What is Skin Flora and How Can I Prevent Skin Infections

Last push towards the postseason

The end of the season can be extremely stressful for wrestlers, parents, and coaches. It is our last effort to give ourselves an edge as we approach our league, state, and national championships. The end of the season also makes us more cognizant of what we eat, our sleep schedule, and how we can avoid injuries. Something else we pay special attention to at this time is our skin health. We check ourselves and teammates to make sure we are avoiding skin infections and able to pass a standard skin check. A lot of the times this is overlooked and unfortunately becomes one of those situations where “it’s not a problem until it’s a problem.” The countless stories of someone being disqualified from competing at a postseason tournament because of a skin infection are all too familiar.

The team at Defense Soap has recently partnered with the NWCA to educate our wrestlers, coaches, and parents on how we can take PROACTIVE measures to significantly reduce the risk of skin infection and ensure that we are passing skin checks for our year-end tournaments.

What the heck is flora and why is it important?

Your skin is made up of natural microorganisms that are called flora. Flora is made up of three main sources:

  • Fungus
  • Bacteria
  • Virus

Skin infections can be fought off naturally by having a healthy skin flora. Occasionally, our skin flora gets out of balance or our skin becomes damaged. When this happens, we become much more susceptible to skin infection. It is for this reason that we advise wrestlers NOT to solely use strong antibacterial soaps. Antibacterial soaps are often harsh and will strip away the bacteria that keep our skin flora balanced, which allows fungal and viral infections to flourish. The bacteria on your skin are necessary in order to compete for space with the fungi and virus, which creates a healthy and balanced flora.

How can I protect myself?

Taking proactive measures to promote healthy skin and prevent skin infections will inevitably result in lower instances, but we need to work together to focus on what we are doing before, during, and after practice to reduce our risk of becoming contaminated.

Before

  • Conduct regular skin checks with coaches or teammates to check areas we can’t see ourselves.
  • Clean your mats daily but also don’t neglect things like wall mats and throw dummies
  • By making your room bright and dry, you create an environment that fungi DOESN’T like to live in.

During

  • Bring wrestling shoes to the room and have a towel soaked in a cleaning solution for wiping anytime you reenter the room, especially after water/bathroom breaks. A rubberized sole cleaning mat can be used as well.
  • Change your shirt regularly during practice. A shirt soaked in sweat becomes permeable and allows infection to pass through clothing and onto your skin.
  • Wear a thick cotton t-shirt or clothing made with performance materials that dry quickly and wick away sweat and moisture.

After

  • Shower immediately after practice in a clean shower area. If a shower is not available, use a body wipe to hold you over until you can get access to a shower.
  • Use a soap intended for daily use with natural ingredients that are known to be effective against fungus, bacteria, and viruses. Avoid harsh antibacterial soaps.
  • Create a generous amount of lather and allow soap to remain on skin for 45 seconds before rinsing off.
  • Pay special attention and make sure to wash the back of the neck and hairline thoroughly as this is a “high traffic” area for infection with the collar tie.

Haulin' home the hardware

By taking some of these measures proactively, we aim to promote skin health and reduce our risk of skin infection. By preventing skin infection, we will keep wrestlers off the bench and on the mat. Defense Soap is rooted in its mission to educate our wrestling community to “defend what you have built” by offering a full product line to prevent and treat skin infection with natural and clinically effective ingredients.  We are a company comprised of wrestlers, making products for wrestlers. The strategic partnership with NWCA will allow Defense Soap to continue to provide relevant content to educate our community and bring us together in raising the bar for the standards we set for hygiene for all wrestlers and in wrestling rooms.