How to Choose An Effective Hygiene Program For Youth Wrestlers – Part1

staph-bacteriaIt’s wrestling season. For some parents of youth wrestlers this could be a frantic time.

Which style of wrestling to choose? What are the best camp to go to?What is the best equipment?

Well, to be honest, none of that will matter if you’re child runs into a nasty case of skin infections. It’s a harsh reality, but harmful microbes are all around us. It’s important for parents and coaches to know how to teach their kids the importance of a strong hygiene regimen and what types of products are better to use and why.

This post will focus on the latter, what types of products to avoid and which ones to use.

The microbes to be aware of are Fungi, viruses and bacteria. Each of the three can come in various forms and from anywhere on your body. Athlete’s foot, jock itch and ringworm are all forms of fungal infections that affect the foot, groin area and body. MRSA, staph, impetigo and acne are forms of bacterial infections. Herpes Gladiatorum or “scrum pox” as rugby players would call it is a type of viral skin infection.

Skin infections generally do not spread through classroom environment. However, transmission of skin infection among student athletes is well documented, and can have a substantial impact on the students and schools. 70% of wrestling infections come from skin-to-skin contact. Giving young wrestlers a strong education in best hygienic practices is key to the prevention of most, if not all, of the above mentioned skin infections.

For starters it’s good to know what products to use in your athletic hygiene regimen and what products to avoid. Going with the antibacterial approach might seem like the obvious and most effective way because killing 99.99% of bacteria would seem like a good idea. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, our skin needs bacteria, they beneficial kind. Our natural skin flora made up of billions of microorganisms that are actually protecting us. They assist in bad bacteria, or fungus from proliferating when we come into contact with them. So killing 99.99 % of bacteria would actually kill most of the beneficial bacteria as well. Throw in the fact that you aren’t only battling bacteria but viruses and fungi too. Antibacterial chemicals have no effect on them. In short antibacterial products are no good for your skins natural flora and should be avoided like the plague.

Then there is the antiseptic and antibiotic approach.

Antibiotic approach means taking some costly over the counter medications that again only target bacteria. Antibiotics can kill and prevent the growth of bacteria while antiseptic prevents the growth and development of various microorganisms without necessarily killing them.

Antibiotics can be used both internally and externally where antiseptic is mostly internally. Antiseptics use different chemical that can be very harmful to your skin like alcohol based ones. Some companies sell athletic wipes using alcohol as its base. One of the worst things you can do for your skin is put chemicals like alcohol and triclosan on it. Triclosan is also considered a pesticide.
In the view of this writer I would recommend looking into natural hygiene products that contain essential oils known to be effective against skin infections. Products like antfungal soap. They are less harmful to the skin and are more conducive to keeping our natural skin flora in balance.

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