Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more commonly known as MRSA, is a nasty, infectious bacterium that when found on or inside humans can be very difficult to treat. Healthmark always has particular sports injury cases dealing with MRSA around this time of year among youth, high school, and college athletes; we call it “Pre-Season MRSA.”

Young males and females run the risk of acquiring infectious bacteria throughout their bodies as a result of the various circumstances and obligations seen during their pre-season sports and activities. We often see athletes having multiple practices per week, even multiple daily practices. This increased amount of sports training can promote virulent bacteria growth.

In recent years, many schools and leagues have begun to use only artificial turf fields for sports activities. Turf fields tend to hold more bacteria and pathogens than fields with natural grasses do. Athletes training on artificial surfaces may have a higher risk of exposing themselves to certain skin pathogens than they would on organic, earth surfaces.

Not washing pads, clothes, shoes, and equipment allows for new bacteria to form and old bacteria to strengthen and spread. Sometimes the multitude of practices don't allow for athletes (or their parents) to properly wash out, dry out, and air out dirty athletic apparel and equipment. If not treated from time-to-time, even the surfaces of equipment bags, back packs, and automobiles can harbor microscopic bugs.

The pressures to perform, the new school year starting, and other social and emotional challenges that may arise for adolescents as the summer months draw to a close are other possible reasons why these pre-season conditions form. Blood cell antibodies can weaken and lower in number due to the circumstances of pre-season sports; this makes it difficult to fight disease and raises the potential for the spread of bacteria such as MRSA. Skin rashes and sicknesses often form and any open cut or unique exposure to skin-based pathogens can go internal, resulting in an invasive, body infection.

MRSA not only affects individual pre-season athletes, it can potentially be infectious for the whole team.

If you are an athlete, trainer, or coach and have any rashes or skin conditions as a result of sports, contact Healthmark Foot and Ankle today. We will provide you with more advice and solutions so that you and your team can keep playing, together!


Media, PA 610-565-3668

Phoenixville, PA 610-933-8644

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