I open this vlog (above) by saying that if you train in Thailand, for any amount of time honestly, you have a possibility of acquiring a Staph. infection, or what in Thailand is called “fee“. This isn’t because Thailand gyms are filthy, this is because this climate and the conditions of contact with other bodies and equipment, the propensity for getting small scratches from Velco on gloves or shinpads, from shaving, from scratching at a bug bite or the bug bite itself… it all just helps infections thrive. In the video I do say that it’s not necessarily indicative of your gym being “unclean” if you get Staph., which is true – it lives on the surface of the skin of a percentage of the population and all it takes is an entry point – it lives in your nose, YOUR OWN NOSE, all the time – so don’t get all freaked out and start disinfecting everything around you. However, what I forgot to add in the video itself is that your personal hygiene is actually the best frontline defense against getting Staph. As long as you shower promptly, with soap, after each training session and make sure to cover any scratches, bites or whatever else might be an opening point in your skin for the bacteria to enter, that’s your best defense.
Fee is super common here, to the point that your trainers will know it when they see it and be able to tell you exactly what to do. Generally, if you go to a doctor or pharmacy they’re just going to put you on antibiotics. If you are cool with that, go for it. If you want to avoid antibiotics, your trainers have tons of experience in dealing with these boils without drugs. They’ll show you how to use herbal medicines or heat to draw out the infection, but using a topical antibiotic cream is always a good idea. I use heat for everything and in this video I’m talking about an infection on my armpit that hurts like hell right now because it’s in the “hard lump” phase, before it’s come to a head and can be drained. Staph. hurts quite a bit and you’ll be tempted to squeeze or try to pop the boil because the pressure is so uncomfortable, but do not do this. The only time you can drain it is when it is a big, gross, pus-filled boil, and even then you might need someone to help you lance it and drain it so you don’t accidentally squeeze some of the bacteria deeper into your skin. You want to be really gentle about the whole thing and agonizingly patient. I’m just applying a hot compress for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You may have the instinct of taking oral antibotics when you see the boil. There’s a problem with over-prescription of antibiotics in general in Thailand, so generally I advise off of them if you can. But further, I’ve found that if you take them in the earlier stages of the infection, like now, you can end up prolonging the boil. The best way I’ve found, and have received advise for, is to just apply heat compress and all the boil to eventually express itself. Once that has happened – be careful, the puss is highly infectious – apply topical antibiotic cream and cover it until it heals.
If your infection/boil is near a joint, on your face, or causing you to have a fever: go see a doctor.
Thai Prevention of Fee
Watch the video, because it talks about the Thai belief that the Post-Fight medicine will prevent staph issues from developing. I’m not sure what the whole science-y thought would be behind the idea that taking the post-fight medicine could prevent fee outbreaks, but it is believed by krus that have raised lots of Thai fighters, and it could do with something a long the lines of flushing the body of toxins brought on the stress of fighting.
I’ve been dealing with the post-fight medicine mentioned in my vlog for a long while now, this is my article from 6 years ago when I first encountered it, and I introduced it to my readers.
This is me taking the post fight medicine a couple of years ago:
And this is the new vlog talking about fee if you could not see the embed above: