If you think about it, the idea of rolling around with another human being is not the cleanest of activities.
Sports that involve a lot of body contact (such as BJJ) are always associated with skin infections like Staph and Ringworm.
It is important that we first try to understand why this association is true, and next is to talk about how to prevent and treat Staph and Ringworm from spreading.
Staph Infection is a cluster of bacteria that can cause illnesses such as boils, food poisoning & cellulitis. A typical Staph infection makes the skin swollen and in extreme cases, can cause scabs and abscess.
Staph can be dangerous because of its ability to cause various diseases (most notably MRSA).
In fact, there have been lots of cases in Mixed Martial Arts and BJJ where matches have been compromised because of this infection.
Ringworm, on the other hand, is a type of skin infection. It typically looks like a dry rash that is red or purple in color. Common examples of ringworm are the dreaded “Jock Itch” and “Athlete’s foot”.
It’s considered less threatening than Staph, but it can be quite irritating as it can spread to various parts of the body if left untreated.
It is critical to know that infections like these thrive in hot, humid environments.
Training BJJ is the perfect breeding ground for these in most cases because training usually involves sparring with different training partners in a closed room.
While we cannot prevent sweating on each other during training, simple things like taking a shower after class goes a long way in preventing the spread of Staph and Ringworm.
Also, NEVER share wet towels during training and always wear flip flops when inside the dojo.
In cases where you notice small red patches on your skin, please DON’T come to class as you might spread the disease to other members of the team.
It’s better to take a couple of days off and have a medical professional examine the area – think of it as your time to focus on rest rather than training.
Staph infection needs to be taken seriously. If you think you have a Staph infection, it’s a good idea to seek a professional immediately. Let the experts handle this for you and just focus on your rest and recovery.
Ringworm can be treated the same way as Athlete’s foot since it’s more or less the same thing. There’s a number of over the counter medicine available to help treat this annoying infection.
Lamisil is a popular antifungal cream that’s used to treat infection of different kinds. By using this cream, it normally takes around 5-7 days for ringworm to clear up.
Training Jiu-Jitsu is challenging enough. Let’s not allow things like these impede our journey to the black belt.
The chances of acquiring Staph and Ringworm significantly drop once proper preventive measures are used.
It really boils down to understanding how and when these infections rear their ugly head and being vigilant in keeping clean at all times.
While getting infected by Staph and Ringworm may be considered “normal” by people in the BJJ community, it’s definitely something that can be prevented, spotted and treated if the warning signs are taken seriously.