Athletes your skin need care too!
So you’re proud that you are physically fit and healthy with regular swimming, running, biking and playing in team games? Well, while this is true, you also need to take care of your skin amidst all this. If you don’t know how to go about this, here are some tips which should help you.
- Drink lots of water to keep yourself physically healthy and your skin hydrated, especially if you sweat a lot or are out in the hot sun most of the time.
- Shower after your sports as the accumulated dirt, sweat, grime and chlorine if you are a swimmer, can block your pores and dry your skin. Wash away all the dirt and bacteria and moisturize yourself one you are done, when your skin is still damp.
- Wear sunscreen while outdoors, and reapply often if you sweat and constantly wipe off the sweat AND sunscreen. If you swim, make sure you apply a new layer as soon as you are out.
- Wear white, clean cotton socks and change socks frequently to avoid athlete’s foot. Don’t walk directly on floors; wear flip flops or sandals when in a public shower, locker room or pool area.
- Maintain and trim your toenails, especially if you are a runner as running forces your foot into the toe of the shoe and may lift the nail from its bed. However if your nails unfortunately lift, do consult your doctor.
- Its better wearing lightweight sweat-absorbent clothes so that your skin breathes. Always carry an extra pair of clothing to change into when you are done with your game or exercise. You thus needn’t have to spend time in sweaty and wet clothes or go through any irritation or friction blisters.
- While blisters heal on their own, protect them from whatever it rubs, and had started the blister in the first place. Use a loose bandage or donut-shaped pad to protect it. If you want to drain the blister, use a sterilized needle to poke a small hole at one edge and push the liquid towards the hole to drain it. Clean the area and cover with gauge.
- It’s not healthy sharing equipment like shoes, helmets, hats and gloves as they may contain bacteria which transfers from one person to another. If any equipment is shared, regularly disinfect it.
- Continual rubbing of your skin by clothes causes chafing. Prevent this by wearing petroleum jelly before exercising. While hydrocortisone cream provides relief from the irritation, specialized clothing like elasticized shorts also help.
- Wash abrasions with a mild soap or antibacterial cleanser and then apply a zinc ointment and cover with a bandage so that it heals. If you have no access to clean water, apply mentholated shaving cream to the abrasions.
- Fungal infections like athlete’s feet, jock itch and ringworm are common with athletes and occur in damp, dark and warm skin regions. It’s prevented by wearing natural fiber clothes and getting out of wet clothes as soon as possible. It’s treatment-over-the-counter antifungal creams.
With these tips, you not only get a healthy and maintained body with your exercise, you also have glowing and radiant skin.