Keeping Gym Clothes on After a Workout Can Lead to Serious Negative Health Effects

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After a hard workout, the last thing we want to think about is all the post-workout work that goes into showering, changing, and getting cleaned up.

But it turns out if you're going from spin class to Target and then tackle cleaning the house without a change of clothes, you could be setting yourself up for some seriously nasty health issues.

Cosmopolitan reports that the consequences of working out then hanging out in your gym clothes could lead to anything from a few extra zits to a serious fungal infection.

"The no. 2 enemy of skin is oil," says ZO Skin Health founder and dermatologist Zein Obagi, MD. "Whenever you're working out, you're increasing oil production, so you want to make sure you wash your face and body immediately after a workout."

If you don't, you could be battling cystic body acne, conjunctivitis, bacterial infections, fungal infections, inflamed hair follicles and more.

happily grey abs
(Photo: Happily Grey)

The sweat, which attracts dirt and dust, along with increased oil production work together to form a perfect breeding ground for acne. You could also be staring down a serious case of pink eye because the bacteria that accumulates on those sweaty clothes doesn't just stay in the places you sweat most.

"If you've ever left the gym with a red eye or woken up with a swollen eye the next day and wondered how you got it, it is possible that the gym and your clothes has transferred bacteria into your eye," says dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD.

"Not only can you introduce new bacteria to your body by touching weights, treadmills, and lockers at the gym, keeping those clothes on allows those bacteria to grow. This increases your risk of an infection, such as staph, which can be dangerous if you have an open injury," Dr. Engelman said.

Hanging out in your tight, wet, warm gym clothes long after your hot yoga session has ended also means the scent lingers, too. Not to mention, the rubbing of the bacteria-ridden material against your legs, back and shoulders can cause folliculitis or acne type lesions caused by inflammation of the hair follicles.

If you can't avoid having to go from the gym to work, errands, or brunch, make sure you pack a clean change of clothes and some face and body wash. Try to make time to hop in the shower before you head out, but if you're tight on time at least give your face a quick splash of water and change out of those ultra-comfy leggings.



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