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Teens The Target Of Highly Contagious Infections

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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – It’s a fact high school wrestlers are all too familiar with; sports that have skin-to-skin contact can lead to some nasty skin conditions.

Doctor Jerald Sklar, with Dallas Associated Dermatologists, said he sees the problem all the time. Common fungal skin infections like are often passed on. Sklar explained other infections like, “Warts and wart cousins called molluscum, and then there’s herpes viruses that can be transferred.”

West Plano wrestler Dean Roudi has had ringworm. It started on his right arm and just wouldn’t go away. His coach was the first person to see it and recognize what it was.

Unfortunately conditions like ringworm are highly contagious, so even washing uniforms in the same load can cause it to spread, let alone sharing a mat with dozens of other wrestlers.

Wrestlers aren’t the only athletes at risk. Anyone who plays sports where there’s skin-to-skin contact or uses exercise equipment or mats that haven’t been cleaned properly can end up in the same situation.

Fortunately, most health experts agree most of the skin conditions are more annoying than anything and there are simple ways to avoid them. Dr. Sklar suggests taking steps that include, “Frequent hand washing, not sharing athletic equipment and certainly showering after sports is very important.”

One of the more serious infections also associated with sports activity is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA. Experts suggest that anyone who feels they may have come in contact with the staph bacteria get to a doctor immediately, since the germ can spread through the whole body and cause death.

Click here to check out prevention information from the Centers for Disease Control
Click here for information on skin infections common for athletes
More from the Western Journal of Medicine on skin infections transmitted between athletes

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