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Athletes Can Be Champs at Fighting Skin Infections

THURSDAY, Oct. 27, 2016 -- Some athletes have a higher risk of skin infections, but there are simple ways to reduce that risk, athletic trainers say.

Athletes who play contact sports such as wrestling, football, soccer, basketball, rugby and lacrosse have a higher risk of fungal, viral and bacterial infections. Gymnasts and people who weight train also have an increased risk because their skin comes in contact with shared equipment and mats, the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) said.

"There are simple prevention steps that will help reduce risk of skin infection from athletics. Student athletes can educate themselves and work closely with coaches as well as athletic trainers and others on their school's sports medicine team to ensure good hygiene practices are in place," said NATA president Scott Sailor in a news release from the trainers' group.

It's important to keep facilities clean to limit the spread of infectious diseases, and for athletes to wash their hands and shower after every sport activity.

Follow good hygiene practices and discourage the sharing of towels, athletic gear, water bottles, disposable razors and hair clippers, NATA advised.

Athletes should check their skin every day, report anything unusual to their doctor and get appropriate treatment.

All clothing, gym bags and equipment should be laundered and/or disinfected each day.

At any given time, one-third of people in the United States has a skin disease, according to the NATA.

More information

The New York State Department of Health has more on skin infections in athletes.

Posted: October 2016


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