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*THIS* Happens When You Don’t Shower After a Workout

*THIS* Happens When You Don’t Shower After a Workout

I was having a discussion with my team at kaia naturals recently and one of the girls mentioned that she gets very itchy whenever she exercises, usually on her arms where she has eczema. She did not realize that the itchiness was from sweat drying on her skin. This is one of many issues that happen when you leave sweat on your skin.

You could be inviting bacteria that is detrimental to your skin when you don’t shower after exercise. With that in mind, I am going to tell you what sweat does to your skin and how to prevent these skin conditions from appearing in the first place.

 

What’s In Sweat?

Sweat is 99% water, and the rest is sodium chloride, lactic acid and urea. Before I talk about the negative effects of sweat, I want to clarify that sweating is good for you. It’s when it is left to dry on your skin that it attracts bacteria that can cause redness, acne flare-ups, and clogged pores.

 

 

What Other Type of Skin Conditions Can Sweat Cause?

Sweat is harmless for the most part, but you need to know that when you don’t wash off after the gym, these skin conditions can arise:

 

Heat Rashes

When you don’t shower within two or three hours, you are more likely to contract bacterial infections on your skin. Heat rashes are the most common since they occur whenever bacteria and sweat come into contact on the body.

 

 

Bacne

No one wants to talk about this and find it embarrassing, but sweat can produce acne problems, particularly on your back. When sweat is mixed with bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus and yeast infections such as pityrosporum, they cause inflamed follicles that appear as acne-like lesions on your face and torso.

 

 

Eczema

This is a more serious skin condition that is not caused by sweat per se, but it does aggravate it. If you have eczema, exercise can make it worse because when you sweat, the moisture evaporates to cool you down and causes your skin to dry out. This leaves a salty residue that irritates it further. It can even make you feel itchy during your workout.

 

 

Yeast Infections

Yes, I am going there. When you sweat, sensitive areas such as your breasts, groin, and underarms are more likely to come into contact with bacteria since they have folds. They are the perfect condition for harboring candida yeasts, which can develop into a yeast infection unfortunately.

 

this is what happens when you don't shower after a workout

Image by Leon Martinez

 

I Don’t Have Time to Shower, So What Do I Do?

You probably feel like you have to sacrifice your midday workout after reading that list. You don’t have to worry though because we have some tried and true tips to help you get fresh and remove the salt and bacteria from your skin without taking too much time away from your day:

 

Guard Yourself against Sweat

The salt and acidity in perspiration can dry out your skin, so your best bet is to always keep a towel on you so that you can wipe off the sweat as you work out or use wet wipes like the vitamin cleanse. Don’t use your shirt because you are still transferring sweat to your skin.

 

Wear the Right Clothing

Your workout gear needs to be light and breathable so sweat can evaporate off your body. Consider the following options:

  • Cotton is ideal since it is the softest on your skin.
  • Get clothes one size larger so that they don’t rub against your skin.
  • Consider wearing your clothes inside out so that the seams don’t rub against you.
  • Wear sweat wicking sports clothing. It will take trial and error to get it right.
  • Wear layers so that you can strip them off as you warm up so you don’t overheat.
  • Always wash your clothes after your wear them. Don’t let them stink and fester in your gym bag only to put them back on for your next workout.

If you have any other quick hacks for the gym, please share them with us down below. We would love to hear from you!

Feature Image by Sachith Hettigodage

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Derived from bamboo fibres, these cloths are designed to be returned to the earth. Plant the cloth, water the soil, and watch it disappear.

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Why Am I Getting an Armpit Rash?

Why Am I Getting an Armpit Rash?

When using natural deodorant, ⅔ of us have probably experienced an armpit rash of some sort. It’s actually very common and happens more than expected. As someone who does not have sensitive skin normally, I was shocked that I had developed a flaming red, itchy rash when I was testing a new natural deodorant a few years ago. I’ll never forget that time because I was on vacation and that armpit rash was so painful, it practically ruined the entire trip! I automatically blamed the ingredients in the deodorant for the rash, but knowing what I know now, it could have been caused by something else. Most of us will automatically jump to the conclusion that deodorant ingredients is to blame. While that may be true sometimes, it’s important to recognize other common causes to properly diagnose.

 

1. TROUBLE-MAKER INGREDIENTS

But first, let’s clarify that not all natural deodorants are the same. Ever heard the saying “Calories are not created equal”? Well, it’s the same for natural deodorants. As I talked about in a previous post a few weeks ago, some natural deodorants are formulated with irritating and harsh ingredients. As the skin on our armpits are one of the most sensitive areas, it’s very important that gentle yet effective ingredients are used there.

 

baking soda can cause armpit rashes

Photo by Schmits.

TIP

If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid deodorants that contain baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or essential oils listed in the first or second line of the ingredient list. This means the ingredients are used at very high levels and could cause irritation and rashes.

 

Natural deodorant almost got me divorced!

Many years ago when natural deodorants were just starting to appear on the market, I wanted my husband to switch from antiperspirant to natural deodorant with me. He was totally on board and the first 3 days were fine for the both of us. Then one morning I could hear my husband yelling in pain (his pain tolerance is quite high I might say). He lifted both his arms to reveal two flaming red rashes under each arm. It was so painful he couldn’t barely move his arms. When I had looked at the ingredients, that’s when I saw that the first ingredient was baking soda, a known skin irritant. Needless to say, I had a very annoyed and angry husband afterwards. Oops, hehe! This is also the main reason why I would never use baking soda in my own natural deodorants, as many people have the same reactions as my husband.

 

2. MOISTURE RASH (AKA DIAPER RASH)

Moisture rash or Intertrigo, is when a rash forms in skin folds, such as armpits and the skin under breasts. The skin folds traps moisture and the skin-to-skin friction irritates the skin, kind of like when babies get a diaper rash. This type of armpit rash is very common because when using natural deodorant, your underarms are more likely to sweat as there is no aluminum chloride plugging your sweat ducts.

TIP

Keep skin dry by applying a natural powder like cornstarch or arrowroot powder overtop armpits to help absorb excess moisture.

 

3. PUT THE RAZOR DOWN

 

razor - armpit rashes - kaia naturals

Photo by Patrick Coddou.

We all know that shaving is annoying and sometimes painful, especially when you’re in a rush. Well, good news, I’m here to tell you another reason to drop the blade: It’s also irritating to your skin. Especially when you shave against the grain, the blade of the razor tugs at the hair, pulling it away from the skin causing more irritation. Not shaving properly can lead to razor burns and bumps, causing red rashy irritated armpits.

TIP

Shave hair in the direction your hair grows, not against it. Always use a buffer like shaving cream so that it acts like a thin barrier. Never apply deodorant right after shaving, as this can also cause further irritation. Shave at night and let skin heal overnight before applying deodorant.

 

4. YOUR TOP IS TOO TIGHT

 

clothes that give me an armpit rash

Photo by Ethan Bodnar.

Who would have thought… yes, your clothing can also be a cause for an armpit rash. If a top is too tight to your underarms, the sleeves could be blocking your pores, which prevents your sweat from evaporating. Moisture gets trapped under your skin and causes a heat rash. Luckily, heat rashes aren’t serious and they typically go away within a few days. The best way to prevent them is to stay in cool environments and of course, wear loose-fitting clothing. Once again, during the detox transitional phase, you may be sweating more, so it’s important to be wary of this.

 

5. CANDIDA AND BACTERIA-RELATED RASHES

Everyone has Candidaa type of funguson their skin, but too much of it can cause rashes called candidiasis. A lot of factors can cause Candida overgrowth: tight clothing, poor hygiene, pregnancy, taking antibiotics, a poor immune system, and even living in a hot, humid climate can cause an infection. These rashes also tend to develop in damp parts of your body. As your armpits could be damper than usual during the 30-day transitional phase and when using natural deodorant, that means they’re especially at risk! Apart from candidiasis, other infections can cause armpit rashes. According to this academic article, for moisture-associated skin damage (MASD) to occur, moisture and bacteria must also be present on the affected area. As we all know, our armpits are a breeding ground for bacteria, especially during the stages of detox. Bacteria plus wetness is a recipe for a body odor…and a rash! To find out if you may have candidiasis, consult with your doctor.

 

6. ECZEMA

Just like Candida overgrowth, eczema rashes can be caused by different factors such as dry skin, stress, our harsh Canadian winters, and all sorts of irritants like metals, fragrances and household products. Even completely natural irritants like juices from fruits and vegetables can cause a reaction. Researchers believe it’s a mix of an overreactive immune system, gene mutations and triggers in the person’s environment that can cause eczema. To find out if you may have an eczema rash, consult with your doctor. To learn more about how to switch to natural deodorant successfully, read why some of them don’t work.

Let us know if you’ve had an experience with natural deodorants or armpit rashes that you’d like to share.

Feature image by Laura Marques.

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