Ringworm is a skin condition caused by fungi called dermatophytes. It’s usually passed through human-to-human or animal-to-human contact, though you can occasionally get it from objects that an infected person has touched. It’s easy to treat, but you may want to prevent yourself from getting it in the first place.
Wash your hands often. You’re likely to catch ringworm after you’ve touched another person or animal with the disease. It happens when you shake hands with an infected person or pet an infected dog. You should always wash your hands after touching an animal, but also periodically throughout the day.
Wear flip flops in gym locker rooms and public showers. The moist atmosphere in a locker room or shower allows the fungus to grow. If another person there has the disease, they could leave it on the floors. Wearing flip flops protects your feet.
Wash all clothing after use. This is especially true of your workout clothes, which can pick up the fungus in the gym and harbor it until you put them on again.
Keep areas that many people use clean. For example, you should make sure that gym mats and equipment are clean. If this is something that is not typically under your control–as in a public gym–you can bring your own supplies to wipe down the equipment before you use it.
Pack well before going anywhere. You don’t want to have to share a towel or hair brush with someone else. Be sure that you have everything you need.
Shower after playing contact sports. You are constantly touching others when you play this type of sport, which can spread the disease from person to person. Showering soon after the game can wash away the fungus, before it has a chance to settle on your skin.
- washing hands image by Julia Britvich from Fotolia.com