Athletes know that keeping their bodies in top condition is key to success on the playing field, but taking care of their skin often gets overlooked.
Sports equipment, shoes, helmets and pads can cause hot and sticky conditions that are ideal for the germs that cause skin infections to flourish.
At SeaMist MedSpa in South Kingstown, we can help Rhode Island athletes and residents treat skin conditions that can accompany playing sports and working out. To learn more or to make an appointment, contact SeaMist MedSpa today.
The American Academy of Dermatology reports that athletes have an increased risk of skin infection. These infections can lead to serious problems that can keep athletes from competing, and in some cases, spread to teammates as well.
Experts recommend that if athletes notice anything on their skin that burns, itches, or may be infected, they should contact a board-certified dermatologist or sports medicine physician as soon as possible.
Athletes, coaches, players and athletic trainers can use these tips to help prevent common skin infections:
- Make sure scrapes and cuts remain clean and properly bandaged: Cuts and scrapes diminish the skin’s defense system and can allow infection-causing germs to enter the body. That can place players, and entire teams, at risk of serious health problems.
- Protect yourself from blisters to decrease the risk of infection: Remember to apply pads, gels or sprays to areas of the body that can blister. To help prevent blisters from forming on the ankles, feet and hands, use specialized gloves and socks. Wearing two pairs of socks also can help prevent blisters from forming. Athletes should always ensure their athletic footwear fits correctly.
- Wear clothes that help keep skin dry. This helps prevent germs from growing and spreading.
- Wear sandals or shower shoes in the locker room. This will help decrease infections of the feet.
- Shower frequently: Take a shower after practices and games, using antimicrobial soap and wash your entire body thoroughly.
- Don’t Share: Don’t share personal hygiene products, such as towels, soaps and razors.
- Keep towels and clothes clean: Wash these items after each use. In addition, wash sports bags that often contain germs that cause infections.
- Keep your equipment clean: Disinfect your protective equipment and other gear. Be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions or proper care.
- Check your skin each day: Do this on a regular basis, especially those who compete in high-risk sports, including wrestling and other contact sports. Check for changes on your body, including new sores, cuts, redness, swelling or pus, and tell your trainer or doctor about any changes immediately.
Officials stress that skin infections can worsen and spread to teammates quickly. Dermatologists can recommend effective and safe treatments to help athletes remain free from skin problems and keep them on the field and in action.
If you play sports or work out on a regular basis, keep these tips in mind so you can continue enjoying the sports you love.
With headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology was established in 1938 and now has more than 17,000 physician members across the globe.