Sports season is here, which means football, two-a-days, cheerleading practice, and more. Athletes are at an increased risk of skin infections, which can have serious consequences.
To help prevent infections, athletes, coaches, and athletic trainers can follow these 10 tips from dermatologists:
- Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed. A cut or scrape weakens the skin’s defense and allows germs that cause infections to enter.
- Prevent blisters to reduce infections. Apply a pad, gel, or spray to areas that routinely blister. To help prevent blisters on the feet, ankles, and hands, consider using specialized gloves and socks or wearing two pairs of socks. Athletes should also make sure that their footwear fits properly.
- Wear moisture-wicking clothes. This helps keep the athlete’s skin dry and prevents germs from growing.
- Wear sandals in the locker room. Wearing sandals or other shoes helps reduce infections on the feet.
- Shower after every practice and game. In addition, athletes should use an antimicrobial soap and wash their entire body.
- Do not share personal care items. Athletes should always use a clean towel after showering and use their own towels, soaps, razors, and other personal care items.
- Wash clothes and towels after each use. Sports bags should also be washed, as germs that cause infections can remain in the bags and grow.
- Disinfect equipment, including protective gear, daily. For proper disinfection, follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
- Perform regular skin checks. Athletes should check their skin daily, especially those in high-risk sports, such as wrestling. Look for any changes, such as cuts, sores, redness, swelling, and pus, and report any changes to an athletic trainer or doctor.
- Never use sandpaper or bleach to pass a skin check. This will cause more damage to the skin and keep the athlete on the bench longer.
Without treatment, skin infections can worsen. If you or your athletes notice anything on their skin that itches, burns, or is infected, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist or sports medicine doctor.
The doctors at Sienna Dermatology offer full-service medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology.
Dr. Mary Moore and Dr. Angel Puryear are board-certified dermatologists with extensive training that believe each patient deserves individualized, comprehensive care, and takes time to make sure that this goal is achieved.
7435 HIGHWAY 6 STE B | MISSOURI CITY, TX | 832-342-9700 | www.siennadermatology.com
A native Houstonian and graduated from Bellaire High School and Rice University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. I then attended Texas Tech University School of Medicine where I was elected the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society in my junior year. I subsequently completed an internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Dermatology at Texas Tech University and served as Chief Resident during my third year. After residency, I worked in a private practice in North Dallas where I was voted by my peers into D Magazine as a Best Doctor in Collin County for 2016 and 2017. During my free time, I enjoy reading, jogging, and spending time with my husband and two daughters. I am thrilled to be back home in Houston to serve my community.