Common Skin Diseases for Wrestlers

By: Brie Hensley AT, ATC
Safety and Security Coordinator
Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists, P.C.

Skin diseases are a common theme in wrestling, due to the wrestlers having more one-on-one contact with another wrestler than in any other sport. Dealing with skin diseases can be an embarrassing situation for an athlete, but by not telling your athletic trainer, coach, or parent it can turn a minor situation into a dangerous situation. The most common skin diseases found on wrestlers are Tinea Corporis (ringworm), Herpes Simplex,  Impetigo, Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Scabies, and Cellulitis.

The number one way to combat a skin disease situation is to prevent one. Wrestlers need to practice proper hygiene, by showering after practice and washing practice clothes on a daily basis and practice gear on a weekly basis. The second way to help prevent the transmission of skin diseases is to properly disinfect wrestling mats before and after use each day and allowing proper air flow in the wrestling area. Bacteria and virus grow in hot, moist, and dark environments. The third way is to not share towels or personal hygiene products like razors with other people.

If a wrestler does happen to get a skin disease they should speak to their athletic trainer and coach, so they can be taken out of contact practices. The wrestler should get to their doctor as soon as possible, so they can be prescribed a treatment course (i.e. antibiotics, topical cream, and good hygiene) and have the MHSAA communicable disease form filled out. Wrestlers should remain out of practice until their symptoms resolve and are no longer contagious.