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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Jun;56(6):1048-55. Epub 2007 Feb 16.

Contact dermatitis in athletes.

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Department of Dermatology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.


Athletes face numerous hazards in their daily activities. An athlete's skin, in particular, endures repeated exposure to trauma, heat, moisture, and numerous allergens and chemicals. These factors combine with other unique and less well-defined genetically predisposing factors in the athlete's skin to cause both allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) and irritant contact dermatitis (ICD). As with other cases of contact dermatitis, these eruptions in athletes present as a spectrum of acute to subacute to chronic dermatitis. Recognizing the unique environmental irritants and allergens encountered by athletes is paramount to facilitate appropriate therapy and prevention. This review comprehensively examines the literature on contact dermatitis in athletes. The different types of contact dermatitis have been classified under sport-specific subheadings. Furthermore, within each subheading, both ACD and ICD types are discussed.

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