Dermatologic Conditions in Elite Tennis Players

  • Walter C. TaylorEmail author
  • Brian Adams


Those who provide medical care for the elite tennis player will commonly encounter players with skin conditions. In this chapter we review the most common skin conditions that affect elite tennis players. We have divided these into four main causes: infectious, allergic, inflammatory, and traumatic. The infectious disorders include bacterial infection such as community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection (CA-MRSA). The viral disorders are varicella/zoster and human papilloma virus causing cutaneous warts. Cutaneous fungal infections are another common problem in the tennis athlete commonly affecting the feet and toenails. Allergic disorders include exercise-induced urticaria and anaphylaxis, the latter being potentially life-threatening. Inflammatory disorders include acne, xerosis, and dermatitis. Lastly, the traumatic causes are solar or ultraviolet ray disorders including skin cancer, friction, and pressure phenomenon such as tennis toenail and talon noire.


  1. 1.
    Likness LP. Common dermatologic infections in athletes and return-to-play guidelines. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2011;111(6):373–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Braun T, Kahanov L, Dannelly K, Lauber C. CA-MRSA infection incidence and care in high school and intercollegiate athletics. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016;48(8):1530–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Liu C, Bayer A, Cosgrove SE, Daum RS, Fridkin SK, Gorwitz RJ, Kaplan SL, Karchmer AW, Levine DP, Murray BE, J Rybak M, Talan DA, Chambers HF. Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical practice guidelines by the infectious diseases society of america for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in adults and children. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;52(3):e18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Kantor GR, Bergfeld WF. Common and uncommon dermatologic diseases related to sports activities. Exerc Sports Sci Rev. 1988;16:215–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Heininger U, Seward J. Varicella. Lancet. 2006;368(9544):1365–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chavess SS, Zhang J, Civen R, Watson BM, Carbajal T, Perella D, Seward JF. Varicella disease among vaccinated persons: clinical and epidemiological characteristics 1997-2005. J Infect Dis. 2008;197(Suppl 2):S127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sterling JC, Gibbs S, Hussain H, Mohd Mustapa M, Handfield-Jones SE. British Association of Dermatologists guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts 2014. Br J Dermatol. 2014;174:696–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Adams BB. Skin infections in athletes. Dermatol Nurs. 2008;20(1):39–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Luca JF, Adams BB, Yosipovich G. Skin manifestations of athletes competing in the summer Olympic games. Sports Med. 2012;32(5):399–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Caputo R, De Boulle K, Del Rosso J, Nowicki R. Prevalence of superficial fungal infections among sport-active individuals: results from the Achilles survey, a review of the literature. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2001;15:312–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Field LA, Adams BB. Tinea pedis in athletes. Int J Dermatol. 2008;47:485–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Prohic A, Sadikovic TJ, Krupalija-Fazlic M, Kuskunovic-Vlahovljak S. Malassezia species in healthy skin and in dermatological conditions. Int J Dermatol. 2016;55:494–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Renati S, Cukras A, Bigby M. Pityriasis versicolor. BMJ. 2015;h1394:350. Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ameen M, Lear JT, Madan V, Mohd Mustapa MF, Richardson M. British Association of Dermatologists’ guidelines for the management of onychomycosis 2014. Br J Dermatol. 2014;171:937–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gupta AK, Daigle D, Foley KA. Network meta-analysis of onychomycosis treatments. Skin Appendage Disord. 2015;1:74–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dice JP. Physical urticaria. Imunol Allergy Clini North Am. 2004;24:225–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Champion RH. Urticaria: then and now. Br J Dermatol. 1988;119(4):427–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Humphreys F, Hunter JA. The characteristics of urticaria in 390 patients. Br J Dermatol. 1998;138(4):635–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Robson-Ansley P, Toit GD. Pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of exercised-induced anaphylaxis. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;10:312–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Castells MC, Horan RF, Sheffer AL. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2003;3:15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bonini M, Palange P. Anaphylaxis and sport. Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;14:323–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Adams BB. Sports Dermatology. New York, NY: Springer; 2006.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Basler RSW. Acne vulgaris mechanica in athletes. Cutis. 1992;50:125–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yıldızgören MT, Rifaioğlu EN, Demirkapı M, Ekiz T, Micooğulları A, Şen T, Turhanoğlu AD. Isotretinoin treatment in patients with acne vulgaris: does it impact muscle strength, fatigue, and endurance? Cutis. 2015;96:33–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Moehrle M, Koehle W, Dietz K, et al. Reduction of minimal erythema dose by sweating. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2000;16:260–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rigel DS, Rigel EG, Rigel AC. Effects of altitude and latitude on ambient UVB radiation. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1999;40:114–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Rooney JF, Bryson Y, Mannix ML, et al. Prevention of ultraviolet-light-induced herpes labialis by sunscreen. Lancet. 1991;338:1419–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Adams BB. Dermatologic disorders of the athlete. Sports Med. 2002;32(5):309–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Cortese TA, Fukuyama K, Epstein W, et al. Treatment of friction blisters. Arch Dermatol. 1968;97:717–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wilkinson DS. Black heel a minor hazard of sport. Cutis. 1977;20:393–6.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Basler RS, Garcia MA. Acing common skin problems in tennis players. Phys Sportsmed. 1998;26:37–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineMayo Clinic College of MedicineJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Women’s Tennis AssociationSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.VAMCCincinnatiUSA

Personalised recommendations