Monday, April 15, 2024

Training through Keratosis pilaris: tips for athletes

Are you an exercise enthusiast with keratosis pilaris (KP)? Do you find that your active lifestyle aggravates the condition? You’re not alone! KP, also known as “chicken skin,” is a common skin condition that can affect up to 50% of teenagers and 40% of adults. A keratin plug that results in a skin-colored bump is the cause of this condition.

Constant friction from clothing and sports equipment, as well as sweating during exercise, can worsen this sensitive skin. This can make KP more noticeable, with rough bumps and patches becoming more visible on the skin.

While KP is neither contagious nor painful, it can be frustrating and impact self-confidence. However, there are steps you can take to care for your skin while maintaining your workout routine.

Do you have keratosis pilaris and don’t know it?

Before we dive into self-care measures for this skin type, let’s review the symptoms:

  • Small, rough bumps: These most commonly appear on the upper back, arms, legs, buttocks, and cheeks.
  • “Chicken skin” appearance: The bumps can give the skin a bumpy texture similar to chicken skin.
  • Dry and rough skin to the touch.
  • Occasional itching: While not common, some people with KP may experience mild itching.
  • Mild redness or inflammation: If manipulated and popped the skin might get inflamed and turn red. Tips for exercising with keratosis pilaris

1. Wear appropriate clothing

The type of clothing you wear during exercise can have a significant impact on KP. Tight-fitting or synthetic fabrics like polyester can trap sweat and worsen KP. Instead, opt for loose-fitting, breathable garments to reduce friction and irritation on your skin.

Cotton workout clothes are ideal. If you prefer fitted clothing, choose breathable fabrics like nylon or spandex. These are designed to let your skin breathe, absorb sweat, and help keep your skin cool and dry. You can also wear quick-drying sportswear.

2. Post-workout hygiene routine

Post-workout hygiene is an essential step in self-care for people with KP. It’s important to properly remove sweat and dirt accumulated during physical activity to prevent further pore clogging and worsening of the rough texture.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Immediately after your workout, take a bath and use a post-workout shower gel. These are soap-free formulas that prevent skin dryness, while deeply cleansing, moisturizing, and keeping pores clear.

For more information on the benefits of a post-workout shower and what is the best temperature for your skin you can read this blog post: Showering After Workout – Essential for Skin.

  • Pay special attention to KP-affected areas like the arms, thighs, and buttocks. Make sure to rinse your skin thoroughly to remove any shower gel residue.
  • After bathing, apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and soothed. A urea cream for keratosis pilaris with shea butter is a great option, as it penetrates deeply to hydrate, soften, and reduce bumps and the “chicken skin” appearance.

Remember, consistency is key to preventing the keratin plug from forming and giving your skin a bumpy texture. Keep your skin clean and hydrated to enjoy smoother, softer skin eventually! It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks to see smoother, glowing skin.

3. Regular exfoliation

Incorporate gentle exfoliation into your routine to remove keratin and dead skin cells and improve the appearance of KP. Urea 20% is a natural exfoliant that accelerates skin regeneration and removes the keratin plugs that cause this skin condition. However, avoid harsh exfoliants that can irritate the skin and worsen the condition.

athletes products skincare
Training through Keratosis pilaris: tips for athletes 1

4. Hydration

Hydration is essential to combat the dryness and roughness that characterizes KP, especially when exercising. Sweat generated during exercise can dehydrate the skin, worsening the condition.

Therefore, it is crucial to hydrate your skin regularly, before and after exercise. Here are some recommendations:

  • Apply a moisturizer rich in emollients like shea butter, especially after bathing, such as a urea cream for keratosis pilaris.
  • Choose products specifically designed for people who exercise and have KP, which contains gentle exfoliating ingredients with urea at 20%. Less than 20% doesn’t work like an exfoliant just like a moisturizer.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers that can dry out the skin.
  • Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated inside and out.

Remember, this practice should be part of your daily routine, not only to improve KP but also to maintain healthy and radiant skin.

5. Avoid scratching keratosis pilaris

Popping keratosis pilaris can be tempting, but it’s crucial to avoid doing so at all costs. Popping can worsen the condition, leading to inflammation, irritation, and in some cases, even scarring.

Instead of manipulating the skin and getting the keratin plug out, there are healthier alternatives to improve the appearance of the skin and to prevent the bump from appearing, such as:

  • Applying a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer several times a day, especially after bathing and exercising.
  • Using a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air, particularly during dry winter months.
  • Taking cold to warm baths or showers instead of hot baths or long showers, as hot water can dry out your skin.
  • Being patient and following a proper skincare routine to keep your skin healthy and calm.

6. Consult a Dermatologist!

If your keratosis pilaris is severe or causes you significant discomfort, don’t hesitate to consult a dermatologist. A skin professional can offer you personalized treatment options, to help you manage your symptoms and improve the appearance of your skin.

However, with a self-care routine, attention to specific areas, and the use of appropriate products, most people with keratosis pilaris can enjoy an active lifestyle without worrying about the effects of this common skin condition.

Keep moving, take care of your skin, and don’t let keratosis pilaris stop you on your journey to a healthy and active life!

Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.

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