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You have heard about drug-resistant bacteria such as some forms of Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria, which begin as sores and lead to skin infections or more serious illnesses, are spread by direct contact or through cuts, nicks, or scrapes. The majority of cases are more annoying to treat than dangerous, but nonetheless you would be wise to defend yourself with these strategies.

 

Lotion up. Bacteria can easily enter dry, cracked skin – which is why applying body cream or lotion every day is recommended.

 

Lay down a towel at the gym. Bacteria multiply in perspiration and body oil, so put down a barrier before plopping onto a locker or gym bench or a chair at the swimming pool. Also remember to disinfect the handles of the elliptical machine, treadmill and stationery bicycle, as well as all other equipment in the gym before starting your workout.

 

Wash your hands after petting your dog. Don’t worry, he doesn’t breed bacteria, but fur can transport the bugs from person to person. It’s safest to keep pets off the couch and the bed too.