We've all been here before: You catch the winning touchdown to seal the win for your team in the local flag football league and start celebrating. But as your teammates come over to hoist you up, you put up your hands and say, "Whoa, guys. Be careful of my skin. I've been chafing all day, and I really don't need you touching me."
Wait, that doesn't sound familiar? Of course not. Guys don't tend to talk about their skin care and bathroom routines, but that doesn't mean that we don't have them. And if you don't, you should - especially after raining sweat at the gym or slamming into your competitors on the field or court.
Physical activity is great for your body's overall health, but since your skin is on the front lines, so to speak, there are a number of problems you might find yourself facing. These include things like cuts, bruises, rashes, infections, sunburn, dry skin, and more. So what can you do to protect yourself against these things, or at least help your skin to recover from them faster?
Get naked, get dry.
When you exercise, you sweat, and your clothes trap this heat and moisture against your skin. This makes it a wonderful playground for bacteria to breed, which is exactly what you don't want. As soon as you can after working out or playing a sport, get those sweat-soaked clothes off, take a shower, and make sure you're completely dry.
Drink and be merry.
Moisturizing isn't the only way to help with skin dehydration. It's even more important to drink plenty of water or beverages with lots of electrolytes like Gatorade. Doing this both during and after you exercise will help you to stay hydrated and keep your skin from drying out.
A lot of people seem to believe that sunscreen only needs to be used for places like the beach, but that's a philosophy that will lead to pain if you work out or play outdoors. If you are going to be in the sun for any prolonged stay, it is very important to remember sunscreen.
Wind, sun, and chemicals in swimming pools can draw moisture out of your skin and leave you feeling dry and itchy - essentially, dehydrated. Most guys probably don't want to be seen slathering lotion on, but moisturizing is important if you're an active person. Luckily, lots of body washes now have moisturizers built in to them, so make sure to look for this when picking yours out.
Wear acrylic socks.
Heat and friction cause blisters, and old school cotton socks aren't built to help. But acrylic socks actually keep your feet dry by removing sweat and reducing friction so you can avoid more blisters.
Just like there are some guys who don't seem to think they need to get clean after an intense exercise regimen, there are also those who can't seem to get clean enough. They'll scrub and scrub, thinking they're doing the right thing, when in actuality too much cleaning can leave your skin irritated and dry - not to mention possibly giving you more acne breakouts, because it can stimulate your oil production.
About the author: Debbie sweet handles a range of acne treatments in Chicago, where she works in the skin care industry.