Okay ladies and gents, today we are going to get real. We are going to rap about something disturbing, confusing, ugly and in some cases, painful. You guessed it… sweat pimples. Otherwise known as sweat zits, back acne / bacne, heat bumps or as I affectionately refer to them, “swimples”.
Swimples are sneaky little buggers that appear on your skin out of nowhere – like goose poop! One minute you are skipping along, having a grand ol’ time picking apples or whatever it is you do when SPLAT! Goose poop on your head. Like I said, sneaky little buggers. What? Never been pooped on by a goose? Consider yourself lucky…and get outside once in a while, would ya?
For those of you that are asking “What causes sweat pimples?” allow me to explain. When you exercise, you sweat (I don’t sweat, I glisten. But whatever). Sweating causes our pores to open up allowing oils, dirt, bacteria and small children to get trapped inside, plugging them. A plugged pore then becomes inflamed, prompting the red or white bumps we know as a sweat pimples. You typically will see them on your chest, bra line (ladies only, unless you fellas are into “The Bro”), around your hairline, on your forehead if you wear a hat, or on your back.
“But Megan, how can I avoid swimples? They’re yucky!!” Numero Uno, nobody liked a whiner. And B, it’s going to take a little “maintenance” on your end.
Here are a few of my tried and true steps to prevent or get rid of sweat pimples:
- Shower after you exercise. I mean it. Even if you took a yoga class and “didn’t really sweat”, ya did. So hit the showers, sport – if only for a quick soapy rinse. Showering helps clear those pores of the bunk stuff we talked about earlier. And if you don’t like showering (?), grab a partner and make it fun. And by partner I mean spouse. Keep it clean, peeps.
- Use antibacterial soap. Antibacterial soap contains ingredients that kill bacteria. It also has a drying effect that can dry up excess oils and sweat. Lucky for you, not all AB soap smells like rubbing alcohol. I prefer Dial Antibacterial Body Wash with Moisturizers because they have yummy scents for the pageant queens like Lavender & Twilight Jasmine or gruff burly smells like Mountain Fresh for the lumberjacks. Plus it won’t make your skin look like a California Raisin. Though they are pretty sweet. Sidebar: This is not a paid endorsement by Dial. You’d know if they were dishing it because I would be saying “Dial” like every dial other dial word. Dial.
- Wash your clothes between every workout. And don’t just spritz Febreze on ‘em either. Elastic bands, hems and collars tend to trap sweat, dirt and oil between the creases so a true washing is the only way to ensure you are only putting the cleanest material against your skin. This is a tough one if you work out most days. I am guilty of recycling clothes too, especially sweatpants. Together, we can.
- Exfoliate. Most of us think about exfoliating our face, but not our body. Exfoliation removes the outer layer of skin to reveal the newer skin beneath. This shedding of the top layer unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and allows it to breathe. You can buy an exfoliating body wash or simply wash with something mildly abrasive like a brush, sponge or loofah. I prefer a combo. About once a week I wash regularly with dial, than load up a body brush with Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Body Wash and scrub my back, chest and bra lines. This stuff smells SO good that even if it isn’t doing a darn thing, it makes me happy!
- Wash your face before a workout. Throughout the day, our face is exposed to all sorts of grime. It is especially important to wash off makeup. “THE HORROR!” you say. “I won’t be caught dead at the gym without my makeup!” Ladies, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Guys laugh at girls who wear full make up (and jewelry) to the gym. Heck, GIRLS laugh at girls who wear full make up to the gym. Which is worse: letting him see you for who you really are with a freshly washed face? Or letting him see you with a ginormous volcano on your face? Your choice.
So there you have it. I feel like we really bonded during that one. Should we do a group trust exercise now? Falling!!
Thanks to www.distinctgraphicz.com for the killer Skull and Crossbones.