immediately after use
Another common practice that helps you keep your skin dis-infected is sanitizing the hands after gym use.
One of the most important things to take into account when we talk of the gym usage and avoiding skin infections therefrom is a thorough shower. The very first step after you have used the gym is to the change out of the sweaty undergarments and head for the shower, which will remove all signs of germs from the skin.
Also when you have had the shower, make sure you dry yourself up completely as well. The spaces between the toes are a tricky spot which when missed can cause trouble later. And, as soon as you are dry enough, wear your socks first so that you don’t come in contact with more fungi through your feet.
9. Do your laundry regularly
Store your sweaty clothes, swimsuits, and used towels in a separate plastic bag so they do not come in contact with the rest of your stuff. A complete cleaning routine should be followed for such used gear. They should be washed after every use and since heat kills bacteria, they should also be dried at the warmest temperature suitable.
In spite of abiding by all hygiene measures, your health is in your hands. The points above lay a good outline, but detection and avoidance of any filth and germ infestation in a public gym or anywhere you workout becomes your responsibility. Therefore, you should take complete care to not harm your health while sweating out in a gym to stay healthy.
Looking for the right product that can help prevent skin infections is a challenge, considering the multitude of products in the market today. After having used a variety of them, we suggest the Kayos Botanicals Antifungal Soap with Tea Tree Oil & Neem.
The body wash comprises of pure Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint oil, and Aloe Vera, all of which provide a strong defense against various bacteria and fungi. The body wash also refreshes, moisturizes, and deodorizes the body, making it the perfect wash after a heavy workout. Use it liberally under armpits, legs, and feet, and over the rest of the body to experience a complete rejuvenation. Specially created for after workout use, this unisex wash helps nullify the effects of germs contacted during cycling, running, or through any other equipment, you might have used. Made of 100% natural ingredients, this body wash is free of harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfate, and others, and is suitable for all skin types. Get your bottle today and protect your skin against the germs at the gym