Locker rooms are an important part of both sports and general workouts. As fall sports hit their stride, athletes of all levels are spending plenty of time in sweaty locker rooms, changing their gear and showering off sweat and grime after practices and games. Many people at gyms are taking advantage of the public showers in the locker rooms there, too. These showers are convenient—but they also foster infections. The warm, constantly damp environment offers the perfect atmosphere to host foot fungus and other viruses that your skin can easily pick up. So what are you to do?
Well, you shouldn’t have to avoid all public showers. Fellow teammates and family members may not appreciate you smelling like sweat constantly, especially if you don’t have a chance to clean yourself up in your own shower before going out again. You can, however, take steps to protect your feet and minimize the odds of developing a foot infection in public showers.
Here are five ways to help protect your feet from infections in locker rooms:
- Wear shower shoes – Walking barefoot in a public shower or even a locker room can expose you to fungus. Wear flip flops or shower sandals to protect your feet.
- Bring your own soap – Soap that you bring won’t be contaminated by other people or have been exposed to the damp floors.
- Don’t share gear – Don’t share footwear or towels with others, even your friends, in locker rooms or showers. Their feet may be contaminated with infections that they could pass to you.
- Dry your feet thoroughly – Sit down and completely dry your feet before putting on clean socks to make your skin less hospitable to infections.
- Pre-treat your feet – Use anti-fungal powders or sprays on your feet and shoes regularly to kill any floating pathogens you may have picked up.