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Wrestling Wins for Most High School Athletic Skin Infections

Overall rate of skin infections is 2.27 per 100,000 athlete exposures; mostly bacterial and tinea

wrestling

TUESDAY, March 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Among U.S. high school athletes, the rate of skin infections is 2.27 per 100,000 athlete exposures, with the majority occurring in wrestlers, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Kurt A. Ashack, from the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids, and colleagues reported the epidemiology of skin infections among U.S. high school athletes. Data were included from the High School Reporting Information Online for high school sports-related skin infections resulting in time loss reported by a convenience sample of U.S. high schools from 2009/2010 through 2013/2014.

The researchers identified 474 skin infections among 20,858,781 athlete exposures, for a rate of 2.27 per 100,000 athlete exposures. Most of the skin infections occurred in wrestling (73.6 percent), followed by football (17.9 percent). Bacterial and tinea infections were the most common (60.6 and 28.4 percent, respectively). The head/neck and forearm were the most commonly affected body parts (25.3 and 12.7 percent, respectively).

"Skin infections are an important subset of high school sports-related adverse events," the authors write. "An understanding of the epidemiology of sports-related skin infections should promote awareness and drive evidence-based prevention efforts."

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