If you’re one of those people who doesn’t stroll into the gym shower with a cool pair of slides, you’re about to be scared straight. A man in Texas caught a flesh-eating infection after taking a shower barefoot in his gym. What started as a singular wart grew into five of them, as well as open wounds, according to the Daily Mail. (If you're worried about your own feet, then read about these five other infections you need to watch out for at the gym.)
After many failed remedies and several months of pain, the unnamed man underwent skin graft surgery with fish scales. He’s two months removed from surgery and still another month away from being able to walk properly. A listener of Houston’s 94.5 The Buzz, the man anonymously sent his story and photos to the station in hopes of getting out the good word: Seriously, don’t shower barefoot.
The man was training for a marathon before his plans were killed. At one of his regular gym sessions during his lunch break, he forgot his flip flops and decided to shower anyway so he wouldn’t go back to work smelling foul. Then he developed a hard spot on his foot that began to itch. Eventually, it turned into a wart that a doctor said was a benign tumor caused by HPV. He tried home remedies for six months before finally seeing someone again, and as he underwent treatment, the infection spread significantly. Finally, he had to turn to surgery.
“Do yourself a favor, wear shoes in any public area where there is water,” he said. “The scary thing is, the virus can live for over two years on the surfaces. Take care of your feet so they can take care of you.”
For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.