The Newest Member of your Gym…MRSA

Take it from your Plainfield doctor: MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and is showing up at a gym near you.

MRSA is a dangerous staph infection that most commonly presents itself with skin lesions or abscesses that are sometimes mistaken for a spider bite. Unlike most staph infections, MRSA is resistant to some antibiotics, so it can be difficult to get rid of and hard to treat. Because MRSA is spread through person-to-person contact or contact with personal items that have been contaminated (towels, athletic equipment, etc.). Athletes and those who visit the gym frequently can be at risk. Those who play contact sports such as wrestling and football should also take precautions to avoid infection.

Although the health benefits of working out greatly outweigh the risk of contracting MRSA at the gym, we at Advanced Integrative Medicine want you to stay healthy! With a little prevention you and your family can sweat it out at the gym without worry. Here are some tips taken from to reduce the spread of infections in the gym and the locker room:

Scrub up.
Wash hands for at least 15 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub sanitizer before and after your workout.

Wipe it down.
Use antibacterial wipes or solutions provided by your gym to wipe down equipment prior to using…and after use.

Cover your cuts.
Cover any nicks or wounds with a clean, dry bandage until healed. MRSA loves to sneak into openings in the skin.

Keep to yourself.
Do not share personal items. (Tell your kids!)

 Use a barrier.
Keep a towel or clothing between your skin and shared equipment.

Hit the showers.
Shower after your workout!

Don’t play dirty.
Wash all athletic clothing after each use.

If you suspect that you or your student athlete has a MRSA infection, please make an appointment at our office immediately!