An updated letter from Dr. Ranario
While running is healthy for you, is it possible that all that outside activity can have an adverse effect on your skin?
We’re not advocating that you stop running just so you save your skin. However, there are some smart skincare strategies you can use to ensure that your skin continues to stay healthy even though you’re exposed to outside elements.
Let’s delve right into how you can take care of your skin as a runner.
8 Skincare Tips For Runners
Take care of your skin in the sun
Squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas are common skin conditions that runners have. This is because as a runner, it is likely your face, arms and legs are exposed to the sun while you run.
Even if it is winter, it is still a smart idea to use sunscreen on those exposed areas of your skin before you run.
A hat, run glasses and other protective clothing are also good ideas when you run.
Take care of blisters and calluses
As a runner, you are no stranger to blisters and calluses.
They will happen no matter what.
A blister can be treated with a tincture of benzoin which is available as an over-the-counter medication. This will help to speed up the healing so that it doesn’t become infected or turn into a bigger wound.
A callus happens over time and is usually a hardened area of the skin that can be unsightly and uncomfortable. You can take care of calluses by using a pumice stone.
Keep fungi at bay
Fungi love to grow in areas of your skin where moisture is left unattended.
You can prevent moisture from gathering in places like between your toes by applying talc powder to those areas before you run.
Wearing good wooly socks with good aeration is also helpful in keeping moisture away not to mention smells!
Once you’re done running, take off your socks and shoes so you can air them and your feet.
Chafing is caused by your skin rubbing against another part of your skin or ill-fitting clothing.
This can lead to skin irritation, rashes and even infections.
Make sure your running clothes fit snugly and comfortably so that they are not digging into your skin and causing unnecessary injuries.
You can also use petroleum jelly or thick lotions to soothe an area that is chafed.
Some talc powder might also be helpful in keeping chafing away.
Ways to keep the bacteria away
It’s natural for you to sweat as a runner.
Sweating is good for us physiologically. However, the salt content of your sweat also attracts unsavory living organisms such as fungi and bacteria.
These can lead to nasty infections. In some instances, these bacteria will trigger acne.
Taking a shower or at the very least enjoying a nice towel wipe down after you run is helpful in preventing this.
Inflammatory skin conditions
It is common to experience a flush to the face when you run. This happens because exercise causes blood to rush to your face. While this can give you a look of a healthy tan, it can also exacerbate any inflammatory skin conditions you have.
An example of this is rosacea.
Thus, it may be important for you to wash your face with cold water before and after you run.
There are also cooling sprays on the market that you could use to keep your skin and face cool while you run.
See your dermatologist if any other severe skin issues arise.
Exercise depletes your body of water and electrolytes. Dehydration can lead to wrinkling.
Stay hydrated while you run by drinking water and other electrolyte-containing drinks.
Don’t run in full make-up!
You must give your skin “breathing space” while you run.
Running with a full face of make-up will lead to clogging of your pores and this can also lead to acne or other skin issues.
And there you have it: 8 skin care tips for runners.
How are you taking care of your skin while you run?
We would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.
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