3 serious skin rashes for wrestlers

3 serious skin rashes for wrestlers

Is your child a wrestler? Student athletes participating in wrestling are often susceptible to skin rashes.

Some can be serious and contagious. And due to the constant skin-to-skin contact in wrestling, infections are common. If you take the right steps, these infections are preventable, and if caught early very treatable.

According to Dr. David Lessman, a pediatric sports medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., the three most common infections are ringworm (tinea corporis), impetigo and herpes gladiatorum.

  1. Ringworm (tinea corporis), is a fungal infection that can occur anywhere on the body, but most commonly on a wrestler’s head, neck and arms. It thrives in moist conditions and can be contracted from wrestling mats, clothing, towels and even a comb. It appears as a circular rash that is red, scaly and itchy. Most cases are minor and an over the counter topical antifungal medication will take care of it.
  2. More serious is impetigo, which is a honey-crusted, weepy lesion anywhere on the body. This one is highly contagious and a doctor must be seen for a prescription topical ointment or antibiotic.
  3. The third rash is herpes gladiatorum, a virus usually found on the face and neck. The rash appears as a cluster of fluid-filled blisters surrounded by redness. It can be accompanied by swollen lymph nodes. Since antiviral treatment for herpes needs to start immediately, see a doctor.

For each of these rashes, Dr. Lessman says wrestlers need to be temporarily removed from practice and competition as part of the treatment process. This will also reduce the likelihood of transmission to others.

Reduce risk
So how can wrestlers reduce their risk? Dr. Lessman recommends the following tips:

  1. Shower immediately after practice with an antibacterial soap
  2. Wash all of your practice gear each time you use it
  3. Don’t share equipment or towels
  4. Keep your practice facility, locker room, weight room and wrestling mats clean
  5. Know your body; check for rashes weekly.

If you have questions about a rash, Dr. Lessman says to not hesitate to call a physician.

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About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!