The Grooming Manual

Red Bumps After Your Workout? They Might Not Be Acne

Red Bumps After Your Workout? They Might Not Be Acne

If you’re a guy who cares about your health and appearance, chances are you’re no stranger to the gym. Sure, it’s not easy to balance work, family, and health in a busy schedule. But you make the effort because looking and feeling your best is important to you. It’s the same reason you follow the best daily skincare routine for men.

So it’s frustrating when you finish a workout and find tiny red bumps around especially sweaty areas - like your armpits and shoulders. Are they acne? What causes them? And what can you do to stay fit and also enjoy great skin?

Sweat and Acne

Acne blemishes appear when dead skin cells, dirt, or other debris clog your skin’s oil ducts. These mix with bacteria, leading to inflammation, redness, and irritation - everything you would use to describe a pimple.

Working up a sweat can lead to acne breakouts for many guys. That’s because sweat can mix with dirt, oil, and dead skin cells to clog your pores and form pimples.

But sometimes, you may develop red bumps that aren’t acne. Still, they show up after workouts and seem to be triggered by getting all hot and sweaty. What gives?

Heat Rash vs. Acne

Heat rash is not as common as acne, but it’s definitely an issue for guys who workout in hot, humid places. High humidity makes it harder for your sweat to evaporate. This can clog your skin’s sweat ducts and cause heat rash. It appears as small red bumps that look like acne with few important distinctions:

  • Heat rash usually appears in clusters and looks like a rash, not like individual pimples.
  • Heat rash occurs most frequently on the sweatiest parts of your body - like your shoulders, armpits, and groin.
  • Heat rash bumps don’t fill with pus like acne blemishes do.

How to Prevent Both

If you’re experiencing heat rash after your workouts, make an effort to keep your skin as cool and dry as possible. Some ways to do that include:

Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing traps sweat, which can lead to both acne and heat rash. Choose looser fitting gym clothes that let sweat evaporate and won’t rub against your skin, which would cause friction that further heats your skin.

Wear breathable fabrics. Fabrics designed to wick sweat off your skin are best. Fast drying gym clothes for hot weather will help you reduce the chance of developing heat rash or suffering from regular acne breakouts after your fitness sessions.

Towel off regularly. Have a towel with you and use it to keep your skin dry. It only takes a second and will leave you substantially cooler at the end of your workout.

Shower soon after. The sooner you get out of those sweaty clothes, the better. Toss an all in one wash for men in your gym bag so you can get the sweat and dirt out of your hair, off your face, and away from your skin ASAP.

all in one wash for men

Stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of cool water with you while you workout. Take frequent sips and splash some on your skin if you’re feeling overheated.

Improve your skincare and grooming routine. Sensitive skin is especially prone to breakouts and heat rash. Use a natural body wash for men without harsh detergents to keep your skin clean, hydrated, and non-irritated. Moisturizing is also critical as it helps prevent irritation, dryness, and itch. Use the best body lotion for men after you shower to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

best body lotion for men

Don’t Sacrifice Fitness or Skincare

Your personal fitness routine is just as important as your daily skincare routine for men. Don’t sacrifice either. Instead, create a simple skincare routine that prevents heat rash, acne, and other skin irritation. And use the tips above to keep your skin dry and cool as you get in your workout.

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