Skin infections, like MRSA, are more common than you might think among athletes and active people. Whether you play on a team or just like to go to the gym and use the locker room, take some steps to avoid skin infections.
Take a shower.
You might not like the idea of showering in public, but skin-to-skin contact in team sports is the most common way for infections to spread. Remove your dirty uniform and take a shower using soap from a liquid dispenser before you leave.
Wash your hands.
Wash your hands, or at the very least, use hand sanitizer after touching any shared equipment. In sports, wash your hands after contact with other players. This rule applies to touching weights and machines, training tables and other surfaces that multiple people touch.
Don’t share towels, razors or other items.
It should go without saying, but don’t share any personal items, like razors, lotions or ointments. When showering, use your own towel that is cleaned before the next practice.
Wash your uniform and clothing after practice or competitions.
If you play on a school team, an athletic trainer or someone with the team might wash the uniforms. If not, make sure you wash any clothing thoroughly.
Cover a skin cut or abrasion with a clean, dry bandage.
If you have any cuts, abrasions or open wounds, wrap or cover them with a clean bandage prior to playing or exercising to avoid getting them infected.
Get any suspicious wounds checked by a doctor.
If you notice a bump with any warmth, redness, swelling, play it safe. See a doctor and find out if you need antibiotics, drainage or any other treatment.