July 26, 2019
While the flesh-eating bacteria that has resulted in several deaths nationwide have left people concerned over visiting their local beaches this summer, fitness buffs should know that you can pick up an array of infections at the gym, too.
There’s no denying that the gym is a bacterial hub — pretty much everything is a high-touch area, the equipment is constantly covered in a layer of sweat, and let’s not even get into the weirdness that is covering communal showers.
Mic rounded up a list of the skin infections you can “catch” at the gym that range from “annoying to dangerous.”
The usual suspects, of course, include jock itch, a fungal infection of the groin area, as well as athlete’s foot, an infection that usually starts between the toes. Mic’s list includes ringworm, a non-worm-related infection that thrives on dead tissue, plus staph, warts and MRSA.
Now, for the lesser-known infections. Impetigo, which is caused by staph or strep, results in red sores on the face which may crust and ooze. Another strange-sounding infection is tinea versicolor, a fungus that appears in scaly patches on the skin and may go unnoticed until summertime when the patches change color.
Last, but not least, is “hot tub rash” or, pseudomonas folliculitis, which you can catch from a warm pool or lake, and shows as red or white bumps near hair follicles about two days after being in the water. This infection is particularly relevant as reports came out Thursday that a woman nearly lost her leg from the rash, according to the New York Post.
Of course, gym-goers can also catch the common cold and flu at the gym, in addition to E.coli and hepatitis A, per Better Homes and Gardens.
Learn about the infections on Mic's list in greater detail and how to avoid them here.