Kettlebell jugglers all have friction-made blisters on their palms. Gloves are forbidden by the rules. Well one juggler takes the handle of the kettlebell and throws it to the other.

This is how juggling looks like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKSK6agrUac

What troubles me is that if blisters burst, can a desease be transmitted between jugglers?

I asked my coach, he said to me not to worry. Well, he is not a doctor anyway.

Could you help me understand whether there is any danger here?


Absolutely - and burst blisters are the least of your concerns.

Just take a look at this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/well/family/when-athletes-share-infections.html

"Wrestling and rugby are sufficiently well-known for skin-to-skin transfer that there are herpes virus skin infections actually named for them, Herpes gladiatorum and Herpes rugbiorum (also known as “scrum pox”). “Herpes can shut down a whole team,” Dr. Rice said; wrestlers need “regular skin checks before tournaments,” looking for herpes, impetigo and ringworm, and treating problems so the athletes can compete. Prophylactic medications can help prevent herpes recurrences.

Among bacterial skin infections, community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has caused many infections among high school and college athletes. MRSA has been a major issue in professional sports as well, particularly football, with several N.F.L. teams having had to deal with outbreaks. These skin infections can be extremely serious, as can streptococcal skin infections, so identifying and treating the lesions is really important for the individual athlete’s health, as well as for containing possible spread.

Athletes are also vulnerable to fungal skin infections, like Tinea corporis, or ringworm, not to mention athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis) and jock itch (Tinea cruris), two fungal infections whose popular names also reflect their tendency to hang around locker rooms. The fungal pathogens can be transmitted, skin to skin, but also by towels and contaminated surfaces.


Yes, it's possible and a broken blister isn't even necessary. A number of diseases can be transferred from person to person by contact with intact skin or objects skin has touched such as doorknobs and... kettlebells.

One of the most common modes of transmission is the fecal-oral route, which is explained below.


Some infections are spread when microscopic amounts of faeces (poo) from an infected person with symptoms or an infected person without symptoms (a carrier) are taken in by another person by mouth. The faeces may be passed:

directly from soiled hands to the mouth indirectly by way of objects, surfaces, food or water soiled with faeces. Examples of diseases spread from faeces:

  • Campylobacter infection
  • Cryptosporidium infection
  • Giardia infection
  • hand, foot and mouth disease
  • hepatitis A
  • meningitis (viral)
  • rotavirus infection
  • Salmonella infection
  • Shigella infection
  • thrush
  • viral gastroenteritis
  • worms
  • Yersinia infection.

So instead of worrying about the blisters on your teammates' hands, you should worry about how well they wash their hands after using the toilet.

Other diseases can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or indirectly through a common object two people touch. Although there are only a few diseases that can be transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact of intact skin, people are prone to touching their eyes, nose and mouth, so you have to include diseases that can be spread by contact with mucous membranes as well.

Some infections are spread directly when skin or mucous membrane (the thin moist lining of many parts of the body such as the nose, mouth, throat and genitals) comes into contact with the skin or mucous membrane of another person. Infections are spread indirectly when skin or mucous membrane comes in contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.

Examples of diseases spread by skin or mucous membrane contact:

  • chickenpox
  • cold sores (herpes simplex infection)
  • conjunctivitis
  • hand, foot and mouth disease
  • head lice
  • molluscum contagiosum
  • ringworm
  • scabies
  • school sores (impetigo)
  • Staphylococcus aureus infection
  • warts.

What can you do about this? Wash your hands frequently and develop a habit of never touching your eyes, nose, lips and mouth with your bare hands. This is why many gyms provide disinfectant wipes to wipe down exercise equipment after you've used it, but hand washing is more effective.

  • 1
    Common cold and flu (very popular right now) are also transmitted in the second way. – Jan Dec 31 '19 at 8:18

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