A 35-year-old intramural male athlete presented to the athletic training staff with a 4.5cm x 2.2cm itchy, painful, swollen, and infected insidious skin lesion on his right lateral malleolus due to an underlying dermatological deficiency. Suspecting infection, the patient was referred to his nurse practitioner and was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis caused by a ceramide deficiency. He was placed on Cefalexin and Mupirocin 2% ointment but returned due to the lesion increasing to 8.5cm x 6cm although infection seemed controlled. He was instructed to use Ceravé™ topical cream, Clobetasol propionate 5%, and consume foods rich in healthy oils (omega-3s, olive oil). Unmitigated, this lesion could have resulted in severe infection and tissue damage. Atopic dermatitis is relatively common in the general population but the appearance in healthy athletes highlights that athletic trainers need to be well-versed in not just apparent causes of skin ailments (i.e., infection), but also root causes.

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