How to Avoid Post-Workout Skin Emergencies

There is no time like the New Year to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Eating right, taking care of your skin and exercising are all excellent ways to achieve a healthier you - inside and out. If you're sticking to your resolutions and getting some quality exercise in at least three times a week, then good for you! You're on your way to looking and feeling your best. The downside is, your skin may not agree with the sudden increase in activity. Here are some common post-workout skin emergencies, along with the best ways to treat and prevent them.

Breakouts

When you exercise, the pores and sweat glands in your skin open up in order to cool down your body temperature. As your sweat mixes with the oils, bacteria, makeup residue on your skin, it can result in clogged pores and skin blemishes. To help prevent this from happening, try to wash your face before working out and spritzing on a facial toner with ingredients like Rosewater and Salicylic Acid to calm and clear pores. Then immediately after working out, use a gentle facial exfoliant that can scrub way surface debris and unclog pores. Best ingredients to look for include fruit enzymes, oatmeal and bamboo beads. Avoid harsh facials with jagged particles, like sugar or salt crystals, and nut shells, as these are too abrasive and will irritate your skin. For mild acne breakouts, try treating blemishes with a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide wash. Lastly, a few tips before you start exercising: pull your hair back away from your face to prevent oils from coming into contact with your skin, and remember to washands thoroughly after coming in contact with any gym equipment to prevent transferring bacteria onto your skin.

Sweat Rash

Intense sessions at the gym can sometimes trigger a common fungal yeast infection on your skin as a result of humidity, friction and a lack of ventilation. It's known as sweat rash, and it usually shows up as red, irritated patches of skin (it is more common between skin folds, where friction is greater, such as the armpits, inner thighs and groin). To prevent sweat rash, use a clean towel while working out to gently pat your skin dry, and avoid non-breathable fabrics like Lycra and Nylon. If sweat rash occurs, try using an over-the-counter cream, like Hydrocortisone, can help reduce redness and inflammation. If condition persists, consult your dermatologist for a prescription anti-fungal cream.

Body Acne

The increased perspiration on our bodies, mixed with friction from clothing and bacteria from the gym, can result in a breakout on your back, chest and other parts of your body. To help prevent body acne, try to shower soon after your workout to remove the sweat and buildup that clogs pores. You can also use a mild skin exfoliant, like the one mentioned above for Breakouts, to help unclog pores and exfoliate away surface debris. Also consider changing your workout gear to include more lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics to allow adequate air flow to your skin.  

 


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