Yoga mats. Shower floors. Dumbbells. You
could be exposing your skin to a host of germs while you exercise. Here,
dermatologist Dr Dagmar Whitaker gives the low-down on how to treat the common
skin problems you can pick up at the gym:
problem: Warts are caused by a virus. They look
like the calluses your feet develop from running, but can be painful and are
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.
Treatment: If you catch warts early, Occlusal works. Note: SA has a shortage
of topical treatments, so a good alternative is Duofilm.
problem: Foot fungus 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.
you get it: Wearing tight, sweaty shoes, or from
bacteria in pools – fungus needs moisture to develop.
Treatment: Lamisil treats foot fungus – the spray works best.
problem: Staph, also known as impetigo, causes
crusted red lesions and boils, usually on the arms and leg.
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.
problem: Acne mechanica is caused by heat, pressure
and friction and shows up on your shoulders, back and head.
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
This story originally appeared on
womenshealthsa.co.za - visit the site to read the full version.