Skin problems after exercise: How to beat the blush

More than half of Britons say they experience some form of skin problem after exercise or workout and fitness regimes

skin problems after excercise
More than half of Britons say they experience some form of skin problem after workouts Photo: deanetr/Flickr

More than half of Britons say they experience some form of skin problem after exercise, according to new research.

Over a third (38 per cent) of regular sport enthusiasts complaining of the onset of facial irritations such as stinging skin and flushing – nearly the same number who lament sore muscles (40 per cent).

The findings, released by specialist skincare brand Dermalex, show that skin concerns are likely to be part of the reason one in five people feel judged by their appearance when partaking in some form of fitness activity.

More than a fitness flush

Facial redness caused by exercise will often pass during the cool-down phase, however for some people where the redness is prolonged; this could be a sign of rosacea, a common skin condition which affects one in 10 people in the UK.

“Flushing and facial redness is a natural side effect of exercising, and doesn’t always mean you are suffering from rosacea,” says Dr Johanna Ward, cosmetic doctor and GP.

“However, for people who find that the redness persists or is accompanied by visible blood vessels and thickened skin, it is important to seek medical advice to help manage the symptoms.”

Despite its prevalence, rosacea often goes undiagnosed and more than two in five people are completely unaware of the term or that there are treatments available.

“Rosacea is a skin problem that is often hidden in plain sight,” adds Dr Johanna. “And whilst exercise is a known trigger, the benefits for overall health and wellbeing, including skin health, are undisputed so efforts should be made to protect the skin from flare ups.”

Improving skin appearance is among the top reasons to exercise for nearly half (49 per cent) of people, on a par with losing weight (52 per cent) and building muscle (56 per cent). “Washing and cleansing your skin after exercise will keep pores unclogged and make a big difference to your complexion,” advises Dr Johanna. “Try and get into the habit of applying sunscreen with factor 30 containing UVA and UVB protection whenever you are exercising outdoors to protect your skin against sun damage and reduce the risk of skin redness.”

Fear of judgement goes more than skin deep

Concerns about our appearance lead 35 per cent of people to actively avoid public places because of a bad skin flare up, suggesting that our skin has a deep-seated influence on our lifestyle choices. More than a third of us (36 per cent) fear that a visible skin condition will cause people to stare which could explain why persistent blushing or facial redness is linked to lack of confidence (31 per cent), assumptions of high blood pressure (25 per cent) and being insecure (23 per cent).

Beat the blush

Keeping skin redness under control doesn’t have to mean hanging up your running shoes. Try introducing a simple skincare solution into your post workout routine and you may find it makes all the difference.

Dermalex Rosacea is a clinically proven skin repair cream which reduces 95 per cent of redness, whilst soothing the other symptoms of rosacea, including redness, flushing, spider veins and dry skin and helps to activate the skin’s own repair mechanism.3-4 “Speak to your local pharmacist to discuss the options available to you,” concludes Dr Johanna.

Dermalex Rosacea is an effective yet tolerable treatment and is antibiotic, paraben and fragrance free. For more information and expert advice on managing rosacea, visit www.rosaceauncovered.co.uk, a one stop community for rosacea sufferers which hosts expert videos, blogs and a quiz to help diagnose your symptoms.

The Dermalex range also includes treatments for psoriasis and eczema. Dermalex Rosacea is available in 30g pack size from selected pharmacy stores, independent pharmacies and online.

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