October is a great time for sports, with the NFL in full-effect, MLB playoffs, and the start of basketball and hockey season athletes all over are in their prime. All athletes, whether playing professionally or for fun face dermatological issues. Some of these include: athlete’s foot, acne, turf burn, and excessive exposure to the sun.
Athlete’s foot is probably the first condition you think of when it comes to professional sports, I mean it does have “athlete” in the name! Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus that grows on or in the top layer of skin. The common fungal infection thrives in areas that are warm, dark and moist – making athlete’s shoes and feet the perfect environment for it to grow.
The condition spreads easily, so it is important to treat it once you feel itching and burning occurring in the foot area. Most infections are able to be treated with over-the-counter creams, but if symptoms persist you should consider seeing a doctor. According to WebMD, you should see a doctor if “your symptoms are not gone after 4 weeks of treatment with a nonprescription antifungal medicine.”
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests, athletes and recreational sports players consider wearing synthetic and quick drying socks, as well as, wearing some sort of sandal or open-toed shoe in public showers. Basic hygiene can help prevent athlete’s foot: keeping your feet clean and dry is a way to deter fungus from growing.
Acne is extremely common among athletes. According to the AAD some of the most common factors causing acne among athletes include: heat, moisture, friction, and clogged pores. Most sports require players to wear some type of helmet and protective gear which constantly rub against the skin sometimes causing rashes. When playing sports it is inevitable that a person will sweat, this clogs pores, and accounts for many of the acne problems that occur.
Turf burns are not associated with all sporting activities but it does happen. Turf burn occurs when an athlete falls causing extreme friction, this in turn creates heat in the skin and removes a layer of skin. Keeping the affected area clean and covered is the best way to prevent getting an infection. If the area is not healing or seems to be getting worse, contacting a dermatologist is your best option.
With any outdoor activity, protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is extremely important. Visit the sun protection section on our blog for tips and tricks on preventing sunburn and other conditions that surface from excessive exposure to the sun.