In Honor of FIFA – Let’s Discuss Shin Guard Dermatitis

FIFA is one of the most exciting times for fútbol (soccer) fans around the world. This year’s World Cup is being hosted in Russia and things have kicked off to an exciting start. As a huge fan, I love seeing the different cultures come together to support their country.

While in middle school I briefly played soccer (defense) and happened to be the best bench warmer that ever lived. That being said, one commonality that player can face is shin guard dermatitis another wise known as shin guard rash.

What is shin guard dermatitis? This type of rash occurs due to the combination of heat, sweat, and friction. This results in an allergic reaction, causing the skin to become inflamed in itchy or painful patches.

How to prevent it? If you have sensitive skin or if you are already prone to breakouts, this may be unavoidable as you can’t change your skin. That being said, a few things you can do are:

  • Focus on the type of shin guards you’re purchasing. The cloth all-in-one shin guards aren’t ideal due to holding bacteria and are said to be difficult to wash. Instead, opt for shin guards with removable slip-ins. They are easier to clean off the bacteria and fungus build up.
  • WASHING the shin guards is a must, no exceptions! Especially if you want to prevent MRSA and other serious conditions. They need to be constantly cleaned if they are causing you rashes.
  • If possible wear something in between your skin and the skin guards, a very thin sock maybe help with the friction of the shin guard against your skin. <– this is a good option.
  •  Never borrow or lend your shin guards – this will prevent germs from spreading.

*If you find these methods aren’t working, its best to seek medical attention or advice.

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