Men's Locker Room Savvy Quiz

Last Editorial Review: 6/18/2008

Medically Reviewed by: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Do you know where nasty things like bacteria and fungi may be hiding? Take our quiz and see how "Locker Room Savvy" you are!

  1. There is little you can do to prevent athlete's foot other than making sure that the gym's cleaning crew cleans and sanitizes the showers and locker room floors regularly. True or False

  2. Tight clothing made from nylon and other tightly woven synthetic material is best for comfort and keeping sweat off the skin. True or False

  3. You should wear a sweatband while you are exercising to keep dirty sweat off of your face to prevent acne. True or False

  4. When you are in the gym, using towels to wipe equipment and your face can prevent the spread of germs. True or False

  5. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout to keep you well hydrated and prevent acne. True or False

  6. Jock itch is jock itch, there is not much you can do to prevent it. True or False

  7. Damp or wet workout clothes will dry in your locker or gym bag as long as they are exposed to air. True or False

Answers to the quiz

1. False. Use an anti-fungal or talc powder on your feet area after you shower, air out your sneakers between workouts, and wear flip-flops to walk around the locker room...those wet floors are popular hangouts for fungi looking for a foot to grab on to regardless of how clean the gym is!

Back to quiz.

2. False. Shorts and t-Shirts and loose-fitting clothes made of cotton or "breathable" fabric are best for physical activity. If you have acne on your arms, back, or shoulders, keeping it loose cuts down on the amount of friction on your body. Friction can make your acne worse.

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3. False. Sweatbands can trap sweat in your pores and provide a perfect place for bacteria to grow and cause acne, so it's best not wear them. Also, wash your face right after you work out to get rid of sweat. This will keep your pores clean and also helps prevent acne.

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4. True. When you're in the gym, using two towels can help to cut down on the spread of bacteria-use one to wipe off the equipment before and after you use it, and one to wipe the sweat from your skin. You don't want to use the same towel to wipe the equipment and your skin!

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5. True. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after physically activity to stay hydrated. In addition to keeping your body working right, it can help prevent acne by flushing out your pores. Also, clean out your water bottle after each time you use it-this will prevent bacteria from growing inside.

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6. False. Wearing a clean, dry athletic supporter or pair of underwear and showering immediately after you work out will help remove sweat and fungi from your skin and reduce the risk of getting a nasty case of athlete's foot or jock itch. Also, when sitting in the locker room, sauna or steam room, sit on a clean towel. Damp benches can be germ-fests of bacteria and fungi that can easily be spread from person to person. If you can, get dressed first, before you sit down.

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7. False. Storing damp or wet workout clothes in your locker or gym bag is an invitation for fungus to grow. Hang your clothes up to dry before cramming them in your locker, and take them home at least once a week to be washed. And don't forget to air out your sneakers between wears to prevent athlete's foot!

Portions of the above information have been provided with the kind permission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

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Last Editorial Review: 6/18/2008