T Nation

Skin Care for Grapplers

T-Nationites,

I’m not a huge poster on the forums, but figured this was a pretty safe place to ask for help.

Any of you who grapple know the wear and tear it takes on your skin, especially if you shave your legs/arms etc. I’ve always had problems with sensitive skin, and recent rolling sessions have left my legs looking brutalized. This is partially due to my hair growing back in and getting gnarled up.

Nothing looks remotely ‘staphy’, but my coach has some concerns about catching infection from bacteria. Missing time is really not an option.

  1. What are your methods to keep your skin looking fresh and clean?
  2. Any suggestions on how to decrease the inflammation of my skin in it’s current state?

Casey

quit shaving your legs O.o’ use “defense” soap but don’t rely on it, you can kill a lot of your natural staph etc…

Take a shower daily… I hope you already do, and quit shaving your legs

I’m sure other people have much better advice.

some basic hygiene goes a long way.

Use a serious antifungal- cream or spray when necessary there are allot of good brands out there
some work better then others, some are geared specifically for ring worm jock itch, feet etc.

Use a good antibacterial soap , make sure to scrub your feet, and toenails

go rob your girls stash of grooming products for some exfoliant- or invest in a soft scrub brush on a stick
and use it in the shower. that will help with ingrown funky hairs.

A+D ointment is great for small cuts, nicks , burns abrasions.
go buy a tub. put it on after you shower, hospitals use it on babies for rashes.

always clean , launder and disinfect your gi,rash gaurds cup, pads etc head gear, gloves, what have you.

and make sure matts are mopped, if you don’t see anyone mop ask.

bring flip flops with you, and only actually be barefoot on the mat.
dont be shy with brining a towel or towels to dry your self or the matt off with.

Take a shower everyday. At least 3 or 4 times a week, exfoliate. How I do it is put some bodywash or soap on a wash cloth and rub your whole legs with it. The first few times you do this may cause dryness, so you’ll need to moisturize.

If you do not like putting lotion, drink at least one gallon of water a day. Water that you drink before, during and after your work outs, do not count as the one gallon a day. This extra water you drink hydrates your skin.

This is what works for me and I have been shaving my legs on and off for a decade. The first few years I had a rash on my legs from scratching. I would scratch until it bleeds. It feels so good. So it would never heal. I then found out about exfoliating and I never had the itching or rash again.

I shave so I can see my muscles when I work out and have a stronger mind muscle connection.

I guess you can up your fish oil intake and anti-oxidants to decrease inflammation.

Why would a guy shave their legs?

Only shave after class, not before, and don’t exfoliate after you’ve shaved. I don’t like to do it right before either but my skin’s a bit sensitive. Also, right after you shave put witch hazel on the areas you’re prone to ingrowns. Then while you’re still warm from the shower lotion, lots of lotion. I don’t roll on Fridays, so I usually take a bath then with Epsom salts and mineral oil, it keeps you soft. On feet and elbows in the shower, I use baking soda for callouses. Then you’re smooth but they’re not completely gone for when you need them.

After a little while the bruises and other irritation stop. It helps to wear soft clothes while rolling too.

My husband used to shave his legs because he’s a cyclist & when you crash it makes it easier to pick the bits of rock & dirt out of your flesh, not to mention the cactus needles, they’re the worst. For fighters? I don’t know, but a BJJ friend of mine does it.

On lotions: there’s a skin moisturizer on paulaschoice.com called Skin Revealing Body Lotion that has glycolic acid, which is a chemical exfoliant that will help prevent ingrown hairs. Also she has something for razor burn called Skin Relief Treatment. I use this stuff & the packaging is not girly, so if it were in your bathroom you would survive if someone saw it.

There is a very strong liquid exfoliant called Tend Skin you could get online probably that works great, but it’s a bit expensive.

To decrease localized inflammation in your skin currently try some topical Benadryl.

If you really want hairless limbs but the shaving is bugging you, try getting them waxed. Its expensive & painful, but it lasts a long time. You will scream like a little girl. :slight_smile:

To help prevent razor burn use a good moisturizing shaving cream, not soap. Use one of the fancy drugstore razors that have 4 or 5 blades in the head. Its the act of scraping over & over the skin that causes the burn, so these razors help. Any moisturizing shaving cream from the drug store should be fine.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Why would a guy shave their legs?[/quote]

Thanks for your help guys, I’m taking notes.

The hygiene isn’t an issue, I’m scared shitless of catching staph, so I stay clean (and mop the mats about 90% of the time).

This exfoliating sounds like it’ll help, and will investigate the creams listed. Thanks so much for the positive, educated responses.

And as for why guys shave their legs- I’m guessing your nuts haven’t dropped, thus man-hair hasn’t grown yet. Try grappling for a couple hours once you reach adulthood, you’ll see what I mean.

[quote]Kdubs wrote:
And as for why guys shave their legs- I’m guessing your nuts haven’t dropped, thus man-hair hasn’t grown yet. Try grappling for a couple hours once you reach adulthood, you’ll see what I mean. [/quote]

Uh… I’ve grappled for many, many hours, and never had a problem with it.

What I wouldn’t do, however, is grapple with a guy who shaves his legs, for fear that I’d end up with a dick on my face and some guy (like you) saying, “I don’t know what’s going on, this has never happened to me with a guy before!”

But do what you like.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]Kdubs wrote:
And as for why guys shave their legs- I’m guessing your nuts haven’t dropped, thus man-hair hasn’t grown yet. Try grappling for a couple hours once you reach adulthood, you’ll see what I mean. [/quote]

Uh… I’ve grappled for many, many hours, and never had a problem with it.

What I wouldn’t do, however, is grapple with a guy who shaves his legs, for fear that I’d end up with a dick on my face and some guy (like you) saying, “I don’t know what’s going on, this has never happened to me with a guy before!”

But do what you like.[/quote]

QFT

I have cave man legs and they have never caused a problem… if anything it allows them to slide along the mat

I agree with everyone else that there is no reason a grappler should shave their legs. I have logged lots of time on mats for wrestling as well as BJJ. I personally like to wear long sleeve shirts and pants of some sort to try to help protect my skin from getting infections. Shaving your legs and grapplin is asking for a serious infection of some kind. I am seriously curious as to why you would shave your legs for grappling. Being that I have always been extremely hairy and never had any problems I can’t for the life of me understand the reasoning behind this. If you would please explain it would help me out. It sounds like your a metro sexual or whatever the fuck it is talking about making your skin look godd and all that and people’s responses with exfoliating shit is sort of ridiculous really, I think you are overreacting and maybe a little to sensitive about things. Show us a picture of what your leg looks like.

[quote]Miss Parker wrote:
My husband
[/quote]

FUCK!!

This, except it’s more of a “makes it easier to clean a wound” ( removing rocks, sewing you up, etc), type thing.

Fyi, shaving your hair does not make it come back stronger.
That is a myth.
You’d have to directly fuck around with the nucleus of the hair follicle for anything to happen.
That’s what laser hair removal does.

We do gi grappling, and after a session of being pushed around on my back, my skin is always smooth like a baby.

i sweat like a filthy animal its disgusting i dont know if im just good at working hard :wink: or im just meant to be slippery by my course thick scottish descent leg hair has never givenb me a problem grappling infact i kinda like how it makes my legs get that wood grain look if u slip out of a leg lock and all the hair gets pulled in one. i dont believe theres any reason to shave and the idea makes as much sense to me as shaving my gouche to speed up my front kick

as for infection shower when you wake up in the morning shower after practice exfoliate and moisturize during thwe hockey season i once developed horrible bleeding burns all over my triceps because i was at that point taking 3 showers a day with all my ice time and taking horrible medication for a staff infection in my skin from goalie gear that smelled like a hobos dick cheese

Gotta love the smell of Hobo’s dick cheese in the morning lol WTF man!