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Dermatologists Warn Fitness Enthusiasts: Don't Let Exercise-Related Skin Problems Outweigh the Benefits of Physical Activity
Date:11/8/2007

NEW YORK, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The changing of the season brings cooler weather, shorter days and more people heading to health clubs for a healthy dose of indoor exercise. While experts agree that exercise is one of the most beneficial activities a person can do to improve one's overall health, dermatologists want gym goers to be aware of the hidden dangers of exercise -- bothersome skin conditions that can be painful and inhibit further physical activity if left untreated.

Speaking today at the American Academy of Dermatology's (Academy) Skin Academy, dermatologist Brian B. Adams, MD, MPH, FAAD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati and director of dermatology at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, both in Cincinnati, Ohio, discussed the most common skin conditions to which people who engage in regular indoor exercise are susceptible and how to treat them.

"Despite its positive effect on a person's physical and psychological health, regular exercise does not necessarily improve our skin health and may in fact lead to a rash of skin conditions that require treatment," said Dr. Adams. "While exercising indoors eliminates the threat of skin cancer and sun damage, it is important for people who frequent health clubs to be aware of the risks to their skin as well."

Blisters

Blisters form when friction between an area of the body and athletic equipment causes a splitting of the top layer of skin, allowing fluid build-up. Runners and those who routinely lift weights often develop blisters. Dr. Adams suggests that the key to preventing blisters is to reduce friction by creating more distance from the equipment to the skin.

"Wearing moisture-wicking socks, applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly between the sock and the shoe, and using gloves to lift weights can help prevent blisters from forming," said Dr. Adams. "Also, there is no better dressing for blisters than your own skin, so you should no
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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