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7 ways you can contract germs while buying personal products

Photos Logo Photos | Slide 1 of 8: Smiling woman carrying shopping bags through St. Mark

Shopping for a new bikini, a pair of running shoes, or a hot new shade of lipstick? You likely expect to bag some fabulous deals, but you might also be taking home a concoction of microbes that could spread anything from cold sores to a staph infection. “Bacteria can live on dry clothing for three to six months,” warns Philip Tierno, Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Langone Medical Center. In his research, he has routinely found respiratory secretions, skin flora and even fecal flora on clothing. But regardless of how gross it sounds, Tierno says that with a little common sense (wash your hands after shopping, wash your clothes before wearing them), the likelihood of getting sick from a shopping trip is low. 
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