4 Pretty Gross Skin Problems You Can Pick Up At The Gym

by | Nov 8, 2013 | Health

Image from yanalya/Freepik.com


Yoga mats. Shower floors. Dumbbells. You could be exposing your skin to a host of germs while you’re going for #gains. (Eeeeeew!) Here, dermatologist Dr Dagmar Whitaker gives the low-down on how to treat the common skin problems you can pick up at the gym.

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1. Warts

They’re caused by a virus. They look like the calluses your feet develop from running, but can be painful and are highly contagious.

How you get it: Showering barefoot in the gym. The virus favours areas of pressure, so will usually start on the forefoot where the skin is thickened. Your prevention move is to

Treatment: If you catch warts early, Occlusal works. Note: SA has a shortage of topical treatments, so a good alternative is Duofilm.

2. Foot fungus

These guys mostly occurs on the toenails, especially in those who’ve fractured a nail while playing sport. It can also occur on the skin, making it dry and itchy.

How you get it: Wearing tight, sweaty shoes, or from bacteria in pools – fungus needs moisture to develop. Foot powder, anyone?

Treatment: Lamisil treats foot fungus – the spray works best.

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3. Staph

No, not millennial lingo. Also known as impetigo, this guy causes crusted red lesions and boils (eew!), usually on the arms and leg.

How you get it: It’s highly contagious and can be transferred by touching infected people or equipment they’ve used.

Treatment: Contact your dermatologist as soon as possible for antibiotics. Or, avoid it in the first place by wiping down gym equipment with wet wipes before you get to reppin’.

4. Acne mechanica

Basically workout pimples – they’re caused by heat, pressure and friction and show up on your shoulders, back and head.

How you get it: Exercising in tight workout clothes or protective gear, as well as sweating.

Treatment: It doesn’t respond well to OTC treatments. Consult your derm.

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