Gym is, for some, a true happy place where they can sculpt their bodies and blow off steam after a long day. However lurking between the iron, sweat and upbeat music is the unfortunate chance of picking up a skin condition, the risk of any open-bodied public area.

Yes, gyms are public places and with that comes the risk of picking up a gross fungal infection – something you often don’t think about as you see your summer body slowly emerging from the winter version of yourself.

Luckily knowledge is power, and in this blog we will look to provide you with some helpful information on what symptoms to look out for, and even better, how to avoid picking up the infection in the first place.

Staph Infection

This can easily be picked up if you have an open cut or sore, and then make contact with the bacteria. This is transferred easily because it is often spread by touch. Look out for red, swollen and painful areas – they can often resemble a boil. Do not treat it yourself, instead make sure you head to a doctor to drain it – in severe cases you may need antibiotics.

Athlete’s Foot

This is a general term for fungal infections on feet. This infection thrives in warm, moist areas, so you are at a higher risk of contracting it around the pool or in the bathrooms. Symptoms often include pink, flaking skin in between your toes, while it can also cause blisters on the arch of your foot. Unusual dry looking skin on the surface of your foot can also appear. Over the counter medication is usually very effective in treating the problem, however, in more severe cases you should consult a doctor.


This is not really a worm, but instead a fungal infection that presents itself in a ring shape. It can be itchy and resembles a thin worm wrapped under your skin, but there are not many other symptoms that come along with it. This fungus is also happiest in wet environments, so be sure that the machine you use is clean and sweat free. Over the counter medication should clear it up, but if it persists, it is best to see a dermatologist for stronger treatment options.

How To Protect Yourself:

Although there is no way to ensure that you never come in contact with these infections, there are ways you can protect yourself and lessen the risk.

Firstly, always wear shoes or flip-flops when in public areas like in the bathrooms or near the pool.

You should also properly close up any cuts or sores with plasters. Before making use of a machine, clean the equipment, and out of courtesy you should clean it again after use.

Washing your hands, clothes and towel after a workout is essential; while you should also shower as soon as possible once you are done.

Now that you are better informed, you can hit the gym in confidence without worrying about pesky fungal infections slowing down your progress.