Does Sweating Make You Break Out? The Answer.

July 14, 2016 by Justine Schwartz
shefinds | beauty

Everybody sweats. It’s true! There is no human on earth that doesn’t. I don’t care how attractive or famous you are–you have sweat glands and have at some point in your life completely sweated through a t-shirt (or worse).

Here’s the question though–besides from sweat stains, what are the other downsides of sweating? Does it make you break out? Here’s the answer, once and for all:

Does Sweating Make You Break Out?

The answer is yes–there are some situations where more sweat equals more breakouts (webMD says it won’t, but we found several MD’s who insist that it does).

Cynthia Bailey, MD, says that one type of acne in particular, pityrosporum folliculitis, can be traced back to sweat. This acne is marked by itchy and tender red pimples and little clogged white bumps. It’s caused by the overgrowth of normal skin yeast (almost everybody has it) because of hot or humid conditions or a lot of exercise/athletic training. Unfortunately, this type of acne is difficult to treat for people who are just *prone* to it, but Bailey suggests de-greasing your skin with rubbing alcohol after you sweat to avoid breakouts.

READ NOW: 9 Things That Will Stop Sweat

Sweat also *indirectly* causes acne via sweaty clothing. According to Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, “Acne on the back and chest can be caused by bacteria, clogged pores and irritation. It is common in gym-rats, who wear sweaty gym clothes.” Hilary Reich, M.D. also told StyleCaster that post-workout breakouts happen “when sweat from your workout mixes with oil, dead skin cells and bacteria that can overwhelm pores and lead to clogging.”

Switching out your sweaty clothes for clean, dry ones is the fastest and easiest way to prevent acne from forming. If you don’t have time to shower, try using a salicylic acid wipe on your chest, shoulders and back. This might be a good idea in the case of sweating-on-the-way-to-work–you can’t really shower OR change your clothes, so consider investing in these antibacterial wipes and use them on areas where you are most prone to breakouts.

READ NOW: How To Stop Facial Sweat For Good

So, there you have it–for some people in some situations, sweat can actually cause (directly or indirectly) breakouts. Sorry, webMD!

READ NOW: 4 Ways To Deal With Back Sweat



Acne, Beauty, skin, tips


Editorial Director

Justine Schwartz is a veteran women's lifestyle editor; she's written extensively about style & beauty tips, health advice and wedding planning for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Huffington Post and New York Weddings. Justine has been with SheFinds since 2010; you can reach her via email at [email protected]

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