Hello and welcome to the Trillium Creek Dermatology blog. I’m Dr. Matt Reedy, and I’m a dermatologist here at Trillium Creek Dermatology.
When it comes to conditioning, agility, strength and discipline, it doesn’t get much better than wrestling. However, this high-contact sport can also pose a lot of potential problems for the skin. I have personally wrestled from a young age and wrestled in college at Ohio University.
With the wrestling season upon us, fortunately, there are a number of relatively simple measures you can take during this season to significantly reduce the risk of skin infections.
Skin infections occur when the skin has been compromised in some way and microbes (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi) make their way in. As you can imagine, a contact sport like wrestling provides plenty of opportunities for breaks in the skin. In a hot and humid environment where microbes can thrive, you have the perfect recipe for a skin infection.
Common Wrestling Infections
Impetigo is a common bacterial infection often caused by the staph bacteria. It often can be seen on the face and upper body as a yellow crusted lesion. These are commonly treated with oral or topical antibiotics as they are highly contagious.
MRSA is another type of staph infection that is notoriously resistant to several antibiotics. It is highly contagious and dangerous. MRSA produces large painful boils on the skin. Antibiotic pills are often necessary, and IV antibiotics may be required with severe infections.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that presents as a red and scaly rash that forms a circle on the skin, hence the name. It’s very contagious and can occur on any part of the body. Ringworm can be treated with topical antifungal creams or oral antifungal pills.
Herpes simplex type 1 is a highly contagious viral infection which can be easily transmitted from skin-to-skin contact. It typically appears as fluid-filled blisters on the skin and can enter the body through any break in the skin. Once infected, the herpes virus will become chronic and typically requires an oral antiviral treatment.
While it’s true that the infections mentioned earlier are easily transmitted, there are a lot of simple and easy things wrestlers can do to protect themselves from them.
- Shower immediately after a workout
- Wear clean work-out gear every day
- Remember to wash your knee pad regularly
- Wipe down your head gear regularly with an antibiotic soap or with small amount of alcohol on a cotton ball.
- Make sure the wrestling mats are being properly cleaned daily during the wrestling season.
- If you think you are getting a skin infection, call our office immediately. We have wrestling forms in office and can get you the proper treatment so you can get back on the mat ASAP.
If you would like additional information, visit TCOhio.com. To schedule an appointment, call us at 330.725.0569.