The past two weeks have not been fun. I have been dealing with mostly the cons of exercise the past two weeks, which have included overtraining/overreaching, acne, blisters, post inflammatory hyperpigmentation associated with chafing, and peeling feet. My previous post dealt with the whole overtraining, overreaching, and under-resting stuff, so this post I will focus on my undesired skin conditions caused by my exercise.
Since I am now exercising less rigorously, I finally decided to deal with some of these unpleasant issues that I have put on the back burner. I finally went to see my dermatologist about these unpleasantries.
Unfortunately, my problem here is pretty simple but annoying and painful. I am in hormonal flux given my breastfeeding mom status, plus I don’t always have the time to shower right away after class. I recently pushed myself to go further distance, and given that I have limited time to exercise, it means that I have been simply pushing further gone faster at the same time. This combination also means that I have less time to shower afterwards, which has caused me to wear my sweaty clothes longer, along with my sweaty face. I have gotten some sports wipes to wipe my face and neck off post-workout to deal with this. The doctor was unable to prescribe me any potent acne fighters given my breastfeeding status, though.
My blisters are mostly on my toes, so I think it has more to do with my push-off during running, which is related to form. I also have been breaking in some new sneakers to boot, which is also a likely culprit to blisters. My feet gets sweaty, and moisture causes blisters. To deal with the problem, I am also getting some newer moisture wicking socks and getting rid of some old socks (at least not wear it for running!). It is important not to wear cotton socks for running, as moisture leads to more rubbing, which causes more blisters.
Chafing and Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
In Asian skin like mine, rubbing can cause the skin to thicken and darken. Since I started running I have developed some very unsightly dark skin right under the butt cheeks where the underwear borders rub when I run. It is a completely sad and terrible side effect of exercise for me as I am exercising in part to look nice in swimsuits this summer and yet I now look like I have bruises on my butt! For this the doctor recommended using anti-chafing cream like Aquaphor Ointment, which I have plenty of being a mommy, should help prevent more rubbing. As for the darkened skin, as I am breastfeeding still, it is not advised to use skin bleaching cream, but once I am no longer breastfeeding I can use a skin-bleaching agent. Doctor also recommended that I get new underwear that has different borders, like boy shorts or thongs. I ordered some and I will see how that works out. It will take some getting used to!
Ever so often my feet peel, and this is usually once a year and related to eczema or seasonal conditions, but it also can be a result of more exercise as my feet spend more time in hot sweating condition in sneakers. The solution for this is also using over the counter products like Aquaphor Ointment and, if there is itching and stinging (signs of Athlete’s Foot, which is caused by fungus that thrive in wet and warm conditions), using anti-fungal products containing miconazole, clotrimazole, or tolnaftate.
While I not thrilled with these side effects of exercise, the benefits of exercise far outweighs these annoyances, which are quite easily managed.