Beauty may be only skin deep; but don’t let nasty bacteria and fungus get under your skin. Skin infections in athletes are extremely common” and account for more than half the outbreaks of infectious diseases that occur among participants in competitive sports. Participants in organized sports are prone to fungal, viral and bacterial skin infections. Sweat, abrasion and direct or indirect contact with the lesions and secretions of others combine to make every athlete’s skin vulnerable to a host of problems.
Skin infections include athlete’s foot, jock itch, boils, impetigo, herpes infections, and ringworm. However, the most serious is MRSA or methicillin resistant staphloccus aureus. This is a bacterial infection that is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics and can cause the loss of large amounts of skin requiring skin grafts and multiple surgical procedures.
The weekend athlete or those who go to gym or swim in a public pool are at risk for these skin infections.
What should you do?
*You need to keep yourself and your equipment clean. You never know who last used the equipment in a gym. It can be a great breeding ground for these nasty bugs that cause these skin infections.
*Wash with antibacterial soap even if you have to bring your own.
*You can avoid fungal infections by changing your athletic socks and underwear after each use.
*Also as a courtesy to others, wipe down the mat that you use after exercising and wipe down the equipment such as treadmills and stair climbers after you use them. Antibacterial wipes or spray bottles should be provided and used by everyone to clean equipment after a workout.
Bottom Line: there are numerous benefits to exercise and working out. Take a little precaution and make certain you clean the equipment and practice good hygiene after your work out. Your skin will thank you.
For more reading: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/03/health/03brod.html?_r=1