Sweat Pimples: Why You're Getting Them and How to Treat Them
Regularly working up a sweat has its perks and benefits for your overall health. But for your skin, acne and breakouts are a very likely follow-up especially without proper hygiene and a few skincare musts for workouts and the summer heat. What are sweat pimples, what causes them, and how can you treat them? Find out in this quick, informational feature with suggestions on what to add in your summer skincare regimen.
The Truth About Sweat Pimples
Think you may be getting pimples and breakouts from too much time at the gym or under the sun? It’s possible. Sweat pimples are real! Before we dive into how sweat causes acne problems, it’s first important to understand a little science behind why we sweat, as well as how bacteria is one of the root causes for acne.
What Sweat is For
Unpleasant as it can be uncomfortable at times, perspiration or sweating is the body’s natural way to cool down. When your body temperature rises, sweating helps keep the internal temperature at a comfortable range. Although what’s normal is not the same for everyone, the normal body temperature for a typical adult is anywhere from 97°F to 99°F (or 37°C). Regulating body temperature is essential to keeping most of its internal processes up and running. Specific enzymes within cells, for example, must have the correct temperature to trigger chemical reactions.
Although normally associated with physical activity and hot weather, sweat can also be caused by physical and emotional stress. Remember that dream job interview? Or the first time you talked to someone who you really wanted to impress?
How Sweat Can Cause Acne
As previously stated, it’s not unusual for acne to appear soon after a sweat session. Now, is it the sweat that causes acne? The short answer is no. But it doesn’t help in keeping your skin clear, either.
Although it’s also a way for the body to release toxins, sweat is mostly water and salt. It’s not as dirty as most would think. That’s how sweat can’t cause acne on its own. What you would want to keep your eyes on instead is the bacteria that builds up on the skin after exercising or regular exposure to environmental elements. Sweat can trap bacteria and contribute to obstructing pores, from which pimples and other forms of acne may occur.
In addition to sweat and bacteria, heat opens up your pores and pressure or friction (from the material of your clothes) increases the odds of having breakouts.
Sweat Pimples vs. Heat Rash
Sweat pimples are often confused with bumps that may actually be heat rash. Heat rashes occur when perspiration is trapped under your skin. Its two most common types, miliaria crystallina (sudamina) and miliaria rubra (prickly heat) appear as a cluster of red bumps that look very similar to pimples.
Sweat Pimples Treatment & Prevention
While we can’t control when, where, and how much we sweat, there are skincare steps that we can take to treat and prevent sweat pimples. Whether for working out or for simply indulging under the sun, consider these skin care suggestions.
For Working Out
- Remove makeup and other traces of dirt before doing your warm-ups.
- Use clean workout clothes and avoid using previously worn ones.
- Keep your skin dry by patting sweat off from time to time using a clean towel.
- Rinse off sweat and bacteria with a shower right after your workout.
For Enjoying the Summer Heat
- Stick to a skincare routine that suits your skin type.
- With skincare products, remember to use gentle, non-comedogenic products. Light and oil-free products are sure to let your pores breathe while also minimizing the chance of acne due to clogged pores.
- Read your product labels to make sure that your item has the right skincare ingredients for fighting acne.
- Resist taking acne matters into your own hands! Trying to pop pimples or emptying blackheads exposes your pores to more bacteria.
- Avoid over-exfoliating, as this can dry your skin. It may even trigger the skin’s sebaceous glands to produce more sebum which could lead to breakouts. If you must, limit exfoliating to once every week.
- Don’t forget to put on sunscreen daily. You’ll want a product that’s oil-free, broad spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays), has SPF 30 or higher, and also has water resistance.
- Consider including anti-acne medications in your daily skincare routine. Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin) is an anti-acne oral drug that helps treat and prevent acne with the antibacterial effects of lactoferrin, along with the skin cell renewal and oil-regulating benefits of vitamin E and zinc.
Read more features on skin care, skin types and managing different types of acne with expert tips and advice from Lactezin. Lactoferrin + d-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate + Zinc (Lactezin) is available in all leading drugstores nationwide. You may also purchase online through Lazada and Shopee.
If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.
ASC Reference No. U008P041921LS
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