ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Preventing Skin Infections While Training Jiu Jitsu

Updated on May 3, 2012

What are the most common skin infections?

Skin infections are always a risk when training jiu jitsu, because bacteria and fungus thrive in moist environments, and can be transmitted from skin to skin contact; the best way to prevent them is by practicing good hygiene.

There are two skin infections that are the most common; Ringworm and Staphylococcus Aureus. Read on to learn how to prevent these skin infections, spot symptoms, and what to do if you find out you have contracted an infection. Both of these infections thrive in warm and humid environments, and excessive sweating can increase your chances of contracting an infection. Keep yourself, and your training partners, healthy by educating yourself about the risks of skin infection that comes along with contact sports like jiu jitsu.

Image Credit

What is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection - not an actual worm.

Ringworm enters the skin through cuts and abrasions, and once an infection starts you will notice a severely itchy pink circle on your skin. The outer edge of the circular will often darken, and give the appearance of a "ring". It could start out by localized itchiness, followed by a red pimple that eventually spreads to a circular pink area.

If you think you might have ringworm you should contact your doctor and ask about an antifungal cream. You need to stay off the mats until your infection is cleared because ringworm is extremely contagious. You should continue to use the topical antifungal cream for one week after the infection appears clear because you could still be carrying the infection.

What is Staph?

Staphylococcus Aureus, or Staph for short, is a type of bacteria that commonly causes various skin and soft tissue infections.

At all times people carry this bacteria on their body, but occasionally, when we have a cut or abrasion, the bacteria can cause a dangerous infection. People can contract staph infections from contact with contaminated objects and surfaces, but most often staph is spread through skin-to-skin contact - When someone touches the infected area they are at risk of spreading the infection.

There are different types of Staph infections and they do not all look the same, but generally there are some symptoms you can look for. Keep an eye on any areas that develop painful, swollen, red pimples, or if you see a wound that has any pus or drainage. If you notice anything like that you should see a doctor immediately because if it is staph you can prevent some serious tissue damage if you catch it early.

the best way to prevent a skin infection is by practicing good hygiene

Tips for preventing skin infections: - best approach is good hygiene

  • Wash your Gi after every training session.
  • Shower immediately after every training session.
  • Wear shoes or flip flops from the locker room to the mat. Never walk barefoot and then step onto the mat.
  • Cover all cuts and abrasions while training - if you can't cover something properly consider taking time away from the mat.
  • Consider wearing a rash guard under your gi, or at the least a t-shirt, for extra coverage, and wash after every class.
  • Use an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial soap after every class - I like Defense Soap.

Defense Soap - The Combat Athlete's Soap

Protect yourself from skin infections with this natural antibacterial soap designed for contact fighters and wrestlers.

This soap is an all natural bar with ingredients that have been proven to have anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Since it is an all natural soap it will not strip your skin of it's normal bacteria to help your skin keep its balance. Using soap like this, and washing your Gi, after every class will greatly decrease your risk of skin infection.

Are there skin infections going around your gym?

Since these skin infections are so incredibly contagious, often there will be a mini "outbreak" at your gym where a few people have reported getting skin infections. If this happens, your gym should take extra steps to protect its students - and the students should be extra diligent to protect themselves and their training partners.

  • Wash the mats often - after every class or training session.
  • Do not roll with an infected person - If you see someone with a rash, or what looks to be an infection, speak up to your instructor and let them handle it.
  • Do not walk on the mats with your shoes - You can track in fungus and bacteria.

Skin Infection Poll

Have you, or someone you know, contracted a skin infection while training?

See results

What do you do if you get a skin infection?

  • Stay off the mat! Skin infections are extremely contagious and you can spread it to your training partners.
  • Covering up your infection is not enough protection to train - You are still putting your training partners at risk by training.
  • Get treatment - that could mean visiting the doctor for a prescription or a simple over the counter cream.
  • Continue taking prescriptions and creams for one week after infection clears - always finish your prescription even if you feel better.
  • Wash your Gi, clothes, towels, and bedding - anything you have come into contact with. Spray down surfaces with something like Lysol.
  • Shower, Shower, Shower.

Anti-fungal Cream for Ringworm

This anti-fungal cream will cure most ringworm infections and relieve the itching and discomfort associated with the condition. As with other over-the-counter treatments, if your symptoms are not improved you should seek medical attention for a stronger prescription.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @CaliforniaGrown: Please contact me at tomcallos at g mail dot com IF you'd like to do a little quick-collaboration on this piece for Mike Swain / Dollamur. You'd be joining Guy at the defense soap company too.

    • CaliforniaGrown profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @tomcallos: Tomcallos â Iâm honored! Thank you for featuring my article on your site and for helping to increase awareness about preventing skin infections. Itâs an important topic everyone should be educated on if they participate in martial arts.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm very pleased to have found your post. At the moment, I'm helping Dollamur Sports Surfaces and Mike Swain Mats ( to put together some quick and easy-to-follow tutorials that can help bring martial arts school owners, teachers, staff members, student, and parents up to speed on what they need to know. Your piece here is an excellent resource. See the work at


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)