When it’s ringworm!
All laughter aside, ringworm, aka tinea corporalis, aka athlete’s foot when it’s not on your feet, is one of the most annoying afflictions you can get when training mixed martial arts or grappling.
Note that it is not a worm (it’s a fungus), so even as a vegan you should have no hesitation in doing your absolute best to obliterate its chances of survival. It is highly contagious, so I will leave it up to your imagination what you’re in for when you spend an hour or more rolling around with a number of sweaty training partners, on mats that have been rolled around on all day.
Although this isn’t a medical blog and I do not want to give any pretense of diagnosis here, I’d like to point out that it doesn’t have to appear as a distinct ring, but will usually assume a blob-shape with a slightly darker exterior. And once you have had it, you cannot ever again mistake the persistent burning itch that accompanies it.
So I will admit I have not been the best vegan on this.
Having had both ringworm and athlete’s foot, both of which took weeks and weeks to properly disappear, I was taking no chances. I had been using Head&Shoulders shampoo as a bodywash after training, as I was told it was the best for eliminating skin infections, although I knew full well that it is not a vegan-friendly product. My stance on veganism is that we do not need animal products to survive and lead healthy, fulfilling lives. Unfortunately, I know of no vegan-friendly product on the market that is as effective as brand-name Head&Shoulders at combatting skin infections. Please do correct me if I am wrong.
Having said that, I now have an alternative.
I was given a bottle of BodyArmour body wash this week by a friend – a product specifically designed for the mixed martial artist, but mindful of using natural ingredients. So not only is it a more environmentally-friendly product (and, as it turns out, free of animal juices), it is also more gentle on your skin which is probably a relief for it after it has been in contact with sweaty human beings and in physiologically stressful situations for the past hour or two.
So I tried it out last night after a particularly long and grimy session. I have to admit my skin has never felt so clean!
I’m not going to lie, the smell didn’t exactly send my smell-buds (yes I know there’s no such thing) through the roof, smelling distinctly chemical and totally unlike the sum of its ingredients. In fact, the smell was what made me check out the ingredients list, as I suddenly worried about whether the secret fungus-killing ingredient might be paint thinner. However, I can’t really say I cared too much, hence why I am now posting a review of this product.
Hygiene comes first, then ethics, then price, and only lastly vanity. So I also like the fact, obviously, that this is a small UK-based company who specify on their website that their packaging is recyclable. Love that ethical products are finding their way into the MMA market!
So it is safe to say that I will be buying myself a supply of BodyArmour, and keeping my fingers crossed they bring out a wider range soon!