Meanwhile, in Texas, a Zombie-Footed Man Scares the Hell Out of Fellow Gym Rats

An anonymous Texas man literally caught a flesh-eating viral infection on his foot, and we might never be able to get over it.

The victim emailed his story and a series of gruesome pictures to The Rod Ryan Show, on KTBZ-FM The Buzz, to remind listeners to always wear shower shoes at the gym. With regret, we have included the pictures at the bottom of this story for full effect.

*Warning: This story contains somewhat disgusting images of what can happen if you go barefoot in the gym shower. If you’re squeamish, you may want to turn back now while you still can!

The man reported that he had been training for a marathon at his gym during his lunch breaks. Occasionally, he would forget his flip-flops at home. Setting aside his better judgment, the man decided to use the public showers barefoot.

So he’s jamming out his training regimen, when he notices a small, hard, itchy bump on the bottom of his foot. After doing a little research, he believed that he had contracted your average plantar wart.

Gym Feet, Virus From Gym Shower“Not wanting to impact my training,” he wrote, “I let it go and tried to treat it using any remedy I could find online. I tried duct tape, banana peels, vinegar, and OTC acid treatments with no success.” After 6 months, the man finally enlisted the help of his doctor.

The good doctor treated the wart with cantharidin. Cantharidin is a naturally-occurring chemical produced by several species of blister beetles. When the compound comes in contact with the skin, the skin will blister. This allows new, healthy skin to develop underneath. It’s a fairly common treatment for benign dermal lesions.

Roughly each week for a several months, the doctor would remove the blistered skin, and then coat the fresh skin with another layer of cantharidin. But the treatment sessions, which were extremely painful, weren’t working.

“I couldn’t even put my leg down as the blood rushing to my foot would cause the skin to swell and put me in excruciating pain.”

Virus that lives in Gym Shower, Wear Shoes in Gym ShowerSoon, one wart multiplied to five. With a foot like a bloody domino, the man finally decided to pursue surgery in February of 2017. And, as if this story couldn’t get any weirder, his surgeon used a scaly skin graft cut from a North Atlantic Cod. Yes, a fish. A codfish.

It’s been two months since his surgery, and he’s got another month to go before he can walk again.

The marathoner is using his misfortune to educate fellow gym-goers about the perils of showering barefoot in public places. Apparently, this type of virus can survive for more than two years on wet tile floor surfaces.

“Do yourself a favor, wear shoes in any public area where there is water. This virus thrives in those areas.” Not all heroes wear capes, folks.

The UFAI Education Team

The UFAI Education Team

For almost fifteen years, University Foot and Ankle Institute and their nationally recognized physicians have been providing the most technologically advanced medical care for the foot and ankle with the highest success rates in the country.

As a teaching institution, University Foot and Ankle Institute’s Fellowship Program is among the most advanced in the nation.

We at UFAI are driven to get our patients back to their normal activities with the highest level of function, in the least amount of time, using the least invasive treatments possible. From start to finish, we are with you every step of the way.

The UFAI Education Team works to help empower our patients and website visitors with the most up-to-date information about foot and ankle conditions, treatment options, recovery and injury prevention. Our goal is to pass on truly useful information to our readers.

We hope you enjoy our work and find it of value. Please let us know!
The UFAI Education Team

2 comments

  1. That’s so gross and hope the man is ok 😢

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