Does Sweat Cause Breakouts?

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People in my office often ask if working out can cause acne and breakouts. Interestingly, there was a study that specifically examined this. In the study, they had athletes work out so that they sweated profusely. One group took a shower immediately after the sweaty workout, two other groups were instructed to shower several hours later. Breakouts were measured in all three groups and the groups that did not shower immediately did not develop more acne. Based on this study, sweat from working out does not appear to cause acne. So, there is no need to avoid working out if you have chest and back acne. Just use a medicated wash in the shower that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help prevent this type of acne. If over the counter treatments don’t work, see a dermatologist who can also prescribe a topical antibiotic that can help control back acne.