Highlight on Hygiene: Understanding Staph & How we can all help stop the spread

Written June 19

Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as “Staph,” is bacteria that often resides harmlessly on our skin and in our noses. However, under certain conditions, it can cause infections ranging from mild skin irritations to potentially life-threatening conditions.

Understanding staph, how it spreads, and how to prevent infection is important to safeguard your health and the health of your community. It is particularly important to understand the risks and prevention when participating in any sporting activities with high probability of skin to skin and skin to surface contact (such as BJJ).

What is a Staph Infection?

A staph infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These bacteria can cause various infections depending on the area of the body affected. The most common types include:

1. Skin Infections: These range from minor boils and abscesses to more serious infections like cellulitis, which is an infection of the deeper layers of the skin.

2. Soft Tissue Infections: These include infections in wounds, cuts, or surgical sites.

3. Invasive Infections: Staph bacteria can sometimes enter the bloodstream or infect internal organs, leading to conditions such as sepsis, pneumonia, or infections of the bones and joints.

How Do You Contract a Staph Infection?

Staph bacteria are highly contagious and can spread through direct contact with infected skin or surfaces contaminated with the bacteria. Factors that increase the risk of contracting a staph infection include:

Skin-to-Skin Contact: Especially common in crowded or close-contact environments such as hospitals, gyms, and schools.

Compromised Skin: Cuts, abrasions, or surgical wounds provide entry points for the bacteria.

Poor Hygiene: Not washing hands properly or sharing personal items like towels or razors can facilitate bacterial transmission.

How to Prevent Getting a Staph Infection

Preventing staph infections involves adopting good hygiene practices and taking precautions to minimize exposure to the bacteria:

1. Shower Before and After Training: We provides shower facilities and hygiene products for this exact purpose. Showering with soap and water before and immediately after training helps remove potentially harmful bacteria from your skin.

2. Clean Gear: Wash your BJJ gear, including your gi, rash guards, and any other equipment, regularly after each use. Use hot water and detergent to ensure thorough cleaning.

3. Hand Hygiene: Regularly wash hands with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.

4. Foot Falls: Avoid bare feet off the mats and ensure you remove your shoes wipe your feet with disinfectant wipes before stepping onto the mat.

5. Keep Wounds Clean: Properly clean and cover any cuts or wounds until they heal completely. There is complimentary first aid products available at reception including tapes and bandages.

6. Avoid Sharing Personal Items: Items such as towels, razors, and clothing should not be shared to prevent bacterial transmission.

7. Manage Chronic Conditions: People with chronic skin conditions should follow their doctor’s advice on managing their condition to prevent flare-ups that could lead to infections.

How Do You Treat a Staph Infection?

Treatment for staph infections depends on the severity and location of the infection:

Skin Infections: Mild cases may resolve on their own or with antibiotic ointments. More severe cases may require oral antibiotics.

Deep Infections: These often require oral or intravenous antibiotics, depending on the extent of the infection and the patient’s overall health.

Surgical Drainage: In some cases, such as abscesses, surgical drainage may be necessary to remove pus and infected tissue.

What we are doing to keep our community safe

Here at Arte Suave we take hygiene very seriously. We take every possible measure to ensure the highest possible standard of hygiene is maintained at all times by:

Disinfecting Mats and Equipment: Mats and equipment are cleaned and disinfected between EVERY session.

Enforcing Strict Hygiene Practices: We are militant about hygiene and enforce clear hygiene guidelines and expectations for all participants. This includes ensuring all participants follow proper hand and feet hygiene, use clean equipment, and maintain personal cleanliness.

Making Hygiene Easy: Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitisers are abundantly and conveniently located throughout the gym.

Promoting Healthy habits: Clean bathroom and shower facilties including complimentary hygiene products and razors for both male and females are available at all times.

Whilst we educate our team and students and actively enforce all hygiene protocols to ensure the cleanest possible facility, it is imperative that each individual takes responsibility for their own health and the health of their community.

By staying informed and being proactive you can help prevent the spread of bacteria and significantly reduce the risk of contracting these infections.

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