Top 5 Skin Infections That Gym Goers Are Vulnerable To & How To Treat Them
Exercise benefits the body in many ways but it also can lead to a number of skin problems especially if you work out regularly in a gym. Exercising indoors is beneficial in certain ways since it reduces the threat of sun damage or skin cancer. However it leaves you vulnerable to another set of less threatening but common skin infections, which if left untreated can cause pain and hinder one’s ability to follow their exercise routine.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 skin common skin problems that people are susceptible to in a gym environment and how you can treat them.
1) Acne Mechanica This is a type of acne that develops in areas that experience a lot of friction. You may be at risk of contracting this type of acne if you exercise regularly wearing tight-fitting outfits made out of non-breathable material. Make sure that you choose exercise clothes made of breathable fabrics, which aren’t so tight fitting.
2) Blisters If you regularly lift weights or run you may develop blisters on your palms or feet. Blisters form when there is too much friction between an area of the body and the surface of the equipment. Never peel off the top layer of a blister and if it ever comes off, cover the blister with some petroleum jelly and keep the area bandaged. If the area around the blister seems to have an angry red color you should get it looked at by a dermatologist since it may indicate an infection. The only way to avoid blisters in the long term is to reduce the friction between your skin and an object’s surface, which you can do by wearing gloves or moisture-wicking socks. If you are a runner then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly between the sock and the shoe before you go for your run.
3) Turf Burns/Road Rash If you don’t use athletic padding you may be susceptible to nasty abrasions appearing on your arms and legs especially if you are constantly in contact with carpets and exercise mats or keep sliding on basketball courts. Use athletic padding to avoid turf burns. Clean and cover the area with petroleum jelly and bandages for faster healing.
4) Fungus/Athlete’s Foot Do you experience a burning or itching sensation on your feet sometimes? If so, you may have athlete’s foot. This is a very common fungal infection that many people regularly contract when working out in a health club. This is because this type of fungus grows very easily in warm dark and moist environments like the floors of swimming pools, locker rooms, showers etc. Some people may find the skin on the sides and soles of their feet unusually dry, scaly or red while others may experience the skin between their toes peeling and cracking easily. Those who contract athlete’s foot are also at risk of contracting toenail fungus. While most cases of athlete’s foot can be treated with over-the-counter medications, if the infection persists you will need to get stronger medication from a dermatologist.
There’s an easy way to safeguard your self against athlete’s foot. Just make sure that you wear socks, sandals or shoes at all times and never go barefoot in your gym or health club.
5) Indoor Tanning Some clubs offer indoor tanning to their customers but these pose serious health concerns. The Tanning Accountability and Notification Act (TAN Act) signed by President Bush in 2007 called for the FDA to examine whether warning labels on indoor tanning devices effectively communicated the dangers of indoor tanning, the chief amongst them being increasing the risk of developing skin cancer due to ultraviolet light exposure. If your health club offers indoor tanning, skip it.
Being aware of skin problems that may arise while you are exercising is the first step towards keeping your skin healthy and beautiful too. You can prevent most of these skin infections from occurring by taking a few simple preventive steps.