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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Must Know MRSA Infection Myths and Truths For Athletes

MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and it is a prevalent skin infection in athletes. MRSA is caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It is often carried on the skin and lives in the nose. It can cause mild skin infection but in case the bacteria get into the blood it can be a life threatening by causing blood poisoning.

There are several existing MRSA myths and truths that are mandatory to know and shorten your recovery time

Myths

  • Antibiotics will stop your infection.
  • MRSA is only a risk in hospitals.
  • MRSA is not a big deal.
  • Testing is unnecessary.

Truths

  • Proper and acute prevention is the only solution.
  • Common places are even infected.
  • MRSA can worsen and spread quickly.
  • Getting tested is mandatory to determine which antibiotic will work against your MRSA skin infection.

Hand washing is the best way to prevent it. Avoid sharing personal items, use disposable hand towels to dry your hand or else use sanitizer if towels are not available. Common athletic equipment should be cleaned with a bleach-water solution.

Know more MRSA infection myths and truths just by checking video and stay healthy.

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Here is How Athletes Can Avoid Skin Infections

Varied  type of environment and harsh work routine lead athletes to various skin infections. Athletes should pay attention to skin infections at the very early stage or else, skin infections can put them out of the form or ruin their career. While most of the skin infections are mild and treatable, but some can be very serious and even life threatening if left unattended.

Learn How Athletes Can Avoid Skin Infections and Safely Participate in Sports

  • Impetigo  is an example of bacterial skin infection in which affected area can develop into blisters and even you can experience itchy sensation. Adapt good habits to avoid getting impetigo such as: take shower daily, use antibacterial soap and keep your nails short.
  • Athlete’s foot is another skin infection it may produce a blistering eruption, which is quite itchy. You can avoid it by wearing slippers in the locker room or by using antifungal cream. Heat moisture and friction between the skin and the fixed object is a call for blisters in athletes and use of synthetic socks and application of petroleum jelly are best ways to avoid it.
  • Nail infections, hives, herpes and jock itch are other dreadful skin problems in athletes. Bathing after every competition or practice helps reduce bad skin bacteria and fungi on skin. It’s best if you don’t share your personal items like your bath towel, razor or wash cloths with other athletes.

Below is an info-graphic for athletes on ten practices that has to be performed on daily basis to keep skin troubles at bay:

 

 Athletes Can Avoid Skin Infections

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How To Travel Like Pro Athlete

 

Athletes follow very strict routine and they are very particular regarding their diet and hygiene, and it is mandatory to live happy and healthy life. Especially, while flying you need to practice athlete routine to stay fresh and to beat jet lag.

There are tons of things to keep in mind and practice. Get a sufficient and sound sleep before traveling. Keep yourself hydrated. Use ear plus and don’t forget silence is golden. Refresh yourself with citrus fruits and sesame bars. Use alcohol free wipes to take off dust and oil. You can’t carry all possible toiletries with yourself. so buy defense gel travel kit, it is one solution to all the problems while you are on a board.

Fetch more traveling tips and to maintain routine like an athlete on a board refer to the info-graphic given below.

Travel Like Pro Athlete

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Things Athletes Should Do To Deal With Excessive Sweating

Athletes sweat more because they need to and it is completely healthy and good for them. Sweating is a normal condition to control inner body temperature. Sweating during workout in gym or a competition is natural but if there is no valid reason behind excessive sweating you need to pay attention. Follow these tips to control unnecessary sweating:

  • Don’t forget to bath everyday.
  • Start using tea tree oil anti- bacterial soap, which will help in avoiding skin troubles.
  • Do wear cotton shirts and linen, and avoid wearing tight clothes, especially made of synthetic fibres.
  • If you have sweaty and smelly feet, wear cotton sock and change them on a daily basis.
  • Wash your feet with strong anti fungal soap and change your shoes on a daily basis and allow them to dry.
  • An antiperspriant containing aluminium chloride is the best solution to get rid of over sweating.

Sweating can lead to skin infections, rashes and bumps in sport persons. Athletes must try to maintain proper hygiene. If excessive sweating still persists, do visit doctor and seek medical treatment.

Bye-Bye Excessive Sweating share a bigger picture on sweat in the info-graphic above.

sweating in athletes

 

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