Skin Flora Research for Fighters

Normal Skin Flora
What Is It and How Does It Effect Wrestlers and Fighters?

The normal skin flora is made up of the bacteria that normally live on the skin when the skin is healthy. These bacteria, which are harmless, actually prevent other harmful bacteria and fungus from growing on the skin. These normal bacteria are disturbed with over washing with antibacterial soaps and the use of antibiotics.


This presentation will help provide us with the information we need to successfully battle skin infections. This presentation will also explain why we are susceptible to so many skin infections that are bacterial and fungal.

Education Is the Key

Understanding the balance between normal skin flora and good hygiene has puzzled wrestlers and fighters for decades. A false sense of security is placed on upon the notion that wrestling on clean mats will protect us from skin infections.

Little Known Fact

Wrestlers and fighters actually create an environment more suitable for fungus to thrive in by using a soap that is strictly antibacterial.


The purpose of antibacterial soap is to kill bacteria on our skin that can cause bacterial infections. Unfortunately as wrestlers and fighters we are placed into environments where we are commonly exposed to fungal infections as well.

Knowledge Is Power

Our normal flora acts as a protective barrier as long as all of the players stay in their place. The normal flora influences the anatomy, physiology, susceptibility to pathogens, and morbidity of the host. Skin regions have been compared to geographic regions of earth: the desert of the forearm, the cool woods of the scalp, and the tropical forest of the armpit. The composition of the dermal micro flora varies from site to site according to the character of the microenvironment. A different bacterial flora characterizes each of three regions of skin: (1) axilla, perineum, and toe webs; (2) hand, face and trunk; And (3) upper arms and legs. Skin sites with partial occlusion (axilla, perineum, and toe webs) harbor more microorganisms than do less occluded areas (legs, arms, and trunk). Bacterial infections may incur when bacteria from one environment, or from someone else's normal flora, are introduced into a foreign environment. Susceptibility increases where there is a break in the skin. (scratches, mat burns, skin blemishes) Overview

Poor hygiene also increases the host's susceptibility. Continued exposure to foreign skin flora promotes disease.


As coaches, wrestlers and fighters we know that we have to clean ourselves after competition or training. During the season we shower sometimes three times a day. Most of us will use on over the counter antibacterial soap, bar or liquid.

This Is Where the Dilemma Lies.

If we don't practice proper hygiene we will become susceptible to bacterial infections, however continuous bathing with antibacterial soap will weaken and disturb our normal flora.

The Bacteria That Comprise the Normal Flora Are:

· Staphylococcus epidermis– found on the skin surface · Anaerobic diphtheroids – located deep in
hair follicles
· Micrococci
· Corynebacteria (diphtheroids)
· Propionibacteria

These bacteria are found throughout the different environments on the body. They compete for space in these environments as a matter of their own survival. l They will devour most foreign pathogens including "Tinea" which is better known as "ringworm".

"Catch 22"

Through our perseverance to control skin infections we have created the ringworm epidemic we are faced with today.

Defense Soap

At Defense Soap we are wrestlers who have researched this "catch 22" extensively. We believe the proper mind set is to use a soap whose all-natural ingredients have been clinically proven to have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

When a wrestler or fighter bathes with Defense Soap they are using a soap, which has been proven to kill fungus and bacteria in a laboratory setting.

Mat Cleaning

A clean wrestling environment is crucial when attempting to battle skin infections. As often as we clean our mats we will never eliminate all of the microscopic invaders that can cause infections but the effort has to be made to prevent epidemic levels of infections.

Think of the Areas We Don't Clean

Wall mats Throw dummies Ropes Medicine balls Our opponent or drill partner Wrestling shoes Headgear Kneepads Anything removed from a gym bag

False Hopes

Don't be fooled into believing that you are wrestling in a clean environment.

Summary that you can't see will hurt you. At Defense Soap we believe we are contaminated every time we step on the mat. Our philosophy is that we are going to focus on cleaning ourselves in a thorough and educated manner. Through our perseverance to control skin infections we have created the ringworm epidemic we are faced with today. With just a little more education and understanding we can begin to control the skin infections that now plaque our sport.

Where to Get More Information

Visit us at: or Contact Guy Sako at 216-255-8748 or


Bitton G, Marshall KC: Adsorption of Microorganisms to Surfaces. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1980 Draser BS, Hill MJ: Human Intestinal Flora. Academic Press, London, 1974. Freter R, Brickner J, Botney M, et al: Survival and implantation of Escherichia coli in the intestinal tract. Infect Immun 39:686, 1983 Hentges DJ, Stein AJ, Casey SW, Que JU: Protective role of intestinal flora against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in mice: influence of antibiotics on colonization resistance. Infect Immun 47:118, 1985 Herthelius M, Gorbach SL, Mollby R, et al: Elimination of vaginal colonization with Escherichia coli by administration of indigenous flora. Infect Immun 57:2447, 1989 Maibach H, Aly R: Skin Microbiology: Relevance to Clinical Infection. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1981 Marples MJ: Life in the skin. Sci Am 220:108, 1969 Savage DC: Microbial ecology of the gastrointestinal tract. Annu Rev Microbiol 31:107, 1977 Tannock GW: Normal Microflora. Chapman and Hall,London, UK, 1995