What Makes a Good BJJ Soap?

In a perfect BJJ training world no one would get skin infections.

Unfortunately, that’s never going to be the case.

If there’s one thing that should be true it’s that after every great roll session should comes a great shower. For some, the experience of washing your body can be particularly spiritual, very relaxing and even healing. For others a shower after isn’t even a thought. Those usually are the training partners we avoid to work with. When it’s your nose that tells you who to avoid, you know something is wrong

What is that smell? And why do I have to avoid training with it? That smell is from an odor causing bacteria. But odor isn’t the worst of it. Dangerous skin infections common in BJJ like MRSA, staph A, acne, ringworm, jock itch, and athlete’s foot also live on dirty skin, GI’s and equipment can be prevented with proper BJJ hygiene. Usually you’re not the only person who is training, sweating and rolling around on the mat. Whatever you bring with you goes home with the other training partners whether they like it or not.

As you move through the training environment your Gi, your belt, and your skin are accumulating all the particles and microorganisms that others bring to the academy from their lives —and share it on the mat with their training partners.
Jiu Jitsu is about defending yourself

What Makes a Good BJJ Soap

Jiu Jitsu academies are naturally a breeding ground for bacteria fungus and viruses because of their warm humid climate and close quarters training. Proper hygiene is one of the smartest ways to defend yourself. It’s important for Jiu-Jitsu athletes to follow good hygiene practices to your training partners and your academy. Learning and sharing little tips, like keeping your finger and toenails closely trimmed, and to never shower before a training session because it can strip your skins healthy bacteria from fighting infections, can and will greatly reduce the chances of an infection spreading through your academy. Often people ask themselves what is the best soap to use after training BJJ. I’m here to tell you its Defense Soap.

  • Questions to Ask When Choosing The Right BJJ Soap
    When an educated consumer is comparing products they might purchase they compare different qualities to decide which is the better value and the best quality for their dollar. What are the main ingredients? How was it made? How long does it last? Does it have a soft or hard texture? What is the lather like? Does it contain fragrances or chemicals? Are all good questions to ask yourself before purchasing.
  • Making Sense of The Ingredients on The Package
    Smart consumers know to check out the ingredients in the products before they buy them. Not so many people know ingredients are listed in descending order according to its predominance. Which means the ingredients that hold the most weight are at the top. A lot of products contain fancy names for different types of chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives mixed in so they can market the product as being antibacterial. Some of these ingredients are alcohol and triclosan. Defense Soap packs a full 2% of essential oils (1% Tea Tree Oil 1% Eucalyptus Oil) into every bar of soap and leaves out all the unnecessary chemicals and fragrances.
  • Fragrance vs Fragrance Free
    Fragrances can smell great but they are often artificial and leave a residue on your skin. Essentially it’s never really washing off properly which is why you’re able to smell that particular fragrance. Choosing a soap with fragrances in your post BJJ hygiene regimen inhibits your skins natural immune system from fighting bacteria. It also takes up valuable space in the bar itself that can rather be used for a more effective ingredient. Some have skin that are sensitive to soaps with fragrances and have to seek fragrance free soaps to suit there needs. Fragrance free soaps are great for sensitive skin. Defense Soap is fragrance free and has a natural fresh smell of tea tree and eucalyptus.
  • Hard vs Soft
    It’s a little known fact that soft soaps don’t last as long as hard soaps. Surely most of us had the experience of taking a shower and reaching into your soap dish only to pull out a goopy pile of mush. This has to do with the process in which the soap is made. To create a hard soap it needs to be triple milled which is where the soap is pressed between two flat steel rollers, you guessed it, three times. This process squeezes out any excess moisture and effectively distributes the ingredients consistently through the bar.
  • Multipurpose vs Specialization
    Does your soap protect you against fungal, viral, and bacterial skin infection? Ringworm, herpes simplex, and MRSA respectively. Some products are strictly antibacterial or fungicidal and only specialize in targeting one type of pathogen your exposed to when training BJJ. The labeling or ingredients section is where you’ll find the answer. Essential Oils are known for there multiple healing and cleansing benefits. They are powerful enough to help with all fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. Most products that include chemicals often are only targeting bacteria. It’s also smart not to use these products because they destroy ALL bacteria and as we all know we have healthy good bacteria living in harmony with our body we need to take care of. Skin infections are among the highest causes for injury in athletes who grapple. Broken bones and Strains and sprains are the highest then you guessed it. Skin infections. They are definitely worst than breaks and strains for sure because they’re contagious and we carry them and some of us don’t show symptoms. This is because of a healthy immune response on the cellular level of your skin. It’s when there’s deficiency in your immune system that you are more likely to get skin infections, like those that suffer with Psoriasis.
  • Lather and Rinseability
    Our soaps lather is soft and rich. It’s important to have an effective lather because the lather is the delivery system for the powerful ingredients to reach your skin. A rich lather means strong cleaning capabilities. But the cleaning doesn’t stop there. A good soap should rinse off completely. We call this quality rinse-ability. All soaps with fragrances leave behind a residue, which can be harmful to your natural skin flora. For this reason we leave fragrances out. In exchange we add more of our powerful natural ingredients. Our soap has a pleasant natural aroma from our Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil. We’re proud to offer soaps with complete rinse-ability that leaves no residues behind. The result is a truly clean feeling.

Definitely some good qualities an aspiring BJJ artist would look for when selecting the right soap.

In the end

When it all comes down to it I would make sure my soap answers all of the questions above. If my choice came down to two similar products but one company had test done to show its effectiveness and one didn’t. I would trust the brand that provided the clinical studies to its customers regarding its safety and effectiveness hands down. Not many companies do this. Defense Soap does. Major hygiene manufacturers that mass produced cheap soap and its imitations, known as “beauty cream bars ” loaded them with chemicals with no absolutely no studies done on the long term effects on human health. After decades of being viciously marketed to the masses these products containing the harmful chemicals are being found to have severe immune and hormonal effects. Choose the soap that’s natural and honest like greatest BJJ athletes are.

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Everything You Must Know About Female Jock Itch

The myth about jock itch
Did you know that some people could carry the jock itch fungus but not show any symptoms? That’s known as being asymptomatic—not showing the symptoms of diseases. Regardless, jock itch is still very contagious and can still spread it to you! Jock itch has been mistakenly believed to be a skin infection that affects only males. This is false. The truth is a fungal skin infection can occur in anyone. Women’s jock itch is less common but can still occur for many different reasons.

What is jock?
Jock itch received its name because it is very common among people who workout and sweat a lot, like athletes. It is a red itchy fungal skin infection that affects the groin area, inner thighs and butt. Jock itch (Tinea Cruris) can develop directly from the spread of athlete’s foot (Tinea Pedis) or ringworm (Tinea Corporis). This is the skins cellular immune system’s reaction to the dermatophytes that’s responsible for the infection. There are two species of dermatophytes that could be causing the infection, Trichophyton rubrum and Epidermophyton floccosum. Other Trichophyton species and Candida (yeasts) can cause other types of fungal skin infections in the groin are.

 Female Jock ItchWhat are some symptoms of jock itch?
It commonly appears as a red rash with flaking skin. It also comes with a persistent itching and burning feelings on the inner thighs and lower torso. It may feel at ease after scratching but tends to return after a short while. It can also spread to the buttocks and genitals through scratching. A musty odor is common. If the burning is severe, painful and producing a fluid like discharge, that might be the sign of a bacterial infection and should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

Causes for jock itch in women
As noted above, jock itch is caused by the fungus known as tinea cruris. Fungus is thrives in warm, dark & moist areas like the groin area. Tinea cruris in women is usually the result of an underlying skin disease like chaffing of the skin or intertrigo. Chaffing of the skin in women can happen from the result of obesity where two folds of skin rub together causing irritation. Or from tight fitting clothing or underwear.

What are other names for female jock itch?
It’s known around the world as not only jock itch but also other names like vaginal itch, crotch worm, gym itch, crotch itch, groin ringworm and tinea cruris.

Is jock itch contagious?
Fact is jock itch can spread to other parts of the body and other people around you. If you live with your family or significant other you can spread jock it to them easily by direct or indirect contact like sharing exposed clothing, blankets and towels. You can spread it or get it from your training partners, especially if you are a wrestler or grappler. If you have outdoor pets they can also transfer the fungal infection to you because ringworm lives in the earths soil.

Females are more like to get jock itch if:
It’s a very common fungal infection and can occur in anyone especially if you can apply any of these to your own life.
• As an athlete
• Poor hygiene
• Obesity
• Genetics
• Already having athlete’s foot or ringworm
• Live in a warm humid climate
• Sweat excessively
• Wear tight clothing
• Wet clothing
• Not drying off completely after showering
• Stressed immune system
• Sharing personal items with someone who is infected.
• Have pets like cats or dogs

Preventing female jock itch
• Do not share towels or other personal items with others.
• Avoid having sex if your partner has symptoms of a genital rash.
• Wear loose clothes, especially in summer.
• Change exercise clothes daily and wash them after exercising.
• Change underwear daily and men should wash athletic supporters after exercise.

Treating female jock itch:
There are various ways you can treat jock itch. You can put jock itch into remission by effectively destroying the environment in which the fungal infection can thrive. The best form of treatment is prevention. More and more athletes practice good hygiene by fighting the infection naturally. Using antifungal soaps containing high concentrations of natural ingredients like tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil can be effective remedies. Some of these ingredients not only fungal infections but also viral and bacterial infections as well.

Women who have a serious case of ringworm should see a doctor. Depending on the diagnosis you might be subscribed an antifungal cream or antifungal pill. It could take multiple weeks to heal and even months for severe cases. So, if you are an athlete and can’t afford to miss weeks of training and even important competitions its super important to take every measure to keep your body clean and dry as much as possible.

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An Athlete’s Guide To Ringworm

Athlete's Guide To Ringworm

Did you know the three most common injuries among athletes are strains, breaks, and skin infections!

Combat athletes are constantly exposing their skin to warm environments, trauma, blood, sweat and even funky opponents. This is the nature of the sport. Unfortunately these conditions expose the athlete leaving them vulnerable to contagious fungal infections, particularly ringworm.

Cutaneous fungal infections (fungal infections of the hair nails or skin) are very common. According to research by The Fungal Research Trust in 2011.
~25% of the world’s populations, around 1.5 billion people are affected.

  • What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a very common but less severe fungal skin infection. Ringworm is not really caused by a worm. That was a mistake by ancient physicians who thought the circular pattern was really a worm deep down in the tissue. Classified scientifically as Tinea Corporis the infection appears as ring shaped worm on all skin regions accept the soles of your feet, palms of your hands, nails, and groin.

  • Is ringworm contagious and how does it spread?

Ringworm is contagious. You can get it two ways either directly or indirectly. Ways to get it directly is physical contact with the infection or infected person. Ringworm can itch so it’s more likely than not under the nails of the infected person. If you are a grappler, wrestler or anyone who engages in constant physical contact it can be transferred as easily as the touch of ones skin. You can also get it indirectly. That means contact with objects or surfaces that was previously touched by an infected person or pet, such as socks towels, shoes, hats, combs, brushes, bed linens, blankets, phones, gym mats, locker room floors, communal showers, swimming pools, saunas, football pads, hockey equipment etc.

  • How does ringworm start?

Ringworm starts out as a very small red pimple. It’s imperative that you start to treat your skin at the first sign of an infection. The last thing you want to do is spread an infection to your training partners and your teammates. It’s important to have someone take a look at it like an athletic trainer or doctor right away.

If you have ringworm never step into a practice or competition until you are 100% healed otherwise an outbreak can occur. After you have been treated with an antifungal soap or medication the fungus can still be dormant in your skin waiting to spring back up so be sure to shower immediately after practice.

While you’re infected with ringworm you should wash all clothing, towels, bedding, kneepads, headgear, rash guards, and GI’s daily. Your gear can continue to get contaminated daily. If you don’t, it’s like contaminating yourself all over again.

  • What is the cause of Ringworm?

Dermatophytes are the main culprit. A strain of mold fungi that live deep down in the tissue. They are responsible for the cause of ringworm. They are unique because they are able to use keratin as a source of energy and fuel. The cellular response to this is inflammatory allergic reaction creating red scaly round bumps. This is interesting because that limits their environment to grow only on the hair skin and nails. Dermatophytes can still survive for a long period of time on other surfaces like towels or couches or bed lining for some time before being picked up by a host again. Read more causes of Ringworm.

  • How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

When we first get exposed we will never know it because it’s invisible to us but in few cases symptoms of ringworm do appear. Really, it’s up to our skins natural flora or healthy bacteria and immune system to decide to keep that infection imbalance or allow it grow out of balance creating the infection. It’s immune to antibacterial soaps and sanitizers because it is a fungus not bacteria. Actually antibacterial soaps and sanitizers probably do more harm then good.

Scalp Ringworm usually appears 10 to 14 days after contact, and Ringworm of the skin 4 to 10 days after contact. The time between exposure and symptoms is not known for the other types of Ringworm.

  • Other than athletes who is at risk for Ringworm?

Anyone can get Ringworm. Scalp Ringworm often strikes young children; outbreaks have been recognized in schools, day-care centers, and infant nurseries. Scholastic athletes are at risk for ringworm of the scalp, ringworm of the body, and foot ringworm. There have been outbreaks among high school wrestling teams. Children with young pets are at increased risk for Ringworm of the body.

  • What is the treatment for Ringworm?

Ringworm can be treated with fungus-killing medicine. The medicine can be taken in tablet or liquid form or applied as a cream.

More and more athletes have discovered that essential oils can be very effective when used as an anti fungal soap or oil applied directly to the affected area.

Essential oil like tea tree and eucalyptus oils are known for their powerful anti fungal, anti microbial and antiviral properties.

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