Skin Disorders in Athletes: Professional and Recreational Sports

  • R. Blake Steele
  • James S. TaylorEmail author
  • Savina Aneja
Reference work entry


Dermatological problems of athletes are a result of mechanical trauma, cutaneous infections, contact dermatitis, and environmental exposures.

Preexisting dermatosis can be aggravated by continued physical skin contact, environmental factors, anabolic steroid use, and persistent sweating in athletes.

Detailed history and physical examination is important in differentiating skin pathologies arising from participation in athletics from other skin conditions, both banal and serious (e.g., verrucae vulgaris, subungual malignant melanoma, Osler’s nodes, and Janeway lesions of endocarditis).

Athletes are more prone to mechanical trauma, infection, and contact dermatitis due to the use of occlusive clothing, excessive sweating, frequent skin-to-skin contact, and communal use of equipment and facilities.

Recognition, treatment, and prevention of sports-related skin diseases will maximize the athlete’s performance and general well-being.


Athletes Professional athletes Recreational athletes Skin problems Mechanical trauma Infections Contact dermatitis Environmental exposures 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Blake Steele
    • 1
  • James S. Taylor
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Savina Aneja
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Desk A-61, Dermatology-Plastic Surgery InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Private PracticeOrlandoUSA
  3. 3.Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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