Wrestlers – – Especially new ones!!  PAY ATTENTION TO THIS!!

Thanks to Scott Taylor:


One of the biggest issues now in all sports and not just wrestling is different skin issues like ring worm, impetigo, MRSA, staph, etc…. that have become prevalent.
Because of the skin to skin contact and the mats themselves, skin issues are something we have to watch closely in our sport. Plus, this season, the TSSAA & TNAAU is going to get extremely strict about skin issues which will keep your child from being able to compete if they get a skin infection.

Here are some best practices to prevent skin issues. Please follow them…

  1. Try to always shower within 60 minutes anytime your wrestlers have been on the mats.
  2. Use Bar soap and not liquid soap. Dial is the best brand. Defense soap makes a liquid soap that is really good if you really like liquid soaps but dial is cheap and very effective
  3. Use a dandruff shampoo – Selson Blue or Head and Shoulders. It inhibits the bacteria that causes scalp issues. You can use these shampoos as a body wash too.
  4. Use antiseptic wipes .. All the time.. Defense wipes are best brand but a lot of people use baby wipes because they are cheaper, I’m not sure they are as effective but certainly they will help.
  5. Spray headgear down with Lysol at least once a week. Do not put head gear inside of bags!! The reason you see all wrestlers with headgear attached to the outside of their bags is to let them dry out after practice. If bacteria starts to grow in the headgear then rash will spread all over face and head and it can get real ugly real fast.
  6. Wrestling bags.. Clean then out and wash them regularly. Spray them with Lysol weekly. This is the single biggest source of bacteria and skin infections. Wrestlers put wet nasty clothes in their bags with their shoes and close them up and leave them sit overnight it becomes a bacteria breeding factory inside the bags.
  7. Never ever wear your wrestling shoes outside.. They will pick up bacteria from outside and transfer it to the mats. You can buy rubber skins that you can pull on and off wrestling shoes that are great so that your child doesn’t have to take their shoes on and off.
  8. Spray your wrestling shoes with Lysol at least once a week. Again they are a source where bacteria can grow.
  9. Wash knee pads and sleeves at least once a week and spray with Lysol regularly. I think knee pads are one of biggest sources of bacteria transfer because no one ever cleans them.
  10. Never allow your wrestler, yourself or anyone to walk on the mats in street shoes. Again this will transfer bacteria from the outside to the mats.
  11. Always have your wrestler wipe the bottom of their wrestling shoes off with bleach towel or bleach wipes after they have been to the bathroom or locker room during practice. This is VITIAL.
  12. If your wrestler starts to develop a skin rash especially ring worm start treatment with Antifungal cream immediately and I highly recommend taking them to your DR. Lotrim or tinactitin are over the counter creams. I have found that ketoconizole 2% to be the best cream out there but it is prescription. There are a ton of other home remedies but I haven’t found any that really work even though there are people that swear by them. Use the cream regardless of what else you try. Some dr will just prescribe the pills but they are mad expensive and I haven’t found them to be really needed unless you have an infection that won’t respond to the creams. But, talk to your Dr about the best treatment options.
  13. If your wrestler develops a skin infection.. They can still practice as long as treatment has been in place for 72 hours with an Antifungal cream. Please do everyone a favor and hold your wrestler out from practice during this 72 hour active infection window. Missing a practice or 2 isn’t going to be the end of the world and will keep your kid from infecting your entire wrestling room.
  14. Once you return to practice after the 72 hour window please make sure you tape over the skin infection completely as it will still take another 4-6 days for the infection to completely clear. If you see other wrestlers in practice room with a skin infection please ask them to completely tape over it. If the infection is in the hair, wrap tape around the head or get a skull cap to wear until it has cleared. You can’t use to much tape.
  15. If you are taking your wrestler to a competition and they have any skin issues, you will need a signed Dr note stating that you began treatment 72 hours before the start of the competition. Some events require specific forms to be filled out so if you have a skin outbreak, you will need to get the specific form from the tournament director that your Dr will need to fill out. Also, some competitions are starting to ban all kids with skin infections whether they have sign Dr note or not. Check with the tournament directors ahead of time so you don’t waste a trip.
  16. Help clean your clubs mats.. Most clubs will spray and mop their mats daily but it is even more beneficial if it is done before and after each practice. If you are there and don’t mind mopping ask your coach if you can mop and that 5 minutes you spend can help your club greatly reduce skin infections.

Nothing is worse than traveling to a competition and not being allowed to compete. Almost every decent sized event over the last year I’ve seen kids fail skin check and not be allowed to wrestle because of active outbreak. I’ve seen parents come out of the stands during tournaments and refuse to let their kid wrestle because they saw an infection on the other kid. Both times the kid with the infection was thrown out of the tournament and then the tournament was delayed while they mopped the mats. Nationally events have gotten extremely strict about skin checks and I can guarantee you that TNAAU events that they are going to get militant about skin checks this year so please follow the best practices and let’s prevent these outbreaks from happening.

If you don’t know – ASK!!