In early September, six high school football players from a California high school were infected with ringworm. The principal immediately had all athletic areas cleaned and the football coach told all his players to wash their uniforms. But is that enough?
According to the Center for Disease Control, ringworm is common skin infection caused by a fungus. It’s named for its circular shape, which can be red, scaly and ring-like in appearance. Ringworm is spread by skin-to-skin contact as well as clothing, towels, bedding and the surfaces the fungus lives on in showers and locker rooms. Athletes and others who use public showers commonly catch and spread this infection. Animals can also spread ringworm.
Signs of ringworm include:
1. A circular rash, similar to the shape of a ring
2. Redness and itching
3. Scaly, cracked skin
4. Hair loss
Football players and wrestlers have a lot of skin-on-skin contact, making them especially susceptible. The good news is, there are ways you can prevent ringworm.
1. Keep skin clean and dry
2. Avoid sharing personal items like clothing, linens and towels
3. Don’t share athletic gear, pads, protectors, uniforms and helmets. Click here for information on how to disinfect and deodorize wrestling gear and equipment.
4. Keep fingernails and toenails clean and trimmed short
5. Change socks and underwear daily at a minimum
6. Avoid walking barefoot in public showers and locker rooms. Always wear flip flops in these areas!
7. Wear shoes designed to allow air to circulate
8. Wash your hands after handling pets
9. For athletes—shower immediately after practice and games
10. Use a powerful disinfectant spray for sports equipment like Clear Gear on all equipment, gear and uniforms after every use
Most ringworm infections can be treated topically with non-prescription antifungal lotions, creams or powders. More severe infections may require prescription medication taken orally for six weeks.
Visit this link for more information on Clear Gear, the most powerful disinfectant spray for sports equipment.