Are you an athlete are into any sporting activity? Here we discuss the Healthy Skin Skincare Practices for Sports Persons or any athlete. This article is from well respected dermatologist, Dr. Didac Barco.
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Doctors over the years have suggested that playing sports frequently is a healthy practice, and recommended for everybody because of its many health benefits. However, most sports are practiced outdoors, exposing our skin to the climatic changes of each season. Both this type of exercise and the sport performed in gym rooms requires taking into account certain guidelines that will prevent skin lesions.
Protection and Cleaning
If we are going to do outdoor sports, Didac Barco, a specialist in Dermatology at the Quirón-Teknon Hostpital in Barcelona, warns of the importance of using sunscreen. “It is essential to apply sunscreen FPS50, half an hour before the activity.” However, it is not convenient to use any, but it is better to choose specific protectors for exercise. “Sunscreens, with sweat and rubbing, usually disappear from the skin’s surface. Certain protectors are designed to remain on the skin in these conditions and not to irritate the eyes if they sweat on the eyelids, ”he explains. In addition, he adds that, for specific exercises, such as running long distances, it will be useful to apply lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, in areas of friction (intergluteal fold, feet, inguinal folds).
In a closed environment, sun protection is not necessary but we must bear in mind that we will sweat more for the condensation of water. This implies, says the expert, that we will have to wear clothes with fabrics that absorb the sweat produced as much as possible.
Many gyms have sauna, steam room or swimming pool services, which require barefoot. The expert recommends the use of flip flops both in the dressing room and in these rooms. “In this type of environment, precautions in the care of the feet when we are barefoot are extreme, since it is common to infect infectious skin diseases, such as fungi and viral warts.”
Hydration also plays an important role, so Barco points out that, once the exercise is done, after showering, we should apply a thin layer of moisturizer to restore skin lipids that have been lost with sweat, Water and soap.
What to Wear
“Normally, sportswear is prepared to eliminate skin perspiration and is manufactured with fabrics that allow water to evaporate and have openings in areas of greatest sweating, such as the armpits or inguinal folds,” says the expert. In any case, it is recommended choosing synthetic fiber garments and should not fit much to the body. As for the feet, the dermatologist warns of the importance of wearing socks that have absorbent capacity and that the shoes are as breathable as possible.
Dermatitis and Acne
We often hear that sweating can produce acne because of the excess sebum it can generate, however, there are ways to prevent it. Apart from being scrupulous with cleaning our complexion before exercising and doing it without makeup, wearing a clean towel can be very useful. Although Barco explains that acne is not a contagious disease and there is no risk of contracting it or transmitting it by contact with objects, it is possible that, when performing certain exercises (such as abdominals), the injuries that we have in the back will be painful because of the pressure or even some of them burst. “In these cases, it is appropriate to put a clean towel on the mat,” he recommends. As for facial acne, the dermatologist recalls that, after exercise, “we should wash our face with a mild soap and rehydrate the surface with an oil free cream that does not clog the pores.”
Another of the injuries we can suffer is atopic dermatitis, which especially affects the upper areas and those with the highest level of industrial development. Excessive sweating could worsen this pathology. According to Barco, these people should use the recommended sunscreen to moisturize the skin and, at the end of the exercise, shower with a gel or mild soap. “It is important that this is applied in the dirtiest areas, mainly the folds. It is not necessary to vigorously rub the skin or use sponges or abrasive gloves, ”he says. Finally, after showering, the expert advises to nourish the skin with a hypoallergenic moisturizer and drink water to restore lost fluids during exercise.