Activities such as walking, jogging and other workouts in the mornings and in the evenings have become part of the daily routines of many. Exposure to the sun and sweating are therefore unavoidable. Sweating for an extended period while you exercise clad in tight attire, made of artificial material, can have negative effects on your skin. Caring for the largest organ in the human body needs dedication and understanding. In order to benefit workout enthusiasts, we spoke to Dr. Indhira Kahawita, a Consultant Dermatologist at Base hospital, Homagama, to gain more insight into the common skin care problems experienced by many.
“After 8 am in the morning and some hours during the evening it’s impossible to avoid the sun, specially if you indulge in outdoor activities. Even if wearing less clothes is considered more convenient during workouts, doctors advice people to use clothing that shields the body from harmful sunlight while exercising outdoors. Sunscreens are a must if you are working out in the sun, otherwise you will get sunburned. If sunspots appear in the upper arms it is advisable to use sunscreen.
Sunburn are minimized either by covering the body with clothes or using a sunscreen ( SPF above 30). Applying a thick layer of sunscreen is necessary to protect your skin from sunburn. Apply sun screen every two hours if you have to stay out in the sun for too long. But usually no one uses sunscreen, the proper way, like cricketers do,” Dr. Kahawita said.
“Excess sweat remaining on the skin for an extended time can cause fungal infections and other problems like acne. Sweating can be controlled by using cotton clothing, which absorbs excess sweat. Nearly all fashionable clothing worn during workouts are made of nylon and other materials. This does not help absorb the sweat like cotton materials. Clothes soaked with sweat can create a heaven for bacteria and germs, therefore wearing the same suit daily might invite trouble. Applying foot powder before wearing shoes can help to absorb the moisture collecting between the toes. An antifungal powder is ideal for diabetic patients. The powder must be used before wearing the shoe. Drying the shoes in the sun for a minimum of two hours after use helps to maintain sanity,” Dr. Kahawita explained.
Using the right pair
Dr. Kahawita said that she had met some middle-aged ladies who preferred to exercise barefoot. “Usually slippers can’t offer the support that sports shoes do. Even the brisk walk can do unknown damage to the toes if shoes aren’t worn. Wearing tightly fitting shoes will cause darkened patches on the skin. Individuals who wish to workout without shoes should use a jogging path for walking if they chose to train barefoot.” she noted.
“The warm and moist environment within gyms creates a suitable atmosphere for a number of microbes to exist. These microbes can worsen your skin infections, therefore it’s advisable to keep any wounds or scars treated with medicine and fully covered.” Dr. Kahawita said.
“Regular gym goers and workout enthusiasts love to show off their figure, wearing body-hugging clothes in spite of physical uneasiness. Tight clothing can create deep marks on your skin, especially on shoulders, upper arms, waist and wherever it is extra tight. Therefore, the best option is to wear more comfortable clothing while exercising.” she pointed.