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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

t peel off the top layer of a blister. If it comes off, keep the blister covered with petroleum jelly and a bandage."

While blisters normally do not become infected, Dr. Adams cautioned that redness appearing on the skin in the vicinity of the blister could indicate an infection and should be treated by a dermatologist.

Fungus/Athlete's Foot

Unfortunately, health clubs are breeding grounds for all kinds of fungus -- from swimming pool floors and diving boards to showers and locker rooms. The most common contagious fungal infection that exercise enthusiasts are prone to developing is tinea pedis, or athlete's foot. This fungus grows best in dark, moist and warm environments, making sweaty feet tucked inside running shoes perfect targets.

Perhaps the most bothersome symptom of athlete's foot is the itching and burning sensation people feel on their feet. In some individuals, the skin between the toes peels, cracks and scales, while others may experience redness, scaling or dryness on the soles and along the sides of the feet. Some people who develop athlete's foot also may be at risk for toenail fungus, which can be difficult to treat without dermatologic care.

"The best defense against athlete's foot is to never go barefoot in a health club," advised Dr. Adams. "Wear shoes, socks, sandals or aquatic shoes at all times."

Dr. Adams added that most cases of athlete's foot respond well to over-the-counter medications, but persistent or recurring infections will require prescription-strength medications from a dermatologist.

Acne Mechanica

Regular exercisers also may be susceptible to acne mechanica, a form of acne that can occur under athletic equipment or tight-fitting clothing. Acne mechanica typically develops in warm, moist environments -- especially areas prone to friction. Wearing tight-fitting exercise shorts made of non-breathable fabrics can even cause an acne flare-up on the buttocks.

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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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