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Exercise and Acne?

Some people notice their acne gets worse after exercise, especially on their back.

There is probably a combination of reasons for this; increased sweat combined with sticky surface skin cells can lead to a blockage of our pores, creating blocked follicles which are ideal for p. acnes - the ‘acne bacteria' - to grow.

Also likely, is that exercise can alter our normal hormonal balance leading to the skin becoming sensitive to DHT, the hormone important in the development of spots.

Certain body building supplements may influence hormonal levels and sensitivity to hormones. The skin can start to lose lipids which can again accelerate skin water loss. Dehydration when exercising can lead to increased to dry skin which may also cause the skin to speed up cell turnover, which can result in more dead skin to plug hair follicle ducts.

Increased water loss can cause the skin to produce more oil (sebum) which not only increases the risk of follicle blockage but also provides food for the p.acnes to thrive in the blocked duct. The suggested solution is to maintain hydration, ensure ceramide levels in the skin which support a healthy production of skin lipids are boosted, use a topical cream which can moderate local sensitivity to DHT and an also boost skin omega oils levels, both of these actions can short circuit the process which leads to blocked hair follicles.

Be aware of what supplements can do to your body apart from helping to boost muscle mass. Shower after your work out and dry thoroughly with a towel to help exfoliation of the back especially. If you use acne products make sure they contain agents which restrict the growth of bad bacteria but do not use those which kill your good skin bacteria.

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