Unfortunately not only do you need to have a strategy to beat your next opponent, both wrestlers and coaches need to have a strategy and a plan to combat skin diseases. I think it's an unfortunate part of the sport and is part of other sports too, but they tend to not get as much publicity. For example, the inside of football shoulder pads and helmets are not the cleanest places in the world. Having never played football myself, I can't speak from experience. But I have heard of football players getting the funk likely due to football shoulder pads and helmets. In fact we even brought a product in for a while that was marketed to football teams to kill the funk on their equipment. Always read the labels of products, we are not doctors and we are definitely not the FDA or any regulatory organization. Make sure you speak with a doctor to confirm what we are saying below.
Here is what I would focus on: Clean Mats, Clean Wrestlers, Moisturized Skin.
Now if you are a wrestler and not a coach, you can't do too much about clean mats. I would clean mats once right before practice, right after practice and right after your youth club practices. Three times a day during wrestling season might be a lot, but remember you share those mats with other high school students. Other sports and gym classes likely are using your room, kids club wrestlers likely don't shower during their tournaments and away matches, lots of stuff going on in that room. Our wrestling mat cleaning products are available on our website.
Another thing I would do and not just because I sell the mat cleaner, but switch up your cleaner. Don't simply use the exact same stuff that the funk might be building a tolerance up for. Another idea is to use a back pack sprayer to apply the cleaner. This way you insure you are covering all areas. And of course you can use a monster mop to make quick work of cleaning those mats.
This is something you can do the most about. If you are taking care of your body, then no one else will. You go the extra mile to make sure you are on weight. Are you taking care of your skin and gear to make sure you are ready for the mat? Look for a good skin foam or barrier foam. I'll give you a little secret, ever notice how they all have the same 5 ingredients? While I can't say they are all very similar, I suspect many of them work the same. They all provide a thin layer or barrier between your skin and the outside world. Also, at least the one we carry has skin conditioners and moisturizers in it to help the health of the skin.
All the literature I have read talks about the four hour window to get the funk or skin disease off your skin. Well how the heck do you do that if you are a tournament all day? Skin wipes are the answer. We carry Defense Skin Wipes that are designed to be used in conjunction with other products. Don't think of skin wipes as the only thing you need to be worried about. Combine all of these things together to keep the mats and your body clean.
Shower, shower, shower. If there is one thing that you can only do, I'd say the key thing is to shower. Use a great soap that does not dry the skin. Cracked skin is where the funk loves to grow. So keep that skin moisturized and clean. A soap I use personally is Defense Shower Gel. Now the Defense Bar Soap is made of the same or similar stuff as the Shower Gel, it's just about personal preference. Combine the shower gel with a net sponge and you are in good shape. Just be sure to clean that skin within 4 hours. So if you are showering after a practice or after you wrestle in a tournament, you are in good shape. I use the soap with my 5 and 7 year old wrestlers after each practice.
This is one of the pieces of the puzzle we have not put together just yet. We are looking into different moisturizers to recommend. Remember the barrier foam we carry contains skin moisturizers, but it's pretty expensive for daily use when you are not wrestling. E.g. just use it before practice and matches. When not right before matches or practice, use a less expensive skin moisturizer to keep you skin moisture and funk free.
What are your thoughts about this article? Post your ideas in the comments below. We'd love to hear how you keep the funk under control.