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The Unwanted Side Effects of Exercise

Published: 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Experts are always raving about the benefits of exercise, and rightfully so, since the list is a long one. But no one ever discusses the drawbacks to your skin when working out regularly - chafing, pimples on your back, chest, and face, and blisters on your feet. While the benefits of exercise exceed these unwanted skin issues, it doesn't make them any less annoying. Here are ways to prevent them:

 Chafing: 

Sweat and bacteria clog pores and cause pimples -- and not just on your face. Working out can lead to acne, as well as blemishes on your chest, neck and  arms Since you can't prevent the sweating while working out (especially in the Summer), the wicking fabrics used to prevent chafing will also help prevent breakouts. They draw moisture away from your skin and allow it to breathe. Be sure the clothes that directly touch your skin are made of breathable, wicking material. When it comes to your face, make sure to remove any makeup before working out, and to wash it once your workout is over. After your workout is complete, get out of those sweaty clothes immediately and hit the showers. Use a gentle body soap or scrub that contains acne-fighting salicylic acid. Don't scrub too vigorously, since that can irritate your skin and lead to more pimples.

 Blisters: 

To avoid blisters, find a shoe that works for your foot, and buy the same brand and even the same model when you need a new pair. Make sure your sneakers aren't too loose, as the constant shifting of your foot inside the shoe will inevitably lead to blisters. Since working out in new shoes almost always leads to hot spots and blisters, when breaking them in do it slowly. Alternate workouts between your old and new pair for a week or two, and once you switch over completely to the new ones, start off with shorter workouts, and gradually build up. This will help avoid irritation on your feet. New sneakers aren’t the only culprits when it comes to blisters, so is moisture. When your feet get sweaty, it rubs easily on the inside of your shoe. To prevent this from happening, try some wicking socks.

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