Skin Injuries in sports is part of it all. Soccer, baseball, basketball, football or volleyball – each sport is going to have different skin injuries from falling or sliding on the grass, turf, dirt or court. Even playing at the park, house or school you are going to see these skin injuries, so knowing how to treat them helps the recovery. The difference in the injuries is usually going to be where the injury is located and how that changes the treatment care and healing. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
6 Sports that have lots of skin injuries
Soccer: Skin injuries on the knee, upper shin & the outside of the hip or upper outside leg.
Volleyball: Burns on the arms/elbows from diving.
Basketball: Skin injuries from getting cut by fingernails, elbows to the eye or a skin burn
Football: Skin injuries more on the hands and arms.
Baseball: Skin injuries on the side of the legs, all the way from the outside shin up to the hip.
Boxing: Lots of cuts on the eye.
Blisters are popular skin injuries in sports
Blisters can give some of the worst pain ever, and you can’t tell your coach you can’t play because of a blister.
Trust me, I’ve broken a toe, broken nose, knee scope, hip surgery and other painful times, but a blister can be high on the pain list. It just depends on what you have to do when you have the blister.
Knowing when they usually come, which is during pre-season or when you get new shoes. There are certain tricks you can use to help prevent them during these times. Take a look at my linked blog post how to treat blisters.
Turf burns [Strawberry]
Turf burns AKA Strawberry is an abrasion on the side of your hip, knee or outside of the shin.
If you played soccer competitively then you probably have had a strawberry. It is a pain to deal with – especially the first night and following day.
A strawberry is a skin burn on the side of the hip/leg from slide tackling, especially if played on artificial turf.
I would imagine baseball players know about this one too – especially sliding on the dirt.
The ‘strawberry skin burn’ on the hip is going to be more difficult to treat, compared to a knee or arm.
The reason is because, usually the burn is beneath the boxers / underwear. This doesn’t allow as much air during the day or night, compared to your arm or knee.
During the night it hurts to turn over in bed because most of our body weight when we sleep on our side is the hip area.
Help prevent the strawberry burn by rubbing vaseline on your knees. This will help keep the skin protected when you slide or fall.
The surfaces that cause this are turf, futsal or basketball court, dirt and even grass.
Treating a turf burn [strawberry]
One time in college I had to wait 3-4 days before a bandage came all the way off my leg.
Each day I had to just cut piece by piece off [OUCH!!!!].
So that’s why you make sure you put lots of ointment so that the bandage doesn’t stick to your skin.
If you don’t put enough ointment, the bandage could stick to your skin. Whereas the ointment would keep it from sticking to your skin/strawberry.
Skin Abrasion is a scrape or burn from falling or sliding on the surface whether it be the grass, turf, court or dirt. It’s the more technical term.
Same as the strawberry (& maybe some people call a strawberry a skin burn) but on the knee or elbow.
Eyebrow Cut just below the eyebrow is a common skin injury that happens in basketball, soccer, boxing.
This usually happens from a elbow to the eye and requires pressure with a towel and an ice pack.
Such an injury might even need a butterfly bandage or stitches.
Treatment for skin injuries in sports
For abrasions the main thing is once you’re done playing wash with soap & water to clean it good before wrapping with a sterile bandage. If it’s a strawberry on the side of the hip, treat it the first 2-3 nights with lots of healing ointment like this. If you don’t put enough ointment, the bandage could stick to your skin, which HURTS to pull off.
For cuts you’re going to do the same thing by washing with soap and water. You might need a butterfly bandage – like these or stitches, depending on how deep or wide the cut is.
Skin abrasions were a normal part of my childhood
Spending most of my childhood in Midland, TX, [desert area] and playing soccer, basketball and football, I had my fair share of skin injuries in sports. The main reason is because Midland is in the desert where the fields are basically dead grass sprinkled on top of hard dirt.
Sliding on this surface will tear your skin up! That’s why I used to love traveling for tournaments to Denver, Dallas, & Austin because they have nice green, healthy grass fields. I remember getting excited as we got close to these cites because looking out the window of the car I could see how green and nice the fields on the side of the highway were. LOL. You have to have been to Midland/Odessa to understand what I mean.
Bonus: Sideline & Tournament Care
Bonus Tip #1: Let the injury get air as much as you can during days 1 & 2 to allow faster healing. This is the main reason the strawberry on the hip takes longer to heal as it’s not exposed to air as easy. At night before you go to sleep try to let this injury air out and heal on its own.
Bonus Tip #2: A few days after these abrasions you will have the scab protecting and healing your injury. I recommend you cover these up while still fresh the next few times at practice or games so that if you do fall or get bumped it doesn’t get re-injured so easy.
Skin injuries in sports and at the house or school are going to happen.
The best thing we can do is know how to treat it and then do our best to avoid them.
These are things that will always happen no matter how hard we try.
Good luck on the sports field and good luck with any skin injuries in sports!