Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms. It is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans yearly. It commonly occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands activate, but it can occur at any age. It occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. It can be a source of embarrassment and if left untreated, it can cause scarring. 

There are many questions surrounding acne and one of the most common is...can working out cause acne? The short answer, yes. Working out can lead to sweating excessively, which contributes to buildup on our skin,  which all leads to acne according to the American Academy of Dermatology

What Can You Do? 

The best thing you can do is prevent that build-up before it happens.  Keep your skin clean by using a mild cleanser and even a gentle scrub a few times per week.  

Be sure to wash your face before your workout and remove all of your makeup. Of course, using a clean rag to wipe the sweat off during your workout can help too.

For outdoor workouts, you can prevent breakouts by protecting your skin from the sun. The sun can dry our skin, which leads to more oil production and breakouts. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and make sure it is oil-free and non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores.  which can clog pores and cause acne.

Do not share helmets or any equipment and be sure to wipe down machines before and after use. Finally, as soon as your workout is over, wash the sweat off your face or jump in the shower for a full skin cleanse. Be wary of using harsh soaps on your skin which can irritate it or dry it out.

If you have a constant battle with acne, be sure to see a dermatologist who can recommend the right course of action for your particular skin and lifestyle. 

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