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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

attire by eliminating tight-fighting clothing and adding more breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics can help prevent acne mechanica," said Dr. Adams. "If these preventive measures are not working, your dermatologist can prescribe prescription medications that are effective in treating this type of acne."

Turf Burns

Originally termed for outdoor athletes, turf burns (or road rash) are nasty abrasions that can occur on an area of the body -- usually the arms or legs -- if athletic padding is not used. Most cases of indoor turf burns are caused by sliding on the basketball court or from constant contact with exercise mats or carpet.

"For the quickest healing and to avoid scarring, turf burns need to be cleaned and covered with petroleum jelly and a bandage," said Dr. Adams. "If there are any signs of an infection or it doesn't seem to be healing properly, see your dermatologist."

Indoor Tanning: Take a Pass

Unfortunately, not everything in a health club is "healthy." Perhaps the biggest health threat is indoor tanning devices, which are still offered at some health clubs across the country despite their link to skin cancer. Ultraviolet light, whether from natural sunlight or artificial light sources, increases a person's risk of developing skin cancer.

In September 2007, President Bush signed the Tanning Accountability and Notification Act (TAN Act) into law, which calls for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine if the current language and positioning of warning labels on indoor tanning devices is adequate to effectively warn consumers of the known dangers of indoor tanning -- including the risk of skin cancer.

"As dermatologists, we see the serious health consequences skin cancer poses for patients every day," said Dr. Adams. "There is absolutely nothing healthy about indoor tanning that should allow it to be offered to health club patrons, who are in some cases being misled to think that this form of UV-expo
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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