There is nothing worse than finally achieving that fit body you always dreamed of, only to find acne glaring back at you in the mirror. Not only can acne be a disheartening discovery, it can be a major workout demotivator. People suffering from ‘Sweat Acne’ are usually distracted from their regular workout routines for fear of making the issue worse.

What is ‘Sweat Acne’?

‘Sweat Acne’ is technically called Pityrosporum Folliculitis. To most, the word sounds just as scary as the symptoms it represents. Simply put, Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles found anywhere on the body become infected. Pityrosporum Folliculitis affects teens, and adults when excess yeast collects in upper layers of the skin, clogging pores and agitating the roots and/or stem of the hair.


If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may have Pityrosporum Folliculitis:

  • Clusters of red or pus-filled bumps found near hair follicles (face, back, arms, legs, buttocks, scalp, back of neck)
  • Pus-filled blisters (may break open and crust over)
  • Red and/or inflamed skin
  • Itching, pain or tenderness
  • Scars when infection clears


Pityrosporum Folliculitis is often found in adults who suddenly increase their level of physical activity (eg. new gym membership or workout routine). As blood circulation increases, matching the new ‘body performance’ demands, a greater number of impurities are expelled through sweat glands. New workout clothes may also contribute to skin irritation and inflammation.

When a person starts a new workout routine, buys new workout clothes, they often change their diet too. During the time that the body is adjusting to new foods the levels of yeast found in the body also adjusts. Only to make things worse, hormones change during times of increased activity and diet manipulation. Consequently, acne may suddenly develop in new areas on the body.

Prevention Tips

  1. Don’t Stop Exercising

    Continue to eat healthy and exercising regularly. The worst thing you can do when you are affected by ‘sweat acne’ is to stop working out. Allow your body time to adjust to increased activity. It may take a few weeks for your skin to clear up, but it will be worth the wait.

  2. Visit a Specialist

    Discuss your concerns with a healthcare practitioner or homeopathic doctor. Let them know of any lifestyle changes and/or new food habits. Be sure to tell them about any new multi vitamins or protein powders you may be taking. Request an allergy test at your nearest health clinic. Allergies could also be a contributing factor to acne breakouts. Ask your doctor about possible hormonal changes which also can contribute to skin issues. Lastly, be sure to discuss Zinc supplementation and the link between low Zinc levels and acne prone skin.

  3. Avoid Make-Up

    No matter how bad your acne may seem try to avoid make-up, excessive skin lotions, and hair spray, especially before working out. If you are too embarrassed to go to the gym without make-up, try working out from home until your acne clears up. There are hundreds of free at home-workout routines available online; you don’t even need special gym equipment.

  4. Excessive Washing

    Avoid over washing, scrubbing and cleansing of already irritated skin. Acne needs time to cycle through your system. Washing more than twice a day and exfoliating more than once a day may increase irritation and acne breakouts. After working out be sure to rinse your entire body with warm/cool water (avoid hot to prevent irritation). Read the ingredients in your shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Avoid soaps and shampoos with excessive chemicals or dyes which can contribute to irritated skin. Instead use natural skin cleansers such as raw honey with cinnamon. Aloe gel helps reduce skin inflammation and lightens acne scars.

  5. Clean Laundry

    If you use generic laundry detergent, try changing to fragrance free biodegradable detergent. Get into the habit of washing pillowcases and bed sheets more often. Such a small change could mean the difference between acne prone and clear glowing skin.

  6. Drink Up

    Limit consumption of caffeinated beverages which stress liver functions. Try to consume more water with fresh lemon. You can also drink liver detoxifying herbal teas, such as Turmeric, Green Tea, Cinnamon, and include daily Milk Thistle supplements. The more water you drink, the quicker your body can move excess toxins through the liver. A healthy and clean liver will support healthy and clear skin.

  7. Hands Off (Your Skin that is)

    Stop picking, touching or covering up your irritated areas. Let your skin breath as much as possible and try to wear 100% organic cotton/hemp workout clothes which are coloured with natural dyes.

  8. Increase Your Strength Training

    Adjust your workout routine around your skin. Try to reduce the amount of cardio and up your weight lifting regimen to boost metabolism. Increasing strength training will reduce the amount of excess sweating, but still burns away fat. Body fat can store a lot of environmental toxins, so increasing muscle mass will also increase metabolic output, thus reducing possible toxic fat stores in the body.

To conclude, acne is definitely no fun, but it is certainly a sign that you are travelling down a healthy road. When toxins exit through the liver and skin and are replaced with healthy vitamins and minerals, it is only a matter of time before fellow gym members, friends and family are complementing your clear and radiant skin. For more information about ‘Sweat Acne’, search the internet for Pityrosporum Folliculitis symptoms and cures. Implement a clean diet, increase strength training and reduce the amount of chemicals in your life. All these tasks will lead you to a glowing complexion. When you finally achieve clear skin, don’t forget to smile.

Kaeli Yarwood

Kaeli has always had an infatuation with keeping fit and improving life. Whether it is strength training, endurance building, or self-study research, she has devoted endless hours to them all. Her interest in health started at an early age. From swim competitions to long distance running, she discovered that keeping fit is an integral part of her life. After being diagnosed with... Read More

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