Skip to content

BJJ Hygiene: How to Avoid Skin Infections

Introduction Enter the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), where combat is an art of both body and mind. Amid the...


Enter the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), where combat is an art of both body and mind. Amid the excitement of grappling and strategy lies a hidden concern: skin infections. In the close-contact domain of BJJ, understanding the risks is crucial.

BJJ hygiene is your defense against unexpected foes like bacteria and fungi. In this exploration, we uncover common skin infections in BJJ. Discover their origins and how to counter them. This journey equips us with prevention and treatment, enhancing our training and well-being.

Join us as we talk about skin infections in BJJ. This article includes some personal experience and tips which helps you train smarter, ensuring your BJJ dedication goes hand in hand with a clean, infection-free environment.

Common Skin Infections in BJJ

In the world of BJJ, where contact is close and camaraderie is strong, it's essential to be aware of potential skin infections that can arise. Let's delve into some of the most common infections:

Ringworm (Tinea Corporis)

Ringworm, despite its name, has nothing to do with worms. It's a fungal infection that appears as a circular or ring-like rash on the skin. The infected area can be itchy and red, often with clearer skin in the middle. It's essential to address ringworm promptly to prevent its spread.

Staph Infection (Staphylococcus Aureus)

Staph infection is caused by bacteria and can lead to red, swollen, and painful skin lesions. It's highly contagious and can spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching contaminated surfaces. Proper bjj hygiene, including clean BJJ gear and equipment is crucial to minimize the risk of staph infections.


Impetigo is a bacterial skin infection characterized by red sores that rupture and develop a honey-colored crust. It's common in BJJ due to the nature of close contact. To avoid impetigo, maintaining skin hygiene and using clean gear is essential.

Understanding the symptoms and characteristics of these infections is key to early detection and prevention. By integrating proper BJJ hygiene practices and wearing appropriate gear like BJJ rash guards and BJJ spats, you can significantly reduce the risk of these infections taking hold.

Causes of Infections in BJJ

The dynamic and intense nature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) fosters an environment where practitioners bond through close contact and dedication. However, this environment can also be a breeding ground for skin infections. Let's delve into the contributing factors:

Close Contact

BJJ thrives on close skin-to-skin contact, a fundamental aspect of its techniques and maneuvers. Unfortunately, this closeness also facilitates the transfer of bacteria, fungi, and infections from one person to another.

Warmth and Sweat

The energetic pace of BJJ training, combined with the warmth generated during exertion, creates a favorable environment for microbial growth. Sweat, while natural, can exacerbate the situation by providing moisture that pathogens thrive in.

Skin Irritations

Minor skin irritations, such as cuts, mat burns, or even chafing, can provide entry points for infections. These seemingly harmless irritations can quickly escalate if not addressed promptly. Wearing correct clothing such as BJJ rash guards and BJJ spats can limit these irritations.

Shared Equipment

Many BJJ gyms also cater to MMA or kickboxing training, leading to the shared use of equipment such as gloves, pads, and training mats. While this fosters diverse training, it also heightens the risk of infections being transmitted among practitioners practicing different combat disciplines.

Understanding these factors is crucial in comprehending how infections take root in the BJJ community. By recognizing the significance of close contact, sweat, skin irritations, and shared equipment, you can take proactive steps to mitigate the risks and train in a safer environment.

Preventive Measures

Protecting yourself from skin infections in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) involves a blend of mindful practices and choosing and maintaining the appropriate gear. Here are some practical tips to consider:

a. BJJ Hygiene Practices

  • Shower After Training: As soon as your training session ends, take a thorough shower using warm water and mild soap. This helps to remove sweat, bacteria, and potential pathogens from your skin.
  • Antibacterial Soap: Choose an antibacterial soap for washing, as it can provide an extra layer of defense against harmful microorganisms.
  • Clean Gear: Regularly wash your training clothes, rash guards, and any gear you use. This eliminates accumulated sweat and bacteria, reducing the risk of infections.
  • Mat Hygiene: The training mat is your arena. Ensure it remains clean and disinfected, as a clean mat significantly reduces the chances of infections spreading.
  • Personal Items: Avoid sharing personal items like towels, water bottles, and protective gear. This minimizes the potential transfer of infections.

b. Wearing the Correct Gear: Your Armor Against Infections

  • Rash Guards: Your First Line of Defense

A BJJ rash guard isn't just a fashion statement; it's a vital piece of gear that creates a barrier between your skin and training partners. A well-fitted BJJ rash guard not only reduces skin-to-skin contact but also minimizes the chances of skin irritations that can lead to infections.

  • BJJ Shorts and Spats: An Integrated Approach

Complement your BJJ rash guard with proper BJJ shorts and spats. These pieces provide additional coverage, preventing direct skin contact and reducing friction that might cause skin abrasions. By wearing shorts and BJJ spats, you're enhancing your defense against infections.

  • BJJ Gi: More Than Tradition

While the BJJ Gi is steeped in tradition, it's also a smart choice for preventing skin infections. The uniform provides a layer of protection, reducing the risk of direct contact with potential pathogens. Ensure your Gi is washed after every session and well-maintained to reap its full benefits.

By investing in and properly using the right gear – including BJJ rash guards, BJJ shorts, BJJ spats, and the traditional BJJ Gi – you're arming yourself against the risks of skin infections. Remember, your gear isn't just an outfit; it's a key component of your proactive defense strategy.

By incorporating these BJJ hygiene practices into your routine, you take significant steps toward safeguarding yourself and your fellow practitioners from skin infections. Remember, a combination of personal care and a clean training environment can make a world of difference.

Steps to Take If Infection Occurs

Even with the most diligent preventive measures, infections can sometimes find their way in. If you suspect you've encountered a skin infection, here's a clear course of action to follow:

Swift Response

Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you notice unusual symptoms like persistent redness, itchiness, or any unusual skin changes, don't hesitate to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can accurately diagnose the issue.

Prioritize Health

Avoid Training: As challenging as it may be, refrain from participating in BJJ sessions until you've received medical clearance. Continuing training while infected not only risks your own health but also exposes your training partners to potential infections.

Medical Advice and Treatment

Follow Medical Guidance: Once diagnosed, adhere to the treatment plan provided by your healthcare provider. This may involve topical creams, oral medications, or other remedies. Consistency is key to effective recovery.

Infections are part of the reality in contact sports like BJJ, but proper handling can minimize their impact. By taking swift action, seeking medical attention, and diligently following prescribed treatments, you're ensuring a quicker and smoother recovery. Remember, your health and the health of your fellow practitioners are paramount.


In our exploration of skin infections in BJJ, we've uncovered common issues like ringworm, staph infections, and impetigo, emphasizing the importance of good hygiene due to factors such as close contact, warmth, sweat, irritations, and dirty equipment. Wearing appropriate gear like BJJ rash guards, shorts, spats, and the traditional Gi is essential for safety, and seeking prompt medical attention and adhering to their guidance is crucial if you contract an infection. The significance of maintaining cleanliness in BJJ extends beyond the individual, shaping a community that is both skilled and conscientious about health.

Select options