Hello. Embarking on this grand adventure in the world of grappling, I've been reading stories about skin conditions caused by close contact with another person's body, which has seriously wigged me out.
At work we're issued those little spray tubes of hand sanitizer, does anything similar exist for the martial artist to deal with staph/ringworm/blazing death pustules that one may come into contact with while on the mat? Yes, I know good basic hygiene is important, but, given the hypothetical that one may not train in a place that has a shower facility, is there any thing that I can use in the after-practice, before-shower times?
I searched, but I'm lousy at the search function. (Though I DID get to read about 'Fight Soap' which was nice) So, if this has been discussed or uncovered before, please forgive in advance.
Defense soap actually has a whole line of different stuff. Wipes, equipment spray etc, in addition to their soap, which I recommend. I got a free sample of it and really liked it. Its great after seminars, where you drive far away and work in close contact with people from all over the world.
Second on the Defense Soap, I just finished a rather large jug of it. I train mostly outdoors now so it's nice to have a fresh eucalyptus smell afterwards...need to order more of it.
The reality of it though is you are swimming in constant sea of malicious and benign bacteria. The biggest factor on whether or not this ever affects you (whether from grappling or swimming in the local pool) is your immune system, followed by your skin health. Believe it or not using a nice petroleum moisturizer on your hands before grappling is a good way to defend your body from infection. Obviously you don't lather the stuff on or you'll have trouble with grips but a fine layer goes a long way toward protecting the skin. Healthy skin is the body's chief defense against the kind of nasty stuff you get exposed to...things like ringworm, staph, and MSRA (superstaph) are literally everywhere (including on you, right now). The worst, least protected skin is dry or damaged skin, which people don't give a second thought to until they get a nasty rash from somewhere....Proper hygiene, as you said, is key but also properly caring for your body's largest system (skin).
Remember, you have the right not to engage/train with someone you feel has poor hygiene...never be afraid to suggest to someone that if they're going to roll, they should not stink or be covered with their daily mess. My college judo classes used to be huge, sometimes with 50+ people randomly being matched up for matwork and some people were better than others at keeping themselves clean but sensei was always clear: come to class dirty and don't expect to find willing partners.