Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Dermatol. Feb 2, 2015; 4(1): 8-15
Published online Feb 2, 2015. doi: 10.5314/wjd.v4.i1.8
Dermatological conditions of aquatic athletes
Collin M Blattner, Viktoryia Kazlouskaya, Garrett C Coman, Nicholas R Blickenstaff, Jenny E Murase
Collin M Blattner, School of Medicine, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA 50312, United States
Viktoryia Kazlouskaya, Ackerman Academy of Dermatopa-thology, NY 10016, United States
Garrett C Coman, Nicholas R Blickenstaff, Department of Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, United States
Jenny E Murase, Department of Dermatology, Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, Palo Alto and Mountain View, CA 94040, United States
Jenny E Murase, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94115, United States
Author contributions: All the authors solely contributed to this paper.
Conflict-of-interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest with this publication.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Jenny E Murase, MD, UCSF Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Director of Phototherapy, Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, Department of Dermatology, University of California, 701 East El Camino Real (31-104), San Francisco, CA 94040, United States.
Telephone: +1-650-9347676 Fax: +1-650-9347696
Received: September 16, 2014
Peer-review started: September 16, 2014
First decision: October 14, 2014
Revised: November 26, 2014
Accepted: December 3, 2014
Article in press: December 10, 2014
Published online: February 2, 2015

Numerous manuscripts have described dermatologic conditions commonly seen in swimmers. This review provides an update on water dermatoses and discusses newly described conditions such as allergic contact dermatitis to chemical ingredients like potassium peroxymonosulate in pool water. In order to organize water related skin conditions, we have divided the skin conditions into a number of categories. The categories described include infectious and organism-related dermatoses, irritant and allergic dermatoses, and sun-induced dermatoses. The vast majority of skin conditions involving the water athlete result from chemicals and bacteria in the differing aquatic environments. When considering the effects of swimming on the skin, it is also useful to differentiate between exposure to freshwater (lakes, ponds and swimming pools) and exposure to saltwater. The risk of melanoma amongst swimmers is increased, and the use of SPF 30 or greater sunscreen and protective clothing is highly recommended. Swimmers should be reminded to generously apply sunscreen and be instructed on proper sunscreen usage. This review will serve as a guide for dermatologists, athletes, coaches, and other medical professionals in recognition and treatment of these conditions. We also intend for this review to provide dermatologist with a basic framework for the diagnosis and treatment of a few rarely described dermatological conditions in swimmers.

Keywords: Aquatics, Dermatitis, Athletes, Practice Gaps, Freshwater dermatitis

Core tip: Athletes who spend a significant amount of time in the water are subject to a wide array of diseases that include bacterial and fungal infections. These athletes are often exposed to undesirable environments with excessive humidity, heat, cold, wind, and sunlight. These factors may aggravate or cause different skin conditions that require a dermatologist who has specific knowledge of rare aquatic dermatoses.