Like any other activity, doing your regular workout has its own pros and cons. Less has been said and written about the cons of working out.  The drawback of exercise can greatly affect the glow and appearance of your skin, if not treated.  The biggest question now is how can you counteract those skin problems without giving up this vital activity?

We list down the unwanted side effects of exercise to skin including their prevention so the next time you hit the gym, you know what to do when you experience these awful skin conditions.

  1. Bacne – Back acne or bacne is one of the common skin conditions characterized by combination of sweat and oil that settles to the pores of your body. Since exercise causes you to sweat heavily, it clogs the pores, which causes pimples not only on your face but also at the back.

Prevention: 

  • Since you cannot prevent the release of sweat during workouts, wearing sportswear made of wicking fabric can help prevent breakouts. If your workout clothes directly touch your skin, choose a breathable material.
  • After you completed your workout, remove those sweaty clothes immediately and take a shower. Use mild soap or use soap with salicylic acid to prevent acne from developing. Do not scrub your skin too strongly for it can cause skin irritation that will lead to more breakouts.
  • If your routine involves a super perspiring cardio session, followed by a slightly sweaty training and stretching, change your clothes in between these activities. It will be hard on your part not to mention adding these extra clothes and pile up the laundry, but doing so will make a difference to your skin.
  1. Blisters- you develop it by repetitive contact between your skin and shoes.

Prevention:

  • Find the right shoe that works well with you. If you need a new pair, buy the same brand and the same model if possible. Ensure that your shoes are not too tight or too loose, as constant shifting of your foot inside your shoe will cause blisters.
  • Before you switch to your brand new workout shoes, alternate your old and new pair of kicks for a week or two before switching it completely to a new one. This will help you avoid irritation on your feet.
  • Moisture also causes blisters to develop. When the skin on your feet gets sweaty, it rubs more easily on the inside of your shoe. To prevent this from occurring, wicking shoes are necessary to pull moisture away from your skin.
  1. Excessive redness – this occurs to those with sensitive skin or a condition called rosacea. Those with rosacea have more broken capillaries so any vasodilation caused by working out makes the condition worse. The combination of heat and sweat causes flare-up to people with sensitive skin whenever she does her workout.

Prevention:

  • Use skin products formulated for sensitive skin.
  • Avoid using treatments that will irritate your skin such as retinol, acne products or chemical peels, the night before your workout.
  • Keep your body temperature low during workouts by spritzing with a cooling body spray.
  1. Chafing – it is a skin condition characterized by painful irritation and rashes that is caused by sweat and fabric rub against the skin while running or switching from different movements during a fitness session. If you are not wearing the proper workout gear, you cannot escape excessive friction between opposing skin surfaces including sensitive areas such as thighs, armpits and groin.

Prevention:

  • Invest in some fitted exercise clothes. Choose workout outfit that are made of wicking material such as merino wool or polyester blend.
  • Look for seamless bras, tops and exercise clothing to prevent chafing.
  • Apply powder in between opposing skin surfaces to absorb moisture and reduce friction.
  1. Fungal infection – This infection thrives in warm and moist environments. You can acquire this condition if you are in direct skin contact with an infected person, or inanimate objects like gym equipment.

Prevention:

  • Wear dry, loose clothing.
  • Take a shower after workout. Avoid walking barefoot in the gym and locker room. Use clean towel.
  1. Sunburn- If you are doing your workout outdoors, you cannot escape sunburn from developing. You are at risk of acquiring this condition whenever you are around water or sand for they both reflect sunlight.

Prevention:

  • Avoid doing your routines between 10am to 4pm where sun’s rays is at its peak.
  • Apply sunblock 30 minutes before working out because it takes up long to absorb it by the skin.
  • Bring a compact sunblock so you can still reapply it whenever you perspire.
  • Wear a sunvisor or cap to protect you from heat.
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