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Skin Conditions in Wrestling

MUSC Health Sports Medicine
January 18, 2022

By Laren Siefken, ATC, MEd
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

The latest covid-19 surge is a big concern, and rightfully so this wrestling season. This is especially true when the sport requires close contact with teammates and other wrestlers. But let's not forget about skin conditions.

Skin conditions can be common in wrestling. These conditions range from ringworm to impetigo. In some cases an athlete could develop a staph infection including MRSA. Due to the close nature of the sport and practicing with teammates, an infection can affect the whole team. How can you protect yourself and your teammates? Early recognition and good personal hygiene are great preventative methods for these conditions.

It's important for athletes to wash themselves immediately after practices and competition with an antibacterial soap. Make sure your gear and equipment are clean. Coaches need to ensure that your team's mats are sanitized and disinfected before and after each use. Hygiene is truly the most important factor in limiting the spread of those skin conditions.

With a long season and tournaments where you may wrestle individuals from several different schools, it may be difficult not to come into contact with these infections. Check your skin regularly and report and areas of concern to your athletic training staff and coach. It is necessary to remove yourself from contact activities see your physician to begin treatment. The National Federation of High School Sports Associations' Sports Medicine Advisory Committee has a designated skin lesion form that assists in the safe return to sports following infection.