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The Good Science - Skin Scares

One of the most disconcerting things a wrestling coach can hear is that one of his wrestlers has been diagnosed with a skin infection. Immediately, competitive thoughts are replaced by concern for the well being of the wrestler, his team mates and recent competitors. And while taking swift and aggressive actions to a situation that could derail a season, a review of The Good Science reminds us that the actions to be taken are not dissimilar to the best practices within any comprehensive, best practice, antimicrobial program.

• Daily cleaning and disinfecting of contact surfaces.

• Good skin hygiene and use of FDA TFM compliant skin sanitizers between showers.

• Inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungus on surfaces, uniforms and equipment.

Continue reading for The Good Science regarding Skin Scares................

As an Athletic Director, Coach, Wrestler or Parent there is really no need to understand the specific etiology of MRSA, Impetigo, Herpes, Athletes Foot or the most recent virus concern. Product marketing and “informational” pamphlets that seek to exaggerate the level of risk and thus heighten your concern are intended to sell products not convey antimicrobial best practices. What is important to understand is that, with the exception of air born viruses, it is skin to skin, skin to surface and skin to uniform/equipement contact that are the sources of and transfer mechanisms for these infections. Daily action is required to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses that might reside and/or grow on surfaces, uniforms/equipment and skin.

Routine (daily) cleaning and disinfecting of contact surfaces – When mixed and applied (according to the label) to surfaces that athletes will come in contact with, a hospital grade disinfectant cleaner concentrate will kill 100% of bacteria, fungi and viruses that are present in 10 minutes. Routinely (daily) cleaning with a hospital grade disinfectant cleaner and microfiber mop and employment of a disinfectant shoe tray is best practice. Similarly, a focus on contact surfaces is best practice as whatever bacteria or fungus that reside on the ceiling or remote surfaces pose a minimal risk. It is far more important to routinely clean and disinfect contact surfaces in the wrestling room, weight room and locker room. Employing episodic comprehensive cleaning services or disinfectant fogging does not enhance or better the environment you work out in, it simply provides one more cleaning/disinfecting treatment that you are already doing on a daily basis.

Good skin hygiene and use of FDA TFM compliant skin sanitizers between showers - Although the immediate response to a skin scare is to focus on the wrestling room, the likelihood of skin to skin transmission should not be ignored. Good hygiene practices including frequent showering with soap and water or an antimicrobial body wash should be demonstrated and required. Between showers the use of an FDA compliant, non-alcohol skin sanitizer foam or wipes, particularly at scrimmages, matches and tournaments, represents the best practice. Soaps, body washes or wipes that are not FDA compliant and thus assured to kill 99.99+% of bacteria, fungi or viruses in 15 seconds is not consistent with best practices.

Inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungus on surfaces, uniforms and equipment - Recent advances in antimicrobial technology has produced several coatings that are utilized by professional and top tier collegiate sports programs to protect their athletes. In addition to significantly reducing the bacteria and fungal counts on treated surfaces or equipment between routine cleanings, these coatings reduce odors, staining and material degradation caused by bacteria and fungus. Today this same technology is both available and affordable for schools that recognize that a comprehensive antimicrobial program ends up much less expensive than the cost of just one skin scare. Not to mention the peace of mind that Athletic Directors, Coaches, Parents and Athletes enjoy knowing they have done everything possible to prevent a debilitating skin infection.

As the OHSWCA’s antimicrobial corporate partner, MicroArmor has the expertise and portfolio of products and services to assist member coaches in implementing an affordable, best practice, comprehensive antimicrobial program. Depending on whether MicroArmor or school staff applied MicroArmor’s Cationic Surface Coating, the cost for a team roster of 30 wrestlers would range between $ 1,100 and $ 1,750 or $ .35 to $ .58 cents per athlete per day, assuming a 100 day season. And the cost to the individual athlete for their individual skin protection would range from $ .60 to $ .75 cents per day.

Don C. Muir
BS Public Health / MBA Healthcare
MicroArmor Inc.

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