Rash From Sweaty Clothes: Consequences of Wearing Sweaty Workout Clothes All-Day.

5 minute read

While it may be tempting to run errands or have brunch with friends right after a workout, it's crucial to change out of your sweaty gym clothes beforehand. If you’re hitting the gym more regularly, or doing anything that gets you sweatier more often, you may already have come across sweat rash.

Understanding Sweat Rash

Sweat rash is a harmless but very itchy skin rash. It is also called prickly heat, heat rash, or miliaria. Normally, sweat travels to the surface of the skin through tiny ducts. If the ducts become blocked, the sweat gets trapped in the skin leading to redness, itching, and small blisters. The rash typically occurs on the torso and thighs, particularly where skin touches skin.

What Causes Heat Rash

Heat rash usually goes away once the skin cools down, but here are some factors that may cause sweat glands to clog:

  • Small pieces of dead skin cells (skin secretions) block your gland.
  • Too much sweat builds up between your skin and your clothing.
  • Hair follicles block your glands
  • Hormone changes; like being on your period
  • Not enough airflow between your skin and clothing
  • Staying in sweaty clothes for too long

How Can I Prevent Heat Rashes?

Changing your habits can have a big impact in avoiding sweat getting trapped beneath the skin causing irritation:

Wear loose-fitting clothes when you exercise.

This kind of clothes will reduce the amount of rubbing against your skin.

Choose clothing made of cotton and avoid synthetic fabrics.

Cotton clothes allow airflow between the fabric and your skin while synthetic materials often trap heat.

Train in environments with airflow

Use a fan or air conditioner to cool your body down if the temperature is hot or humid. Lightly pat your skin dry with a towel to prevent further irritation.

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water can help your body flush out toxins and promote faster healing of the affected skin

Improve your shower routine to keep your pores clean.

it’s vital to make sure you fully clean out your pores to remove the gunk that sweat brings to the surface. This step also ensures you wash away salty remains that might irritate or dry your skin out. For a daily-use body wash that’s sulfate-free and gentle, try OffCourt’s Deep Cleansing Body Wash, which is formulated with lactic and glycolic acids. This cleanser is perfect as it won’t strip your skin of its essential oils and nutrients.

Or, for something a bit more heavy-duty, opt for our Exfoliating Body Soap, which features a medium-grit texture that’s ideal for a deeper scrub. Shea butter, olive oil, and sunflower seed extract follow up to help hydrate and soothe your squeaky-clean skin. 

Deep Cleansing Body Wash Trio Pack


How Do I Treat a Heat Rash?

Depending on the severity of your heat rash, you can treat your rash at home:

  • Keep your skin cool and dry 
  • Wear cotton clothing 
  • Eliminate friction
  • Keep your skin clean and hydrated 
  • Don’t scratch
  • Seek Medical Attention if Needed: If the rash is severe, persistent, or does not improve with home remedies, it's best to consult a healthcare professional. They may prescribe medications such as antihistamines or antibiotics if there is an infection.

Consequences of staying in sweaty clothes for too long

1. Sweating can clog your pores

Experts recommend wiping sweat using a clean towel during a workout and putting on clean clothes afterward. Showering right after a workout can also help rinse away bacteria that causes acne, according to The American Academy for Dermatology.

2. Your stank might follow you around all day

Even though your sweat may dry off and your clothes might seem fine after leaving the gym, the scent of your hard work doesn’t.

While cotton absorbs moisture and repels body oils, performance gear made from synthetic materials is designed to wick away water. However, these moisture-wicking fabrics also tend to absorb body oils, including the accompanying body odor.If you don’t have the time to take a shower an excellent option is to use OffCourt’s Performance Body Spray which is designed to work with your sweat. It’s a two-in-one aluminum-free deodorant-cologne that helps promote good bacteria growth and squashes bad bacteria. It won’t clog your pores to keep sweat away; instead, it counteracts the factors that make your sweat stinky

Performance Body Spray - Trio Pack


3. Fungus might find a home in areas of your body

If you go about your day in your sweat-drenched clothes, the fungi can multiply quickly, and cause a burning or itching sensation.

4. Your butt may break out in little red bumps

If you notice the appearance of red, acne-like bumps on your buttocks, it's a clear indication that you've been wearing your tight workout clothes for too extended periods. This is also a sign that you're likely experiencing a skin condition known as folliculitis"Butt acne is usually not true acne, but rather folliculitis, which is a mild infection of the hair follicle that leads to red bumps and pus pimples," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City, told Women's Health magazine.

5. Wet clothes and friction are a bad combination

Experiencing the discomfort of chafing in the middle of a workout can be incredibly frustrating.

Chafing can occur in any area of the body where there is repetitive friction. It often manifests as a red rash but can also result in swelling and even bleeding.

Wearing workout clothes soaked in sweat is a recipe for chafing, even if you're just moving around post-gym. Switching into dry clothes can go a long way in preventing this uncomfortable skin irritation.

7. If you don't change your socks, your feet might start to get flaky

Athlete's foot is a fungal infection that's contagious and can lead to flaky, itchy skin anywhere on your feet. Your chances of getting Athlete's foot rise if you wear closed-toe shoes, keep your feet damp for extended periods, or don’t swap out sweaty socks promptly

If you're unable to shower immediately after exercising, it's beneficial to remove your socks and allow your feet to breathe or switch to a fresh pair until you can wash them.

Final Thoughts

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat or sweat rash, is a common skin condition that affects active people, but luckily with proper prevention measures and self-care, heat rash can usually be managed effectively. All OffCourt’s products are formulated to perform and offer hydration for post-workout skin.

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