How Athletes Can Prevent Skin Conditions
Skin infections can have serious consequences, and athletes are amongst those at an increased risk of infection. Without treating skin infections, they can worsen. If you are an athlete and notice anything on your skin that itches, burns, or looks infected, see a dermatologist or sports medicine doctor.
Here are a few tips that coaches and trainers can follow to help prevent infections recommended by dermatologists:
- Cover and cuts and scrapes with a band aid until it’s completely healed.
- Try to prevent blisters from forming on feet, ankles, and hands to reduce chance of infection.
- Wearing moisture-wicking clothes helps to keep the skin dry while sweating and prevents germs from growing.
- Reduce infections on the feet by wearing shoes or sandals while in the locker room.
- Take a shower after participating in a practice or a game, and use an antimicrobial soap on the entire body.
- Refrain from sharing personal care items such as towels, soaps, and razors to aid in preventing infection.
- Wash sports bags, clothes, and towels after every use as germs can linger that may cause infection.
- Equipment and protective gear should be properly disinfected. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Athletes should perform skin checks daily to look for any changes like cuts, sores, redness, swelling, and pus. If any of these occur, see an athletic trainer or doctor.
- Using sandpaper or bleach to pass a skin check will only cause more damage to the skin.