A lot of microbes require warm, moist environment to flourish well. The warm bodies drenched in sweat after a heavy workout or a fight in addition to cuts, bruises and wounds received during the activities make skin an ideal surface for the attack of microbes. These could be bacterial, viral or fungal. The equipment, locker rooms and mats are the areas that spread skin ailments through these microbes.

The top 10 most bugging skin ailments faced by sports persons in their day-to-day life are given beneath:

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Ringworm

Tinea corporis or ringworm is by far the most common skin infection. It is caused by fungus named dermatophytes. It can be seen on the legs, arms, or any glabrous part of the skin. It appears as raised, red rings with a clear central zone. The skin surrounding the ring can sometimes get dry and flaky. Hair loss is also seen in areas of the infection. The infection gets transmitted through skin-to-skin contact with infected individual apart from dirty locker rooms, showers, clothing and mats. The fungus thrives in warm, moist conditions. Sweat and warm bodies of athletes are ideal surfaces for the multiplication of the fungus. Cure is possible but immediate diagnosis and treatment is essential. Cure involves topical application and oral medication in critical cases.

Jock itch

Jock itch also known as Tinea cruris or Dhobi itch is the fungal infection of the groin area, more common in males. It is highly infectious. The surface affected may get enlarged. The infected skin turns red or brown with scaly, peeling skin.  It leads to intense itching and burning sensation in the area of the infection. The fungus multiplies in warm, moist conditions. Tight clothing of athletes develops into the breading ground for fungal growth. The fungus gets transmitted by sharing towels or clothing. Wearing loose clothes and applying fungal powder helps in preventing the infection. Fungus from Athletes foot, another fungal infection can reach the groin area via clothing and cause infection. Treating it as soon as diagnosed helps in warding off the menace.

Athletes’ foot

Athletes’ foot is a fungal infection that causes itchy, scaly and flaky skin in the areas of infection. Also named as ringworm of the foot, Tenia pedis, Tinea pedum or moccaisin foot. The infection is caused by the fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes. It affects the feet and turns the color white especially between the toes accompanied with itchy rashes. It can spread from the foot to the groin and to other parts of the body that usually remain hot and moist. The body heat and sweat is the perfect breading ground for the fungal assault. Anyone who walks barefoot on the affected area or uses infected clothing can obtain the infection. Footwear of an infected person can result in receiving infection. Warm, moist environments such as shared pools and treatment tubs put wrestlers at higher risk of acquiring the infection.

Impetigo

Another skin infection found in athletes is impetigo. Any of the two bacteria: Staphylococcus or Streptococcus can cause this infection. In impetigo, skin appears red or brown akin to a burn that eventually turns into a blister and gets filled with yellow or translucent liquid. The infection is mostly seen on face, legs, arms and trunk. Especially wrestlers are prone to cuts and scraps during their fights. This broken skin paves the way for growth and development of the bacteria. The infection is highly contagious and can get transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. Even using wrestling mats may spread the infection. Topical application of antibiotic is sufficient to treat impetigo in initial stages. At advanced stages, oral medication prescribed should be followed strictly. Otherwise, impetigo can cause serious health problems.

MRSA

MRSA or Methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is also known as oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a bacterium that causes many infections in humans. Initially it appears as a pimple accompanied with redness and swelling around the affected areas of the skin. It then converts into a boil. It is highly invasive and can invade surrounding tissue. Working out with the skin disease can cause rupture of these boils. The thick pus that oozes out of the ruptured boil is highly infectious. The bacterium can spread from gyms, sports equipment and infected clothing. One should stay away from the fighting arena till fully recovered. Usually antibiotics are prescribed by the physician to cure the infection. If the infection enters bloodstream, then it can become fatal. Proper sanitization of the training rooms, weight rooms and rest rooms should be done. Using the best antibacterial soap for mrsa till fully recovered is important.