Skin Diseases in Wrestling: What Every Athlete Should Be Aware Of

Skin Diseases in Wrestling: What Every Athlete Should Be Aware Of

Wrestling is a physically demanding sport that requires athletes to be in peak condition. While athletes focus on building strength, agility, and technique, they often overlook the importance of skin health. In this blog post, we will explore the common skin diseases that wrestlers should be aware of to protect themselves and their teammates. Understanding these skin conditions can help you maintain your performance and overall well-being on the mat.

Wrestling Skin Diseases: An Overview

Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Herpes Gladiatorum Outbreak on Wrestler's Neck - Wrestling Infection - Wrestling Skin Infections Pictures

Ringworm, scientifically known as Tinea Corporis, is a highly contagious fungal infection that commonly affects wrestlers. It manifests as a circular, red, itchy rash with a clear center, resembling a worm's shape. Wrestlers are particularly susceptible to ringworm due to the close skin-to-skin contact during matches and practices.

Prevention and Treatment: Wrestlers should maintain good hygiene practices, such as regular showering, washing their gear, and using antifungal creams. Avoiding shared equipment and mats is crucial to prevent its spread. Be sure to wipe down the wrestling mat after every match/practice as this is where wrestling mat diseases thrive. Look at the image provided above for wrestling skin infections pictures. A crucial step in prevention is ensuring you use our antibacterial body wipes before and after each practice/game. 


Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. It typically appears as red sores that rupture and ooze, forming a honey-colored crust. Wrestlers can contract impetigo through direct skin contact or contact with contaminated surfaces.

Prevention and Treatment: Frequent handwashing, maintaining clean mats, and immediate medical attention are essential in preventing and treating impetigo. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to combat the infection. Again, for prevention, we recommend our disinfectant body wipes. 

Herpes Gladiatorum

Herpes Gladiatorum, caused by the herpes simplex virus, is a highly contagious skin condition common in wrestling. It presents as clusters of fluid-filled blisters on the face, neck, and shoulders. These blisters can rupture, increasing the risk of spreading the virus.

Prevention and Treatment: Wrestlers with active herpes gladiatorum should refrain from practice and competition until the lesions are completely healed. Antiviral medications can help manage the symptoms and prevent recurrences.

Sports Acne

Sports Acne Breakout on Wrestler's Chest - Wrestling Skin Condition

The image above shows wrestling skin infections pictures. Sports acne, often referred to as acne mechanica, is a skin condition exacerbated by the friction and pressure caused by wearing tight-fitting wrestling gear and headgear. It leads to the development of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads, primarily on the areas covered by equipment.

Prevention and Treatment: Maintaining proper hygiene and cleansing the skin regularly can help prevent sports acne. Using non-comedogenic skincare products and avoiding excessive rubbing of the skin are also essential. For sports acne, we cannot stress using our helmet and pad wipes on any clothing or gear you wear. In addition to consistently using our body wipes before and after each game/practice. 

MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus)

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infection on Wrestler's Arm - Wrestling Mat Disease - Pictures of wrestling skin infections

MRSA is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that has become resistant to many antibiotics. Wrestlers are at risk of MRSA infection due to frequent skin-to-skin contact and shared equipment. MRSA infections can manifest as boils, abscesses, or cellulitis.

Prevention and Treatment: Preventing MRSA involves strict hygiene measures, including frequent handwashing, sanitizing equipment, and avoiding direct contact with open wounds or lesions. Prompt medical attention is crucial if an infection is suspected, as MRSA can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Protecting Yourself and Your Teammates

Maintain Proper Hygiene

The most effective way to prevent skin diseases in wrestling is to maintain proper hygiene. Showering before and after practices and competitions, using clean gear, and regularly washing your hands can significantly reduce the risk of infections. Incorporating Matguard's Skin Disease Prevention products into your post-practice routine for cleaning your gear and mats can provide an extra layer of protection

Avoid Sharing Equipment

Sharing gear, such as headgear and singlets, can facilitate the spread of skin diseases. Make sure to have your own, properly cleaned equipment to minimize the risk of contamination.

Inspect Your Skin Regularly

Wrestlers should regularly check their skin for any unusual rashes, sores, or lesions. Early detection can lead to faster treatment and prevent the spread of infections to teammates.

Seek Prompt Medical Attention

If you suspect you have a skin infection or condition, seek medical attention immediately. Early treatment not only helps you recover faster but also protects your teammates from potential exposure.

As a wrestler, your physical health and performance on the mat are paramount. Being aware of common skin diseases like ringworm, impetigo, herpes gladiatorum, sports acne, and MRSA is crucial for both your well-being and the well-being of your teammates. By following proper hygiene practices, avoiding shared equipment, and seeking timely medical attention, you can reduce the risk of skin diseases in wrestling and continue to excel in this demanding sport. Remember, a healthy body and skin are key to success in the wrestling world.