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What Effects Does Sweating Have on Your Skin?

Dermatology Consultants of Frisco - Thursday, December 05, 2019

It happens to everyone. The occasional hot day, a rigorous workout or a slight case of the nerves. Sweating is a perfectly natural human bodily function. In fact, sweat serves several essential purposes for our bodies. However, most people are confused about both the positive and negative impacts sweat can have on our skin. Below, we have a breakdown of both with information concerning acne prevention and sensitive skincare tips.

Man sweating after a workout

Why Do Humans Sweat?

The human body is covered in over four million sweat glands – excluding our lips. The human body starts to sweat when it needs to regulate the body's core temperature. We typically sweat while we exercise because our body’s hydration levels decrease sharply. Sweat allows the body to dispel excess heat from muscles by cooling down. It also works to send sodium back into the bloodstream and detoxify dissolved solids within it. As the body sweats, vital nutrients like potassium, calcium and sodium are depleted.

Sweat is also a sign of healthiness. If a moderately healthy person works out hard and is unable to break a sweat, it could point to severe dehydration. Additionally, people who work out regularly, stay hydrated and stay clean will notice that their sweat tends to be odorless. Pungent body odor is a result of sweat mixing with bacteria on your body.

What Does Sweating Do to the Skin?

The Good

Sweat does have some positive benefits to your skin. It moisturizes and cools the skin. Regular exercise and normal sweat production have been shown to have anti-aging effects. Additionally, it even helps kill harmful bacteria on your skin’s surface. However, there is a critical point to remember. After exercising, sweat shouldn't sit on the skin for too long. It's essential to wash your face off relatively soon after your workout. Otherwise, you run the risk of subjecting yourself to sweat’s adverse effects.

The Bad

Sweat can pose a few threats to your skin's health. When you sweat, your body's not just losing water. Sebum (oil) and dead skin also exit through your pores. If the right measures are not taken to cleanse your skin, your pores could become blocked and get irritated. Your sweat also releases ammonia and urea, which can contribute to skin irritation if left to settle in your pores.

Sweat Aftercare

After a workout, wash off all sweat on your body as soon as possible. Clogged sweat glands can cause skin conditions like prickly heat. Heat and sweat provide a fertile breeding ground for bacteria to fester. If left unwiped, bacteria can settle into your pores and start a breakout. For people with acne or sensitive skin, this can be a recipe for disaster.

You can also be proactive and wash your face before a workout. This helps reduce the impurities on your skin before you exercise.

After a long day, it's essential to shower with a deep cleanser and a thorough exfoliation routine to free up pores. For an effective sensitive skincare routine or an acne prevention routine, use alcohol-free toners after cleansing to help restore your skin's pH balance.

The Dermatology Consultants of Frisco and Precision Dermatology

If your skin is breaking out consistently, consult with a dermatologist. If you suspect your sweat production is compromising your skin health, the Dermatology Consultants of Frisco can offer solutions. The clinic has a team of top dermatologists who can consult on skin conditions for patients of any age. Book your appointment today to get back to healthy, young-looking skin.


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