Skin Problems That Mess Up Your Workout

Skin Problems That Mess Up Your Workout

July 14, 2019

Working out goes beyond just improving your overall physique. It helps you sleep better, reduce stress, and improve your mood. However, as great as all that is, there are some downsides to working out, especially when it comes to the most vulnerable part of our body: the skin. We list some of the skin problems that could possibly mess up your workout momentum.

Sun Damage

Runners, bikers, hikers, and other enthusiasts can suffer from premature aging due to the damage from UV rays. Prolonged time outdoors ages the skin by breaking down collagen and elastin. 

Solution: Sunscreen is the simplest solution to this. Make sure you get a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours to protect your skin from sun damage and skin cancer.

Body Acne

It’s bad enough that you have to deal with the occasional pimple on your face. But when a cluster pops up on your chest and back too, that’s just so hard to deal with. Acne develops when dead skin cells, dirt and/or oil gets trapped in your pores, clogging it. This causes the bacteria to multiply quickly, causing inflammation. Other factors such as increased sweating, irritation from clothing, and repetitive rubbing can also cause breakouts for gym and workout enthusiasts. 

Solution: The first thing to find out is to pick treatments that address all causes. Decrease inflammation, oil production, and unclog pores and fight bacteria. The number one way to fight acne before it starts is to shower immediately after exercising to cleanse the area. Proper hygiene is definitely the key. If your body acne gets worse or the inflammation does not subside, see a dermatologist so that you will be given proper treatment and professional advice.

Dry Skin

People who workout regularly often shower more frequently. This can cause dry skin. Frequent and prolonged showers with hot water dry out the skin by stripping the natural hydrating oils and proteins. Swimmers are more prone to dry kin because of the pool’s chlorine. 

Solution: Shorten your showers for 10 minutes or less and use cool or warm water. Use a moisturizing body wash, and apply a moisturizer two to three minutes after you step out of the shower or pool to help minimize trans-epidermal water loss or simply put, losing moisture through the skin. This will keep your skin’s moisture levels balanced.


Chafing is caused by friction. If you get those red spots when your skin gets rubbed the wrong way, it can make any workout feel not worth it. The parts of the body that rub together such as the inner thighs, are more prone to chafing.

Solution: Keep the skin cool and dry. Avoid moist clothing for long periods of time, and wear breathable fabrics. Opt for clothes that are loose so there’s less room for rubbing. If chafing is unavoidable, there are skin lubricants or balms to relieve your skin from itch caused by friction.

Forehead Breakouts

The forehead is a problem area especially for those who use hair products, wear hats, helmets, or headbands when they exercise. Breakouts that are caused by wearing headwear are called acne mechanica, and they break out because of friction. The rubbing stimulates sebaeous glands to produce excess oils. 

Solution: To avoid this, ditch the hat or headband if you can. For those who are into biking and are required to wear helmets, one way to prevent breakouts is to clean the skin and remove makeup before working out. Wipe your face with a clean cloth after biking, same as what you can do when you have body acne.


If you have eczema, your sweat can exacerbate the issue. Salt and moisture irritate the skin even more, making the rash not only visible but also more comfortable.

Solution: Moisturize. To restore the protective barrier that keeps the skin hydrated, use fragrance-free moisturizers after shower. Look for hydrating ingredients such as glycerin, ceramides, or hyaluronic acid.

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