Skin Care for Wrestlers
Wrestling is an intimate sport with lots of skin-to-skin contact that is conducive to sharing infections like ring worm and impetigo. We mop the mats every night before practice with industrial strength disinfectant/virucide and will periodically do skin checks on your wrestlers to head such infections off.
There are several things that the wrestler and parents can do to avoid and control skin infections.
- Keep the wrestler’s nails clipped short
- Wash wrestling clothing after each practice. Knee pads and head gear should be washed/disinfected weekly. Singlets should be washed after each use. See Active Wear laundry detergent for suggested washing instructions (https://activedetergent.com/how-to-clean-wrestling-gear/ ) but other brands may work the same way. The care tag in your gear should govern how you proceed.
- If your wrestler is sick, they don’t belong on the mat.
- Each wrestler should shower or bathe as soon as they can after practice. Antibacterial soap is in order if there is a version that they tolerate well. Defense soap, which contains tea tree oil, seems to work particularly well, but it is quite drying so you might not want to use it every day.
- Another home treatment for your skin is a 15-minute bath with a very dilute solution of household bleach (2.2 percent). This reduces the number of bacteria on the skin, if you use it regularly. For a full-size bath, use 1/2 cup of bleach. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry afterward. Use caution if you have sensitive skin. Some people have an allergic reaction to bleach so try this on a small patch of skin before taking a bath in it.
- If your wrestler has a skin irritation, a itchy patch, or blisters, report it to the coaching staff before practice. It is possible to cover ring worm with an occlusive dressing , but the best solution is to get to a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Open wounds and scrapes like a skinned knee or elbow that you got when you fell in your driveway should be covered to prevent their becoming infected.