When you’re a seasoned athlete, it becomes second nature to focus on your health and general fitness. You devote a good portion of your day to staying active and eating right—all for the sake of participating in the sport you love. But an active lifestyle can also open you up to a series of potential problems such as injuries and infections. In fact, even your skin is at risk to a certain degree. These are some of the most common skin issues for athletes, and what you can do to avoid them.
The ideal weather for most sports is sunny or overcast, meaning that you tend to spend a great deal of time exposed to the sun. While this is beneficial in several different ways, too much sun is a recipe for a serious burn. In addition to the redness, peeling, and irritation you experience, sunburns can also have lasting health effects on the skin that make you more susceptible to illness. These are only a few of the reasons why wearing sunscreen is vital whenever you leave your home.
Getting blisters is also something athletes tend to experience often. These painful blemishes form when friction pulls at the topmost layers of a person’s skin. This leads the area to fill with fluid or blood. Blisters often show up along the feet, specifically on the tips of your toes or heels. Because they’re painful and difficult to get rid of, make sure that your sneakers or athletic shoes fit you correctly so that you can avoid access rubbing.
Another one of the most common skin issues for athletes is sport-induced acne breakouts. Unlike typical acne, which happens due to clogged pores, this type of blemish develops from frequent rubbing with your clothes. For those with sensitive skin, rough-textured clothing can irritate them and cause inflammation, creating groups of red bumps. Many pieces of athletic gear can contribute to this as well. So, it’s advisable to wear softer clothing underneath to limit direct contact.
You can even contract certain types of infections depending on your sport. In particular, high-contact activities can transfer bacteria between individuals, triggering your skin’s defense response. Some common infections, such as staph, herpes, and ringworm, cause itchiness and redness of the skin. A few can cause you to develop bumps that resemble acne too. Fortunately, practicing thorough personal hygiene habits and reducing physical contact with others can help reduce your risk.