June 23rd, 2010
11:46 AM ET

Athletic trainers set infection-fighting guidelines

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

At any given time, one out of every three people in the U.S. suffers from a skin infection. Athletes are particularly vulnerable to contracting skin problems, because of the close quarters they work in–locker rooms–and their proximity to skin to skin contact and bodily secretions. Many of these infections, such as MRSA, can be serious, even life-threatening.

In an effort to provide information for avoiding, identifying and treating skin infections in athletes at all levels, a panel of experts unveiled guidelines to combat skin outbreaks in competitive sports.

The recommendations, which will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, were announced Wednesday at the National Athletic Trainer's Association annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Skin infections are everywhere, says Dr. Steven Zinder, assistant professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and chair of the project. "We read about the effects of these diseases every day. Just recently, we lost a great athlete, Manute Bol from complications caused by a skin disease."

The panel worked on the recommendations for almost six years. Many are simple. Hygiene both for athlete and the facility –school, stadium, clubhouse– is key. Something as simple as washing your hands and throwing dirty towels into a hamper, away from other people, can cut down on skin infections. Clothing should be laundered immediately and equipment should be disinfected daily. Even mirrors harbor these infections. And athletes should be encouraged to complete daily skin checks and report any lesions immediately.

"Many of these procedures we learned in sixth grade," notes Zinder. "But we just don't exercise them."

"It's really a team effort," notes Jack Foley, assistant athletic director and director of sports medicine at Lehigh University. "We just have to be more aware of the problem and make sure we fight it with the latest technology," Foley added.

The recommendations also stress that athletic trainers, coaches and assistants, and parents, should be aware of different skin illnesses and their effects. Skin diseases fall into three different categories; fungal, such as athlete's foot, viral, which includes herpes and bacterial like the "flesh-eating" disease MRSA. Treatments vary but those who work with athletes should know what to look for.

"A lot of these outbreaks we see at the beginning of the season," says David Vasily, team dermatologist at Lehigh. "Working with athletic trainers is critical. They need to be aware of the importance of fighting these diseases. And they can make a difference." Vasily continued, "We are aware of the problem more than ever before. We are making progress in fighting these diseases, but we still have a long way to go"

The trainers organization has the full  guidelines on its website.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Meg Wolff

    I wonder if they've considered suggesting dietary practices that could boost the immune system? Athletes seem to be more open than most to health enhancing information. I recently have been reading a lot about how sugar decreases a persons immune response by 50 percent for about five hour each time it's eaten.

    June 23, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Marie t

    To reader above – Of course, it is good to eat healthy, but everyone should still remember: NO sharing towels, Wash hands and shower, launder clothes and cover your cuts, etc. Keep your saliva, blood and other stuff off the surfaces others will need to contact. Mom taught us that long before the CDC ever recommended it! For more details, http://www.cdc.gov, search athletes and infection control.

    June 26, 2010 at 05:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Девочка

    Я никак не смогла вставить рисунок в коментарий. Вставляю ссылку на рисунок а он не показывает его как рисунок. Что мне делатЬ?
    Фотки беру отсюда – images.yandex.ru/yandsearch?text=pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com

    February 17, 2011 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. King Neece

    Redox Breakthrough
    You and your Clients might love this:

    Word is getting out, and athletes everywhere are trying ASEA. They’re getting huge results, and they’re even submitting articles to magazines about the performance difference ASEA can make.

    We’ve been reviewed on bicycle.net, and right now, there’s an article in Road Bike Action magazine about athletes who took a three-month trial of the product. What they found is exactly in line with what our research shows: that ASEA increases time to ventilator threshold (the point in your workout when your body finds other energy sources because it can’t bring in enough oxygen to fuel your muscles) by an average of 12%, and with some individuals up to 30%. What does that even mean? Read what Road Bike Action magazine says in plain English: “We could pedal harder longer and recover from repeated, 100-percent efforts in ridiculously short intervals.”

    Sixteen years of foundational research led to the creation of the first and only perfectly balanced mixture of stabilized Redox Signaling molecules that exists outside the body. In case you haven’t heard of Redox Signaling molecules, they’re what your body creates to support the vital functions of the immune system. They’re so important that the body manufactures its own supply within the cells.

    One set of these molecules is responsible for activating antioxidants. Here’s the deal: no matter how many antioxidants you ingest, they can’t fight even one free radical until they’re activated, so these molecules are important. The other set of molecules are essential for cellular communication, cellular protection, and the healing response. So it’s easy to see why your own body makes these molecules. And until now, the body was the only source.

    What could ASEA do for you and your clients?

    Please visit:



    Gary Neece

    October 21, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chryssank Ravettox

    This is really interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

    July 29, 2012 at 23:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. YouTube Review

    What the best expose in regard to internet based comfort ! I at all times squirmed with viruses not to mention Trojans before I set about choosing the right good tips . At the time I'm implementing VIPRE Antivirus Tool , having said that , I do not experience pretty much any worms .


    March 12, 2014 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. click here

    Some people say appreciate is for the birds. Is enchant him a fraud? Appreciate is relating to understanding 1 a different, your gentleman in direction of be much more personal. Appreciate is more than behind your person throughout the complications of a partnership from the period on your own two satisfy.


    March 12, 2014 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. scam busters

    Exercise is a key concern for the vast majority of the inhabitants nowadays. With further and even more people coming underneath the web of substances being made use of within just the daily foodstuff we use, becoming healthy and trying to keep your immunity place is getting future in the direction of extremely hard.


    March 13, 2014 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. facebook review

    Each everyday electronic mail of our no cost substance evaluation alternatives newsletter goes out all over the world in the direction of us residents wanting for totally free exposure and merchandise critiques for their products online. This kind of include things like merchandise promoters, marketers, community family members or publicity specialists, and currently ideally you, too!


    March 14, 2014 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. scam busters

    We focus on serving to bloggers and on-line reviewers. If your self contain a content you would like towards share with our worldwide readers of reviewers and charity event organizers, remember to contact us more than promoting at "productsforreview .com". We can showcase your content toward the best visitors in direction of support yourself order evaluations and publicity online!


    March 14, 2014 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Bonus Bagging scam

    We consideration on helping bloggers and on the net reviewers. If oneself consist of a product or service you'd like to share with our around the globe audience of reviewers and charity celebration organizers, you should get in touch with us concerning marketing and advertising at. We can showcase your item in the direction of the fantastic audience toward support by yourself get critiques and exposure online!


    March 15, 2014 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ifkjs47Fxna

    Привет мир!


    April 9, 2018 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mackage Men

    Athletic trainers set infection-fighting guidelines – The Chart – CNN.com Blogs
    Mackage Men http://www.mackageca.com/mackage-men-c-1/

    November 19, 2019 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. detectives privados coin

    detectives privados coin


    December 12, 2020 at 01:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Lynna Greb

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I'm trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.


    December 19, 2020 at 00:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Frankie Hannem

    My partner and I stumbled over here different web page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so now i'm following you. Look forward to looking into your web page for a second time.


    December 25, 2020 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 700k money system

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – Live The Internet Lifestyle. More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC


    December 26, 2020 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Edmond Runkle

    I envy your work, appreciate it for all the great articles.


    December 31, 2020 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Leroy Nailor

    I have a wordpress blog now, but I can't figure out how to get readers into there! I have been using myspace and it's been great, subscriptions like crazy, but a lot of them don't have wordpress...so no leads there. Besides, I am posting the same info to both, so it's not much of a point of them getting one. How can I increase my wordpress readership? I already utilize tags, but I still only got about 89 views in two weeks. . . . Thanks in advance–serious answers only, please!.


    January 7, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Alline Danyow

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more


    January 23, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Lou Woliver

    Best Marketing Services – Cheapest on Market. SMM Supreme is the Top 5 Best Social Media Website in the World. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714,928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes for $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers for $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Bitcoin Deposit – Fast order processing – 1 Hour Delivery (Click on the link in the profile for more details)


    January 26, 2021 at 20:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kary Breithaupt

    Earn $1000 a Day With Our Passive Income System


    February 6, 2021 at 05:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 1500 USA-Visitors-Daily

    Create a profitable digital marketing strategy and plan: https://www.seoclerk.com/Virtual-Assistant/840836/I-will-create-a-profitable-digital-marketing-strategy-and-plan


    February 16, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. SocialMedia Services2021

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more. Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/


    February 19, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. vreyrolinomit

    he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks


    February 20, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.