Prior to any practice or tournament, a wrestler will go through a skin check during weigh-ins and check-ins. Here is how parents and wrestlers, themselves, can help prevent skin conditions from starting, and/or spreading. Note, in most cases, skin conditions include rashes, cuts, and scrapes. If a skin rash is present wrestlers may not be able to participate in practice or tournament. Rashes contaminate teammates and the mats that the club and the high school wrestlers use.
How to Prevent Skin Conditions
In the Shower
1. Do not lather directly under the flow of water. Allow soap to remain on skin momentarily, or take a bath rather than a shower.
2. Use a soft cloth or mesh loofa while bathing, but do not scrub too vigorously as it may cause small abrasions to the surface of the skin allowing penetration by the sources of infection.
3. Wash the back of the neck and hairline thoroughly. The Collar Tie area is responsible for the over abundance of skin infections found. Hands touch everything in the wrestling room, most of all the mats, our bodies, opponent’s body. Everything collected by hands are transferred to the back of opponent’s neck. Wash this area twice.
4. Athlete’s foot is caused by the same Tinea (fungus) that causes ringworm.5. DO NOT share towels and wash towels after each use.
6. Dry off thoroughly.
7. Wear loose fitting clothes to allow your skin to breathe.
On the Mat
1. Carry wrestling shoes to practice and keep them protected from sitting in dirty areas. Placing them in a sports bag. Carrying them to and from practice is recommended. Outside shoes are not permitted in the wrestling room because they carry bacteria, dirt, and road salt during the winter months. When leaving the wrestling room for bathroom breaks, wipe them off before entering back into the room. Use a wet paper towel or cloth before entering the wrestling room.
2. Change sweat soaked gear often during practice. Once a shirt becomes soaked in sweat it becomes permeable. Sweat is a vehicle for infections to pass through clothing and onto skin.
3. Wear a thick cotton t-shirt or clothing made of synthetic fibers that "wick" the sweat away from the body, helping to keep the skin dry.
4. When sitting along the wall, do not play with the mats. Wrestlers often lean with their backs against the wall with their hands at their sides touching the edges of the mats along the wall. The mats are not cleaned or sanitized on the underside.
5. Do not practice with wrestling partners who have skin infections or conditions. Do not practice or participate in tournaments if you, yourself, are infected.
6. Cover and treat any trauma to the skin including cuts and scrapes.
7. When leaving the room always, always, always, consider yourself contaminated because you are. Shower immediately and properly. If a shower is not available use a body wipe to hold you over until you can shower. Wash hands thuroughly before eating if you cannot shower prior to eating.