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Skin Infections in Athletes – OrthoInfo

Viral pores and skin infections usually viewed in athletes include:

  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Warts

Molluscum Contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is brought on by a pox virus. Typically viewed in youthful children, the infection can be spread by pores and skin-to-pores and skin speak to or by sharing pools, decks, and other wet environments with anyone who has the infection.

Molluscum contagiosum results in lesions (mollusca) that commonly arise in clusters in the body’s creases — these kinds of as the underarms, elbow, and powering the knees — while they may well surface in other areas, as properly.

Mollusca are commonly smaller (three to four mm in diameter), pink, and dome-formed with a smaller despair, or dimple, in the center. They are frequently surrounded by an itchy, eczema-like rash.

Procedure. If remaining untreated, mollusca may well at some point resolve on their individual. The lesions frequently spread, having said that, so it can acquire from quite a few months to quite a few several years for untreated lesions to go absent fully. For this cause, remedy is frequently recommended.

Mollusca are frequently taken care of with remedies, such as:

  • Cantharidan. This pain-free blistering agent is utilized in the doctor’s office environment. Various remedies two to three weeks apart are commonly demanded.
  • Imiquimod, five-fluorouracil, or tretinoin. These topical prescription remedies can be utilized at residence. In some patients, having said that, they can be irritating to the pores and skin and sluggish to get the job done.

Mollusca may well also be taken care of with cryotherapy or curettage. In cryotherapy, the health practitioner freezes the lesions with liquid nitrogen, which results in the cells to die. Curettage is a small surgical treatment in which the health practitioner scrapes off the lesions.

Herpes Simplex Virus

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) normally results in a recurrent cluster of tender, burning blisters on or around the mouth or lips. Right before these blisters surface, you may well truly feel a burning or tingling sensation in the contaminated location.

The blisters commonly crust about right after quite a few days and resolve in two to three weeks. Due to the fact the virus can stay in the pores and skin, reoccurrence in the exact same area is frequent.

In wrestlers, HSV frequently seems in other areas on the human body — such as the neck, torso, and extremities — and is usually referred to as “herpes gladiatorum.” When it impacts the fingertip, it is known as “herpetic whitlow.”

If the blisters have crusted about, HSV is often misdiagnosed as impetigo (a bacterial pores and skin infection), acne, or eczema, which can lead to a delay in remedy.

Procedure. HSV is commonly taken care of with an oral antiviral drug these kinds of as valacyclovir or acyclovir. These medicine get the job done finest to shorten the duration of the outbreak if you commence having them inside of the very first 72 hours of signs or symptoms.

If the virus reoccurs commonly, your health practitioner may well prescribe a suppressive day-to-day dose of both medication. This will enable lower outbreaks and limit missed activities and practices.


Warts are pores and skin growths brought on by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Any individual can get warts, but they are commonly transmitted to athletes via speak to with contaminated locker place floors and mats.

Warts are commonly light-weight brown, yellowish, or flesh-colored. Due to the fact they can be mistaken for callouses, your health practitioner may well pare down the thickened location of pores and skin to glance for smaller black dots. These black dots are basically smaller clotted capillaries feeding the wart.

Procedure. There are a amount of remedy alternatives for warts. Some of them have to have a shorter time period of recovery due to the slight discomfort they bring about. These include:

  • Cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen is utilized to freeze the wart.
  • Curettage. A particular instrument is utilized to scrape off the wart.
  • Laser remedy. The wart is burned and wrecked with a laser.
  • Topical remedy. A blistering agent, these kinds of as cantharidin, is utilized to the floor of the wart.

These therapies normally have to have quite a few remedies two to three weeks apart. Your health practitioner will speak with you about regardless of whether you can participate in practices and athletic activities in the course of this time.

Your health practitioner may well also prescribe a topical prescription medication that can be utilized at residence, these kinds of as imiquimod, five-fluorouracil, or tretinoin. Whilst these remedies have to have some get the job done on the section of the client, they are pain-free, and employing them does not commonly effect participation in practices and activities.