What is it?
There are many types of acne, but when you’re working out, sports acne or its medical term (acne mechanica) is a common occurrence.
It can be in many places such as the hairline, face, jaw, back, chest, anywhere there is skin and hair (even fine hairs) and is caused by a combination of factors.
When frequent sweating occurs, heat and sweat can get trapped within the clothing layer and the clothing (and hair) that rubs against the skin or is not absorbent.
When we sweat the skin relaxes and pores open. Now we have bacteria on the skin (relax, it’s normal and that’s why we shower daily), which creates the perfect chemical situation for acne to occur.
Then the skin cools, trapping the bacteria and closing the pores, which causes acne to occur.
How can you reduce sports acne?
- Firstly, wear loose clothing and always wash all clothing after a workout.
- Shower (or use wet wipes to the areas of concern) as soon as possible after exercise.
- Ensure you dry yourself well too.
- You should also consider discarding and replacing clothing that is well used in order to avoid potential build up of bacteria, even when it has been washed regularly.
Which products should I use?
You can apply to dry acne products such as Tea Tree skin products or natural balms, when you shower.
Prior to a work out you can put clean dry patches over really bad areas to avoid friction and stop water and bacteria from getting trapped near the skin.
You could also consider using a product that will work to protect the areas and nourish the skin to avoid friction, so that that sweat can’t penetrate.
In our clinic, we supply “Natural Herbal” products.
These are mostly organic ointments, balms and creams for skin containing violet and calendula.
We also have an Avolene product, a replacement for gasoline, which is a rich castor oil-based balm. This can be used to cover the worst of your acne and protect your skin while working out. We then recommend using the Calendula and Violet after a shower, to repair the skin.
Other ways to combat Sports Acne
Drink plenty of water at room temperature to help your body cool and flush out toxins!
Eat plenty of varied whole foods!
Follow a diet that is a good mix of vegetables, fruits, – all different colors, protein, some carbohydrates, and nuts.
This will help keep your skin healthy and reduce inflammation caused by diet. It will also help reduce the actual heat that occurs when working out (heat and sweating) on a regular basis.