We all know that irritation can aggravate acne. I talk about it all the time. However, throughout the years I’ve also read in multiple acne related books, and heard in multiple acne related classes which I’ve attended, that irritation plus sweat is even worse. I’ve found this to be very true in my own experience as well.

Let’s use me as an example for a sec. I often get tired at work or when sitting at a table somewhere and put my head down, resting my chin on the back of my hands. I rarely have any issues with that. But recently, I have been getting sun on my body and when I turn over to get some sun on my back, I end up resting my chin on the back of my hands. The difference is that outside in the sun there’s sweat in the mix. I got a “mysterious” breakout under my chin area recently and it perplexed me until I put this together. It was the sweat plus irritation combination that most likely caused the breakout.

Another good example of sweat mixing with irritation is chin straps. Not only do chin straps rub against the skin, they often cause sweatiness. Also, chin straps are worn during physical activity, which includes sweat. This is why for many people, it is especially important to treat that area during sports season. Helmets are another example. Backpack straps rubbing against the upper back in hot, humid weather is another. You get the idea…

I am not telling you this to make you paranoid. We all get sweaty, especially in the warm months, and there is no way to completely avoid irritation. I mention it just so you can become aware of what’s going on and try to mediate it if and when you can. If you end up experiencing sweat mixed with irritation in some area of your skin which tends to be acne prone, be extra careful to apply benzoyl peroxide judiciously in that area.

6 Responses to “Sweat + irritation = unwelcome combination”

  • Crichel

    Interesting – I fine sunglasses, usually worn in hot weather, tend to cause breakouts where they rest on your nose, more so than normal glasses. Not sure why sweat would make irritation worse though.

  • Erick

    Hey Dan,

    I’m not sure if this pertains to the subject of this particular blog, but I’ve noticed for ME, i use very little BP and my skin breaks out way less, and appears much more clear. I think too much BP (FOR ME) causes too much irritation. Is this possible? I’ve been using the regimen for about a year now, and i’ve found out just recently the less BP, the better for me.

    Any thoughts?

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