4 skin problems for athletes

4 skin problems for athletes

A variety of injuries can sideline athletes, but did you know that some common skin ailments can also keep players on the sidelines?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the four skin conditions most often seen in athletes are:


“Blisters are caused by the friction of excessive rubbing of the foot against a sock, shoe, inserts or rough ground,” says Dr. Neil Horsley, a podiatrist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago. “Treatment includes relieving the pressure, applying a topical antibiotic and protecting the affected area from further friction.”

Turf burn (abrasions from falls on an artificial surface)

“Essentially, the soft tissue injury includes a tearing of the thick fibrous capsule at the underside of the joint,” says Dr. Horsley. “It can be serious where surgery is required. Two years ago, Derrick Rose sustained a turf toe injury that sidelined him for a few weeks.”

Athlete’s foot (a fungal infection)

Athletes can prevent this condition by wearing synthetic, moisture-wicking socks, which keep the feet cool and dry, and by wearing sandals in community locker rooms and showers, which prevents the spread of fungal infection according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Acne mechanica (a type of acne caused by heat, moisture, friction and clogged pores)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend several standard precautions when treating someone with a skin abrasion, including hand hygiene before and after contact and after removing gloves. The next step is ensuring the infected wounds on athletes are covered correctly. In addition, athletes must continuously cover various non-infected abrasions and blisters until everything is healed.

“It is important to take care of your feet because they represent our most basic form of mobility and transportation,” says Dr. Horsley. “Our feet, when they are in excellent operating condition, can withstand many types of forces including, jumping, running, walking and dancing. Those are things that we tend to take for granted.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.