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Sports Dermatology at a Glance
  • Forty percent of all athletes develop skin problems.
  • Infections are highly prevalent.
  • Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CAMRSA) has emerged as the most important pathogen among athletes.
  • MRSA typically presents as an abscess or folliculitis.
  • The most important intervention for a CAMRSA abscess is drainage.
  • Control of MRSA outbreaks requires treatment of fomites and skin colonization.
  • Infections with Pseudomonas, Vibrio, and atypical mycobacteria are frequently associated with water sports.
  • Heat and cold injury remain important problems in athletes.

Skin problems are common among athletes.1,2 During an 8-week survey of university athletes, 40% reported skin problems.3 In a study of mountain biking injuries, skin lesions accounted for 75% of all injuries.4 Skin lesions account for 35% of all in-line skating injuries.5 Skin infections are more prevalent in athletes than in the general population.6 Skin-related complaints are especially common in warm, humid climates. During the 1993 Central American and Caribbean Games, held in Puerto Rico, one out of every hundred athletes had a skin-related complaint severe enough to require medical care.7 Similarly, sports that involve repeated immersion in water are associated with an increased incidence of skin injury and infection.8 Winter sports often involve short periods of repetitive injury resulting in a high frequency of injuries.9

Table 99-1 lists some unique sports-associated skin conditions that are worthy of mention but are not discussed further in this chapter (Figs. 99-1 and 99-2).

Table 99-1 Sports-Associated Skin Conditions
Figure 99-1

Runner's nail. In this case there are multiple Beau's lines with onychoschizia.

Figure 99-2

Tennis toe. Subungual hemorrhage seen in runners and basketball and tennis players that produces anxiety because of ...

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