How To Protect Yourself From Ringworm When Practicing BJJ
As a martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) involves close contact with other practitioners. While this is part of what makes it such an effective form of self-defense and exercise, it also increases the risk of infection with fungi like ringworm. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself from this highly contagious infection while studying the art of BJJ.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of ringworm and how to protect yourself from them while practicing BJJ. Make sure to bookmark and save this essential guide as you never know when you may need it. Prevention is best but we'll also share some tips on how to treat an infection if you do become infected. First, let’s discuss what ringworm is and why it's such a concern in grappling sports...
What Is Ringworm? (Why Is It A Problem For Grapplers)
Ringworm is a highly contagious skin infection caused by a type of fungus called Tinea corporis. It usually presents as an itchy, red rash on the skin that may form circles or patches. It is not actually caused by a worm, but rather by a type of fungus that can easily spread from close contact with other people or by coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.
In the context of BJJ, ringworm is a common issue due to the close contact involved between practitioners. Ringworm can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact and by sharing mats, clothing, and other personal items. Even if you are very careful in following good hygiene practices, it is important to remember that ringworm can still be passed on quite easily.
How To Protect Yourself From Ringworm When Practicing BJJ
The best way to protect yourself from ringworm is to practice good hygiene. It is also important to wear freshly laundered BJJ gear that is made of breathable and moisture-wicking materials such as Submission Shark BJJ gear. This will help to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable while on the mats. Plus, who doesn’t want to look fresh and clean on the mats?
Having a bottle of tea tree oil and extra mat cleaner in your drawer or bag is always a good idea for any Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Tea tree oil has great anti-fungal properties, so it's a great natural disinfectant to help keep your mats and gear clean and prevent ringworm spores from spreading. You can use it to spray your gi, rash guards, and mats before and after use.
In addition to this, wash your gi and other items regularly and use sanitizing wipes between BJJ sessions to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination with ringworm. We'll go over the importance of this in more detail later in this article.
Gym owners should also keep an extra bottle of both hand soap and mat cleaner in their locker rooms and regularly clean mats with a disinfectant that can kill fungal spores. Waiting til the last drop before ordering fresh supplies won't do. Even just one session with a contaminated mat can be enough for the infection to spread.
Step By Step Guide On Preventing Ringworm In BJJ
Now that we went over the basics, it's time to really get into the nitty-gritty of preventing and treating ringworm. By going through the following section, you'll learn all the essential steps to take for protecting yourself from ringworm when practicing BJJ.
Step #1 - Become Aware
The first step is to check your skin regularly and take a shower after every practice. Ringworm can be spread through contact with infected skin or clothing, so it is important to take the time to check your skin and wash off any sweat before you practice.
If you do notice any suspicious spots on your skin, it’s important to take action right away. See a doctor or dermatologist to get the infection diagnosed and treated as early as possible. You should also avoid contact with other people during this time to reduce the risk of spreading the infection.
Ringworm presents itself as the name implies as a circle or patch of red, scaly, and itchy skin. The rash can be very uncomfortable and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the nails and hair follicles. However, early onset can be more difficult to detect. It may be misinterpreted as allergies, eczema, or psoriasis and must be diagnosed by a doctor.
Step #2 - Wear The Right BJJ Gear
It is also a good idea to wear full-length rash guards and shorts or spats during practice. This will help keep your skin covered and reduce the chances of infection due to direct contact with other practitioners. A fresh and clean (or at least washed) rash guard should be worn each practice. Make sure to wash your Gi (uniform) after every session as well. This may require having multiple pairs of BJJ gear to rotate through.
Luckily, Submission Shark has you covered! Shop for high-quality BJJ gear to keep you looking fresh and clean on the mats. These luxury products are designed with athletes in mind, with a focus on comfort, durability, and style. By sporting a fresh and clean look, healthy hygiene habits can be reinforced. If your old BJJ gear is wreaking havoc on your skin, it’s time to upgrade and keep yourself protected while rolling.
With moisture-wicking fabric and a fitted design, Submission Shark jiu-jitsu gear is the perfect choice to ensure you look and feel your best while on the mats. As a fungus, Ringworm loves moisture and warmth, so it is important to pay attention to the fabric your gear is made of. Make sure you are wearing high-quality BJJ gear that will keep your skin dry and free from infection.
Step #3 - Clean Mats In between Sessions
Pay special attention to any areas of the mat that have a high concentration of sweat such as heavy rolling spots. Rather than waiting for the end of the day to clean off the mats, try using a disinfectant every few hours to clean these spots and prevent any bacteria or fungus from spreading. This is especially important if your gym runs multiple classes a day with different athletes.
Step #4 - Gym Bathrooms and Showers
In addition to the mats, it is important to keep the bathrooms and showers clean. Use a mild cleaner with antibacterial properties to ensure the bathrooms are clean and free from any fungus. It is best practice to encourage everyone in the gym to wash their hands after using the restroom and before and after class. This is especially important for preventing the spread of ringworm but also other illnesses such as colds and flu.
Step #5 - Clean Gym Bags and Equipment
At the end of each practice, it is important to clean all equipment including your gear bags. Take the time to wipe down any surfaces that have come in contact with sweat or infection and make sure to keep your gym bag separate from other people’s belongings. This will also help prevent the spread of ringworm and any other bacteria or fungi.
If training equipment is used such as strength and conditioning equipment, ensure it is wiped down and disinfected between each use. This will help reduce the spread of bacteria and fungi in the gym.
Step #6 - Change Between Sessions
If let's say you are training in the mornings, taking a break for lunch, and then rolling in the afternoon, it is a good idea to bring a change of clothing and BJJ gear. This will help reduce bacteria on your skin and prevent any potential infections from spreading. It will also help keep you feeling fresher for longer so that you can give 100% in each session.
Step #7 - Washing Bath Towels and Bed Sheets
Reusing the same bath towels and bed sheets can result in an accumulation of bacteria and fungi over time. Make sure to wash all bathroom and bedroom linens regularly, preferably after each use. This will help keep your skin clean and free from infection.
Step #8 - Avoid Sharing Personal Items
Always use clean face towels and avoid sharing mats, clothing, and equipment with other practitioners. If you do need to borrow someone’s equipment, be sure to disinfect it before and after use.
Step #9 - Routine Check-Ups
Finally, it is a good idea to visit your doctor for regular check-ups. This will help you identify any illnesses such as ringworm early and allow for the proper treatment before any infection spreads further.
Sometimes you can't see ring worm develop as it may begin on the back or other areas of the body where you can't see. Make sure to tell your doctor if you practice BJJ and follow their advice on how to keep yourself healthy while rolling.
Why Ringworm Should Be Addressed Immediately
Ringworm is a highly contagious infection that can remain dormant on surfaces and spread quickly throughout the BJJ community. Therefore, it is important to address any potential signs or symptoms immediately. This includes rashes or other skin irritations that may be present near joints or on the scalp, face, hands, and feet.
Early detection and treatment can help prevent it from getting worse and spreading to others. The most effective treatment for ringworm is antifungal medications, which can be taken orally or applied topically. It is also important to practice good hygiene and keep your mats clean to reduce the risk of infection.
In addition to early detection and treatment, it’s important to prevent the spread of ringworm in BJJ by avoiding close contact with those who have been infected, sharing towels or equipment, and washing hands regularly. If you suspect that someone may have contracted ringworm, it’s best to inform them immediately so they can take appropriate steps toward getting treated as soon as possible.
The spread of ringworm within the BJJ community should not be taken lightly since its effects can be long-lasting. With proper precautions and early detection, this infection can be easily prevented. By following the steps outlined above, BJJ practitioners can help keep themselves and their teammates safe from the spread of ringworm.
The Importance of Keeping The Gym Clean To Prevent Ringworm
Out of courtesy to your fellow classmates and to protect yourself, it is important to take extra steps in keeping the gym clean. As ringworm can live on surfaces for up to several months, all mats, equipment, and other surfaces must be disinfected regularly. This can be done with a diluted bleach solution.
In addition, good hand hygiene is important to prevent the spread of ringworm. Practitioners should always wash their hands before and after practice and avoid touching their faces or skin during BJJ classes. Showering before and after-class hygiene reminders can also be a good way to reinforce this important behavior.
Finally, it is essential that people who are already infected with ringworm stay away from training until they have completed their treatment. As an added precaution, those who have recently been infected should wait a few weeks after treatment to resume training. Remember that spreading infections can cause missed competitions, so it is always better to be safe than sorry!
Can You Train With Ringworm?
No, training Brazilian jiu-jitsu or any other close contact sport with ringworm is not a good idea. As mentioned above, the fungus is highly contagious and can easily spread to other practitioners through direct contact or contaminated objects and surfaces.
Even cross-training such as MMA striking can spread the fungus, so it is important to avoid any contact with other people while you are infected.
Solo Drills Are Acceptable
If you need to train while infected with ringworm, it is best to stick to solo drills. This ensures that the fungus does not spread and allows for a safe training environment for everyone involved. Solo drills are an effective way to stay in shape and can also help maintain technique.
Basic warm-up drills and movement exercises can also help keep you active while still respecting the need for social distancing.
You Can Also Watch Videos
Another great way to stay in the game while infected with ringworm is to watch instructional videos. There are many online resources available to help improve your knowledge and technique, so you can get a better understanding of the techniques you need to work on.
Watching instructional videos will provide valuable insight into improving your BJJ game without risking the spread of infection.
Stretch & Focus On Recovery
Finally, it is important to take time out of your training schedule to focus on stretching and recovery. This will help reduce the risk of injury and make sure that you are in peak shape when you are ready to return to competition. Taking care of yourself during this time is essential to remain healthy while battling ringworm.
At the end of the day, having a health and safety-first mentality is the best approach for any athlete.
What To Do If You Believe You Have Ringworm
If you think you may have ringworm, it is important to seek medical attention right away and avoid contact with other people. Your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication to help clear up the infection and reduce the risk of spreading it further.
Even after your symptoms have cleared up, it is important to continue using good hygiene practices such as showering immediately after practice and avoiding sharing mats or equipment with others.
If you do get a ringworm infection, make sure to inform your gym. In most cases (hopefully), gyms will require that ringworm be treated and cleared up before allowing the practitioner to return to training. This is important to prevent the spread of infection among other members. Cease training immediately. Don't be in denial and think that you can still train.
It is also important to keep the gym clean by wiping down mats and equipment after each use. This will help reduce the chances of another person getting infected with ringworm in the future. Professors and gym owners are responsible for this but even students can help in this process by wiping down their own training area after training.
Holistic Treatments For Ringworm From BJJ
It's paramount that you understand that while ringworm is highly contagious, it can be easily treated with holistic treatments. Proper hygiene and a holistic approach to treatment can help prevent the spread of infection and provide relief from the symptoms. Some holistic treatments for ringworm include:
- Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil can be applied directly to the infected areas of the skin and has antifungal properties that can help kill off the fungus.
- Garlic: Garlic is also a natural antifungal and can be used to help treat ringworm. Simply crush a clove of garlic and apply it directly to the infected area.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used to help dry up the rash and reduce itching. Simply soak a clean cloth in diluted apple cider vinegar and apply directly to the affected area.
- Diet: Cutting out sugar, processed foods, and other unhealthy items from your diet can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from the symptoms of ringworm.
- Stress Reduction: Reducing stress can help boost your immune system and fight off infection, so it is important to make sure you are taking the time to practice self-care and relaxation.
- Topical Probiotics: Probiotics can help promote a healthy balance of bacteria on the skin, which can reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with ringworm. Although Ringworm is a fungal infection, some evidence suggests that probiotics can help fight off fungal infections.
- Sunlight: Sunlight is a powerful antifungal, so spending time in the sun can help reduce inflammation and symptoms associated with ringworm. This is because ringworm typically grows in moist, dark places so exposing it to sunlight can help kill off the infection.
Now, none of this should be taken as medical advice. As with all skin conditions, it is recommended to seek medical attention if you believe you may be suffering from ringworm. infected, make sure to follow the advice of your doctor and practice proper hygiene to avoid spreading it to others. With these simple steps, you should be able to clear up the infection in no time and continue enjoying your BJJ training.
Canceling Events, Seminars, Competitions Etc.
It sucks sitting out. Injuries are a common reason but infections can also be a reason to stay away. Besides good hygiene and avoiding contact with other people, it is important to cancel any events or seminars you were planning to attend.
In the case of a competition, it is important to let the organizer know that you are infected so they can take appropriate measures to protect the other competitors. The last thing you want to do is spread infection and make it worse for everyone.
Seminars may have to be appreciated from the sidelines. Away from everyone else. Or this can be a time to take time off completely. The last thing you want to do is give your guest professor ringworm!
Reading more Submission Shark articles or shopping for brand-new gear for your return can be a productive way to stay engaged in the sport. Plus, you'll allow your training partners to appreciate your new style rather than comment on your ringworm absence...
Ringworm From BJJ Training (FAQ)
If you are someone that is struggling with ringworm or are cautious (with good reason!) these FAQs should help.
Q: Can ringworm be spread through Jiu-Jitsu?
A: Yes, ringworm can be spread through Brazilian jiu-jitsu contact. It is highly contagious and can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact, shared clothing, and equipment, or even by touching an infected surface. It is important to practice proper hygiene and not share items with other practitioners to minimize the chances of infection.
Q: How long does a ringworm infection last?
A: The duration of a ringworm infection can vary depending on the severity and how quickly it is treated. Generally, it will take anywhere from 7 to 10 days for the rash to clear up completely. However, if not treated promptly, it can linger longer making it important to seek medical attention if you suspect an infection.
Q: What can I do to prevent ringworm while training BJJ?
A: The best way to prevent ringworm while training BJJ is to practice proper hygiene. This includes showering before and after each class, wearing clean clothes and flip-flops, using a separate towel for your face and body, avoiding sharing mats, clothing, and equipment with other practitioners, and cleaning any equipment that you use. Keeping your training environment clean and dry can also help to prevent the spread of ringworm.
Q: Is there anything I should do if I think I have ringworm?
A: If you believe you may be infected with ringworm, it is important to seek medical attention right away and avoid contact with other people or surfaces until you have been assessed.
Additionally, it is important to practice good hygiene habits while the infection is present to prevent it from spreading to others. Taking steps such as showering after each session (and before class), avoiding sharing mats or equipment with others, and not training if your skin has any open sores can help minimize the risk of spread.
Remember, even if you are taking all of the right steps to prevent ringworm, it is still important to seek medical attention if you think you may be infected. With the proper treatment and a little extra caution, you should be able to continue enjoying your BJJ training without worrying about infection!
Q: Should you scratch the itch from the ringworm?
A: No, it is important to not scratch the itch from ringworm. This can cause further irritation and make the infection worse. If you do experience an itching sensation, it is recommended to speak with your doctor can help to provide further advice on how best to manage the itching.
Q: How long before I can begin training again after being infected with ringworm?
A: The amount of time it takes to heal from a ringworm infection varies depending on the treatment you receive and the severity of your infection. Generally, it is recommended to wait at least 10-14 days before resuming BJJ training. This allows enough time for the skin to heal from any blisters or scabs that may have formed.
Additionally, if you still experience any itching or burning sensations during this time, it is best to avoid contact with other people or surfaces until the infection has completely cleared. This is to help ensure that you do not spread the infection to others during training.
Q: Is it possible for someone to have a recurrence of ringworm after they have been infected?
A: Yes, someone can have a recurrence of ringworm even after they have been treated. This is why it is important to practice good hygiene, avoid sharing items with others, and keep the training environment clean and dry to help minimize the risk of reinfection.
It is also helpful to speak with your doctor about any steps you can take to reduce the chances of recurrence. Although ringworm can be an uncomfortable and irritating infection, with proper prevention and treatment it can be managed so that you can enjoy your Brazilian jiu-jitsu training without interruption.
Q: How long after contact do ringworm symptoms appear?
A: The length of time that ringworm symptoms take to appear after contact can vary. Generally, 4-14 days after contact with an infected person or surface is when symptoms will typically begin to show. If you have been in contact with someone who has ringworm, it is important to monitor your skin for any signs of infection and seek medical attention if necessary.
It is also important to note that even if you do not show any symptoms, you may be able to spread the infection. Practicing good hygiene and avoiding contact with others or surfaces until your
Q: Can you get ringworm on your scalp?
A: Yes, it is possible to get ringworm on your scalp. Ringworm of the scalp, or tinea capitis, is a fungal infection caused by the same fungus that causes other types of ringworm. Symptoms of tinea capitis can include scalp itching, scaly patches, hair loss, and bald spots. If you think you may have a ringworm infection on your scalp, it is important to speak with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
We covered a lot of information in this article, so let’s quickly recap the most important points:
- Ringworm can be spread easily in BJJ gyms and other close-contact sports, due to direct contact or contaminated objects.
- Proper hygiene is essential in preventing the spread of ringworm, including regularly washing uniforms, not sharing mats and equipment, and using clean towels.
- If you think you may have ringworm, seek medical attention right away and avoid contact with other people until you are cleared of infection.
- Holistic treatments such as tea tree oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and a healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and provide relief from the symptoms.
- Always follow your doctor’s advice when treating ringworm.
Ringworm is a highly contagious skin infection caused by a fungus, and it can easily be spread in BJJ gyms. Proper hygiene practices and understanding the signs of ringworm are important steps to take when preventing its spread. If you think you may have been infected, seek medical attention right away to begin treatment as soon as possible.
BJJ beginners often are not aware of the risks of ringworm, so it is important to share this information with them. However, even more, experienced practitioners can forget about this nasty infection. Therefore, it is important to stay vigilant and practice good hygiene habits to keep the gym environment healthy and safe for everyone.
It's an enemy to most grapplers. It can arise at the least convenient times (right before grading or competition for example) and can disrupt training. But with a few precautions, the spread of ringworm in BJJ gyms can be contained. With proper prevention and treatment, you can keep training without interruption. With the above information in mind, we hope that everyone can stay safe and healthy while enjoying their training to the fullest. Good luck!
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