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The Integumentary System in Sports

presented by Todd Arnold, MD

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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How should sports therapists manage and provide care for athletes with integumentary conditions? In this course, Dr. Todd Arnold introduces the integumentary system for sports therapists, covering basic anatomy and physiology as well as the most important skin conditions for athletes. Among these, infectious diseases such as MRSA are on the rise in athletic populations. Dr. Arnold explains how best to prevent these conditions from spreading and how to treat the most common infectious diseases. He further covers the essential skin lesions, environmental exposure, and contact dermatitis present in athletic populations. Finally, Dr. Arnold gives special mention to MRSA due to its increasing prevalence in athletes and the severity of the disease itself. Throughout this course and each of the many skin conditions presented, Dr. Arnold includes information on prevention, treatment, and return to play to effectively protect your athletes.

Meet Your Instructor

Todd Arnold, MD

Dr. Todd Arnold is a primary care/sports performance physician with more than a decade of experience caring for athletes of all levels from scholastic to professional. He serves as a sports performance scientist for USA Track & Field, and he worked extensively with more than 50 athletes in preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, where…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Anatomy and Physiology, Skin Lesions

This chapter covers important information on basic anatomy and physiology of the skin, preparing the sports therapist to understand skin lesions and other damage to the integumentary system. Examples of this are provided, including skin lesions, blisters, corns, intertrigo, nail bed injuries, and others.

2. Infectious Diseases

What causes impetigo, cellulitis, and erysipelas? This chapter answers this question and provides information on the cause of many other bacterial, viral, and fungal infectious skin diseases.

3. Environmental Exposure and Contact Dermatitis

Vital information regarding a variety of environmental exposures and contact dermatitis are explored with great detail in this chapter. Information on both temperature related environmental exposures and bites and stings provides a thorough basis from which to make judgments for treatment and return to play.


One special topic of particular interest in this course is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. This skin infection is potentially a life threatening disease. Thus, it is essential that the sports medicine professional understand this condition including the return to play guidelines provided here.

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