I recently had a player develop a heck of a case of shin guard rash and found a thread on the NC Soccer Forum that listed a number of possible remedies. Obviously if a rash persists you should see a doctor, but there were some very good suggestions from long time soccer parents and coaches about initial treatment, so I figured I’d share them:

  • Depends on the type of guards you use. The cloth-covered all-in-ones, with the legs straps and built-in ankle guards in the stirrups are the worst if you don’t wash them every once in a while and either bleach them or use lots of Lysol (and let them dry good too) The best are the slip-ins that can be cleaned off, be sure to wash the sleeves they go in though. Remember, bleach kills bugs and fungus so buy the white sleeves. [ed note: we have washed the cloth covered ones weekly - so far so good. Plus I think the benefit of the ankle guards outweigh any rash risk as long as you wash them on a regular basis]
  • Clean immediately with astringent, zit wash, or witch hazel – morning and night.
  • Beware of a neoprene allergy if they have foam linings.
  • Don’t share shin guards (MRSA infection risk).
  • Wear thin socks/stockings under the shinguards instead of them sitting against the skin. You can also get special rash guards.
  • It could be a fungal infection – try Lotrimin or other anti-fungal.
  • If the rash turns to open sores – make sure it is bandaged and only then use something like neosporin.
  • Buy multiple pairs of shin guards if kids play back to back days so they can be washed.
  • Switch brands.

Some common sense and the understanding that these rashes can be caused by any number of things, so some experimentation may be needed to prevent them in the future will go a long way. And of course, if it persists for more than a few days – get a professional opinion.

Any of you have other suggestions?