Many men hit the gym these days for a better body shape. Sure, it is a good thing to do but many of them do not realise that their bad workout habits can lead to skin problems.
Use this guide to grade your hygiene habits and shield your skin from unsightly infection, like heat rash, eczema, and athlete’s foot.
1. You do not wipe off equipment before using it
The staff at your gym disinfects equipment regularly, but research suggests that might not be enough. Studies show that viruses, like those associated with colds, can live on the surfaces even though the equipment had been cleaned recently. Handles and seats are especially some of the biggest hot spots for gym germs. If that’s not enough to motivate you into an equipment-cleaning frenzy, you can also pick up warts and E. coli from workout equipment.
Use the antibacterial spray available at your gym to wipe down the workout tools you will have contact with. If you’re exercising on weight machines, wear shorts that are long enough to cover your thighs and minimize skin-equipment contact.
2. You hang out in sweaty clothes too long
Sitting around in sweaty gear makes your skin susceptible to tinea versicolor, a type of yeast infection that causes dark brown discolouration on your back, chest, neck, arms, and trunk.
Wet workout clothes can also spell trouble for your pits and pubic area. If they smell worse than usual, a bacterial infection could be to blame. When bacteria attach to hair shafts in sweaty areas, the result is an extra-strong odour plus changes in hair colour and texture.
3. You walk around the locker room barefoot
You’ve probably experienced the itching and burning sensation, between-the-toes type of athlete’s foot at one point or another. But since the infection takes several forms, there are a few symptoms that you may not be familiar with, like a red, scaly infection on the sole and side of the foot or blisters on the bottom of the foot. Also remember that when your feet are wet, you’re more susceptible to unattractive toenail fungus, which left untreated can spread across toes
Wear shower shoes around the locker room and on wet surfaces, like the pool deck. Change out of sweaty socks ASAP and thoroughly dry your feet after you shower.
4. Your shower is too hot
If you’re showering too frequently using water that’s too hot or using too strong of a cleanser, you’re probably drying out your skin. Swimming in a chlorinated pool might also explain why your skin has lately gone flakier.
Take shorter showers with medium-temperature water and apply lotion to your entire body afterwards.
5. You count your swim as a shower
Swimming offers a great total-body workout, but training in a chlorinated pool or open water could wreck your skin. Pool water contains chemicals that swimmers have a higher likelihood of developing eczema (inflamed, red, and itchy patches) anywhere on their bodies. Open water swims in rivers and oceans can also put you at risk of swimmer’s itch, a skin rash caused by an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites.
Shower immediately after a pool workout to wash away chlorine. If you’re swimming in open water, wearing a wetsuit is your best defense against harmful bacteria. Always change out of a wet swimsuit as soon as possible to avoid a case of jock itch, a rash caused by fungal infection.
Source: Men’s Journal