What you have never been told about the importance of hygiene in sport
Did you know that good sports hygiene is essential? Probably many of us have participated in some kind of sport, whether collectively or individually, and we have felt that fragrance coming from the sports bag or the changing rooms. Sometimes these smells survive for days, especially in backpacks. Well, it’s quite possible that this fragrance is caused by bacteria.
Recent studies have shown that a large number of bacteria can live in sports equipment. Hygiene seems to be the last thing we think about when we play sports. Think of a rugby or football match where the material has been covered with saliva, sweat and blood, which will be used again.
Good hygiene is an essential part of the athlete. If we do not take care of our material or ourselves, we run the risk of contracting some kind of infection, especially in the skin. In this sense, skin infections can be viral, fungus or bacterial, and each and every one requires medical attention, so that they will keep you some time away from sports practice if you do not learn to prevent them.
Skin infections, a real risk
Did you know that poor hygiene after sports can cause skin infections? In truth, one of the most common skin diseases is the herpetic whitlow or herpes of the wrestler. This is one of the most infectious diseases caused by herpes and is contracted basically through skin-to-skin contact. Now, we show you the most frequent infections due to the lack of hygiene in sport:
- Herpes gladiatorum is caused by the herpes simplex virus and is often identified by a set of fluid-filled blisters that may appear a few weeks after initial contraction. Herpes viruses have to be treated with oral antiviral drugs prescribed by a doctor, which can be taken once a day while the infection is present or prophylactically each and every day to eliminate future outbreaks.
- Impetigo is the most common form of skin bacterial infection among contact athletes. Impetigo is identified by a sore that is sometimes filled with fluid and forms a honey-colored crust. The sores may not be painful but they usually itch. Touching or scratching the sores may make it easier for the infection to spread. This skin infection can be treated with topical creams or oral antibiotics that must be prescribed by a doctor.
- Dermatophytosis, more generally famous as , is a common fungal skin infection often seen in athletics. Ringworm is identified by red bumps that are usually circular in shape. This fungal infection thrives eminently in environments that are warm, dark, and humid. Ringworm may be treated with an over-the-counter steroid cream. In severe cases, a prescription may be needed.
In any case, if you notice the presence of stains or dry skin after sport, it is necessary to consult your doctor about the treatment to follow to avoid the worsening of the infection. Always and at all times continue with proper hygiene whatever the physical exercise you practice.
Keys to good hygiene if you practice sport
Skin infections can be prevented with a few simple steps. Follow the sports hygiene tips below:
- Remember to bathe always and at all times with shower gel and water after exercise.
- Never share objects such as gel, towels, and razors. Actually, these are certain habits you shouldn’t do when you go to the gym. Remember to wash the towel you use in the machines on a regular basis.
- Clean your hands regularly with gel and water.
- Wash your sportswear every day you use it for exercise.
- If you are going to start in the gym, keep in mind that the sports equipment you use daily has to be cleaned with a rag or any other cleaning product.
- Make sure your nails are cut to avoid cutting you or scratching the rest.
- Never explode sores on the skin as drainage can be really infectious.
All athletes with skin sores or injuries should see a doctor for evaluation and possible treatment. These individuals should not participate in sports until the injury has healed or the infection has disappeared and can be properly covered to participate. Remember to go always and in all circumstances on the side of caution, if you are not sure of something, do not hesitate to consult.