Can Your Yoga Matt Give You Herpes?

A reason to skip the mat?

Can Your Yoga Matt Give You Herpes? Pexels

Could your shared yoga mat give you herpes? A US Surgeon thinks so.

Dr David Anthony Greuner has issued warning that herpes, a virus more commonly associated as coming from sexual contact, could potentially be picked up from dirty mats.

"Making skin contact with a dirty yoga mat covered in germs and bacteria can lead to skin infections, acne, toenail fungus and even transfer of the herpes virus and staph and strep infections in susceptible individuals,” he said in a blogpost.

But what’s the truth in this?

"If you swab a yoga mat you probably are going to pick up viruses and certainly funguses," says Dr Seth Rankin, a GP and chief executive of the London Doctors Clinic told the BBC.

"If you were doing yoga on a naturist farm you'd certainly want to be very careful," he says, since herpes is usually spread through mucous membranes or broken skin.

"But where people are wearing Lycra or normal gym clothes the chances are incredibly slim," he adds.