MUD WRESTLING can damage your health, particularly if the soil used is contaminated with manure, say researchers from the University of Washington. Abrasions to the skin suffered by participants can result in 'pustular rashes' on different parts of the body, they report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers describe an outbreak of skin rashes and blisters among 24 students - 12 women and nine men - who took part in a mud wrestling event. They say that the injuries and cuts sustained during a wrestling match may result in the introduction of bacteria from the soil into the skin follicles and abrasions. The soil supplied for the wrestling had possibly been in contact with manure, they say.