What is it: A bacterial infection, usually caused by streptococcus or staphylococcus aureus. It is the most common skin condition among kids.
Transmission: Easily spread via contact with the infected area, contact with items that contacted the infected area (towels, clothing, etc.), scratching the infected area and touching other parts of the body or other people. More easily contracted if the skin has been irritated or injured by other skin problems, such as eczema, poison ivy, insect bites, or a skin allergy to soap or makeup.
Signs/symptoms: Most commonly affects areas around the nose and mouth, hands, and forearms. Blisters or sores that may eventually burst and leave small wet patches of red skin that may ooze. May see a honey-colored crust cover the affected area.
Treatment: See physician, will prescribe antibiotics--either topical or oral (complete entire prescription!); non-contact for 48-72 hours, as directed by physician.
Prevention: Good hygiene (regular hand washing), do not share personal items (towels, clothing, etc.), keep cuts, rashes, etc. (any break in the skin) clean and covered during practice/competition.
What does impetigo look like?
Ringwork (Tinea Corporis)
What is it: Fungal infection. May occur all over the body. Some infected areas have specific names:
Tinea pedis = athlete's foot
Tinea cruris = jock itch
Tinea unguum = ringwom in nails
Tinea capitis = ringworm in scalp and hair
Transmission: Can get it from people, animals (cows), and the soil. Direct skin-to-skin contact with infected person or animal. contact with objects that contacted the infected area. **INFECTED INDIVIDUALS ARE CONTAGIOUS EVEN BEFORE SYMPTOMS APPEAR!**
Signs/symptoms: Lesion that is clear in the center with a rough, scaly, circular border. May vary in size. Symptoms usually appear 10-14 days after contact.
Treatment: See physician, will prescribe antifungal medication, usually topical (Lamisil, Tinactin, Lotrimin). If severe infection, may need oral medication. Non-contact for 48-72 hours as directed by physician. May take 4-6 weeks for lesions to completely resolve. Continue the medication for 1 week after the lesions have cleared because the fungus may be living under the skin.
Prevention: Very difficult to prevent. Good hygiene and do not share personal items. Shower with antibacterial soap and a medicated shampoo with selenium (Selson Blue) may help to prevent in the scalp and hair. Wash all workout gear daily, and wash knee pads and head gear twice/week.
What does it look like?
What is it: Viral infection. Kinds: Herpes Simplex I (cold sores) or herpes gladiatorum (generally occurs on the face)--herpes gladiatorum known as mat herpes; herpes zoster (shingles)
Transmission: Direct contact with the infected area; contact with mat that contacted the infected area; dirty clothing. **Must have a disruption in the skin to contract!**
**Herpes zoster (shingles) is not contagious. It usually follows the specific path of the nerve it lays dormant in, and generally occurs on the trunk.
Signs/symptoms: cluster of honey-colored bumps with a red base; may feel a tingling or irritation of affected area just prior to outbreaks; fever and general sickness a few days before outbreak. Looks similar to impetigo or folliculitis.
Symptoms occur within 2-7 days of exposure.
Reccurent outbreaks will usually occur in the same place and are generally less severe; fever, sun exposure, and stress can trigger recurrent outreak. Often feel a burning or tingling in area prior to outbreak.
Treatment: Must see physician, will prescribe oral medications, like Valtrex, help to increase healing time, and may prevent recurrent outbreak (start taking a few days before a large tournament or camp). Non-contact until all active lesions are dried up, or as directed by physician. May use a drying agent or astringent to accelerate crusting and drying of lesions. Never completely get rid of the virus (lays dormant in the nerves).
Prevention: Good hygiene. Keep all cuts, rashes, skin disruptions clean and covered during practice/competition. Keep all infected areas covered to prevent transmission to other athletes, even after active sites have dried up. Clean all mats and common areas.
For non-infected athletes wanting to prevent transmission from an infected teammate, take Valtrex as directed by physician (generally 500mg twice/day for 3 days).
Prior to large tournament or camp, take Valtrex, as directed by physician (generally 500mg daily beginning 3 days prior to the starting day and concluding 1 day after).
What does it look like?
Herpes gladiatorum (mat herpes)
Herpes Simplex 1 (cold sores)
Herpes zoster (shingles)