Every athlete wants to avoid acne breakouts and fungal foot infections. But when the temperature rises, so does the probability of contracting one of these nasty skin conditions. They are not only uncomfortable, they can also impact your game by taking your mind off your performance.
Here's how to steer clear of these common skin problems.
Fight Fungal Infections
Summer brings more time to train, hence more sweat, bigger piles of dirty clothes and [hopefully] more showers. Whenever you shower at a local gym or an overnight sports camp, wear a pair of flip-flops to minimize the risk of athlete's foot. This fungal infection can be contracted when a bare foot makes contact with a moist environment, like a gym locker room. The infection causes tiny cracks between your toes and can also result in flaking skin, severe itching and burning pain.
Shoes: CleenFreak SportsHygiene Sport Slide, $25, cleenfreek.com
These shoes have built-in antimicrobial properties, which inhibit the growth of odor, bacteria, fungus and mold. They're also slip-resistant and machine washable.
If you contract AF, treat it by applying antifungal lotion or powder [e.g., Tinactin, Lotrimin, Lamisil or Desenex]. Keep the infected area clean and dry, and change and wash socks often. Consider using a performance-enhanced detergent, such as WIN, which is formulated to destroy bacteria and other viral agents.
Acne mechanica is a form of acne that can result when skin is aggravated by heat, irritated by repetitive friction or covered by sweat bands or tight clothes. To treat the condition, use a cleanser with salicylic acid to remove surface oils and unclog pores. The products below fight breakouts.
Face: Every Man Jack, $6, everymanjack.com
Formulated with salicylic acid to prevent and treat breakouts, it also soothes skin with aloe and chamomile extract.
Body: Neutrogena Body Clear Body Spray, $8.50, neutrogena.com
Also formulated with salicylic acid, this quick-drying spray is good post-shower, instead of a cream or lotion that can seep into your clothes.
Body: Lubriderm Men's 3-in-1 Fragrance Free Lotion, $8, lubriderm.com
The downside of salicylic acid is that it can dry out skin, so use a gentle moisturizer. This one is oil-free and ideal for sensitive skin.
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