Ringworm is a common affliction to those of us who grapple on a regular basis. It is so common that virtually everyone who grapples will have knowledge on how to deal with it. Being a fungal infection, ringworm takes time and diligence to deal with. There are steps you can take to keep your defences in check and stave off such infections for your entire career.
Tea tree oil is often used in soaps, and has long been used as a topical treatment by the Australian army for a variety of purposes (Barnetson, Bell, Satchell, & Saurajen, 2004), mainly due to the major component of terpninen-4-0 L. As many companies will tell you: tea tree oil has tonnes of antimicrobial properties; that is why it is a key component in many products. Barneston et al. (2004) conducted a study on a mix of male and female patients totaling 158 total, all between the ages of 17 and 83 years old. The group was randomly divided into three groups: placebo, 25% tea tree oil concentration, and 50% tea tree oil concentration. When the study wrapped up, it was found that an effective cure – defined as both mycological and marked clinical response – was found in up to 50% of the participants in either tea tree oil group, versus less than 15% in the placebo group (Barnetson et al., 2004).
While greater amounts of tea tree oil is required to reach the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and the minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFCs), as compared to fluconazole and N-terminated palmitoyl lipidated peptide Pal-Lys-NH2 (Abruzzetti et al., 2009) it was found to reduce Microsporum canis and Trichophyton rubrum fungal biomasses in a statistically significant manner.
There is a lot more research to be done with tea tree oil, as seen in clinical reviews, such as one by Bagerhani, Kazerouni, Pazyar, & Yaghoobi (2013). The current research suggests that tea tree oil can assist in removing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, or more commonly known as an antibiotic-resistant staph infection) from the skin, is a good alternative antioxidant, and has potent virucidal effects against herpes simplex virus I.
Now what does all of this mean in plain English? It means that tea tree oil is a viable agent in the fight against fungal infections commonly known to us as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. It can also help prevent damage to cell membranes caused by free radicals. All of these positive effects and very few negative effects – barring the occasional adverse reaction – coupled with a fairly open and accessible market means skin care products with tea tree oil are a great way to stay healthy and keep training!
And what’s better: tea tree oil is featured in all of the soap products offered by the amazing Arm Bar Soap Company. Chad certainly knows his stuff when it comes to blending the right ingredients together to create amazing products, and he offers them up at a great price – even for us Canadians (available through BJJDepot.ca, where you get Canadian prices from a Canadian company).
–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army
About the author: Kiyoshi is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and completing his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Coaching. He takes advantage of the peer-reviewed databases at his disposal to research important topics to his grappling and educational careers..
Abruzzetti, A., Arzeni, D., Barchiesi, F., Castelletti, S., Cirioni, O., Ganzetti, G., Giacometti, A., Kamysz, E., Kamysz, W., Offidani, A.M., Riva, A., Scalise, G., Silvestri, C., Simonetti, O., & Spreghini, E. (2009). In Vitro Susceptibility of Dermatophytes to conventional and Alternative Antifungal Agents. Medical Mycology, 47(3), 321-326.
Bagherani, N., Kazerouni, R., Pazyar, N., & Yaghoobi, R. (2013). A Review of Applications of Tea Tree Oil in Dermatology. International Journal of Dermatologiy, 52(7), 782-790.
Barnetson, R.S., Bell, C., Satchell, A.C., & Saurajen, A. (2002). Treatment of Interdigital Tinea Pedis with 25% and 50% Tea Tree Oil Solution: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blinded Study. Australian Journal of Dermatology, 43(3), 175-178.