Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people. Many people don't know, though, that acne can also be caused by sports equipment. Acne Mechanica is skin inflammation that's triggered by contact with friction and pressure on the skin, often during exercise or athletic activities. This acne can affect anyone who engages in some form of physical activity, but it's especially common among athletes.
If you're an athlete, it's important to know how to prevent this type of acne before it becomes a problem. Acne mechanica should be treated differently than regular acne since it's caused by specific factors rather than bacteria deep inside your pores.
What is Acne Mechanica?
Acne Mechanica is a type of acne that occurs due to friction and pressure when the skin is rubbed, squeezed or stretched. The pimples occur when heat and sweat become trapped on your skin because of sports gear or equipment, irritating the area and causing bacteria to grow.
Many active people like athletes and sportsmen often get acne Mechanica: basketball players who wear tight jerseys; baseball players with caps pulled too tight; wrestlers whose headgear leaves marks on their faces; hockey goalies whose masks rub against their faces all day...the list goes on!
Causes of Acne Mechanica
If you're an athlete and suffer from acne, you may be wondering if your sport is to blame. The answer is probably yes because of excessive sweat that can clog your pores—but not always. Other common causes of acne mechanica include sports gear and equipment as well as tight clothing.
When you're training and playing hard, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about how your equipment or accessories might affect your skin. But if you're noticing pimples on your back, shoulders, or neck—or if you've noticed new acne popping up recently—your sports gear and equipment might be the culprit.
Tight clothing can also cause friction between the material and your skin. This is especially true with tight activewear that rub against your skin as you move around throughout the day. The friction causes inflammation, which can lead to acne mechanica.
Tips against acne mechanica
Your experience with acne mechanica should not get in the way of your love for athletics—and we're here to help with a few tips on how to avoid this specialized type of acne.
Tip 1: Keep your sports equipment clean.
The first tip is to keep your sports equipment clean. This includes washing it after every use, using a disinfectant to clean it and wiping down shared exercise equipment, such as weight benches.
Clean any equipment that will touch your face including helmets or goggles (if applicable). If you wear headphones while exercising, be sure they're clean as well because acne-causing bacteria can easily be transferred from the earbuds in your ears onto your face during use.
Tip 2: Wear loose-fitting clothes.
The next tip is to wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight-fitting clothes can cause acne mechanica because they rub against your skin, trapping moisture next to your body and causing irritation. This leads to acne breakouts on the areas where you sweat most: your chest, back and shoulders.
If you're an athlete who likes to wear shirts with short sleeves or shorts during practice or games, consider investing in some loose-fitting cotton t-shirts that breathe better than synthetic fabrics like polyester or nylon. The same goes for sports bras—you want something that doesn't pinch or squeeze your chest!
Tip 3: Have a skincare routine.
The best way to fight acne mechanica is to keep your skin clean, dry, and moisturized. Shower after your workout to remove any sweat, oil and dirt that may have accumulated during the exercise or game session.
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), to manage skin diseases in athletics, adequate hygiene including frequent showering after every sport activity is recommended.
Instead of usual body wash, opt for a sports wash. CLn SportWash is a concentrated formula designed to effectively cleanse away dirt, sweat, and oil to unclog pores and minimize the growth of odor-causing microbes.
For the face, CLn Acne Cleanser is the first step in your quest for clear skin: it is a strong, yet gentle face wash that contains 0.5% salicylic acid and sodium hypochlorite to clear acne breakouts, eliminate clogged pores and kill acne-causing bacteria.
After cleansing, apply CLn Facial Moisturizer so as not to trap germs. Its nourishing, lightweight and quick-absorbing formula helps soothe the skin and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier.
Acne mechanica can be a serious problem for athletes, but it doesn't have to be. Overall, protecting yourself is all about taking care of your skin and knowing what products work best for you!