Athletes are used to dealing with bumps, bruises, and the occasional pulled muscle. Hell, even youth sports requires medical treatment for over 3.5 million kids a year. And most athletes take that as part of the game. It is worth the risk of injury to do what we love. What fewer athletes think about in their day to day lives is the health and strength of their skin. Yet most athletes do encounter skin irritation in the form of dry skin, contact dermatitis, and other common skin conditions.
Today, we are going to discuss how athletes deal with dry skin by reviewing some common skin issues encountered by athletes, why active lifestyle often lead to dry skin, easy ways to avoid and manage dry skin, and why potent moisturizers specifically formulated for active lifestyles can make all the difference.
Common Skin Issues for Athletes
The skin is the largest organ in the human body. To the athlete, the skin is the protective barrier which keeps us safe and healthy so we can participate fully in our sport of choice. Here are some of the most common skin issues encountered by athletes of all ages, sexes, and backgrounds:
- Dry skin: the most common skin issue for athletes is also the most common skin issue on planet earth. Dry skin can range from mildly irritating to legitimately damaging and limiting. We will discuss causes and solutions to dry skin in sections below.
- Skin infections: due to the physical nature of sports, particularly contact sports performed indoors such as wrestling, the likelihood of developing bacterial infections such as staph or viral infections including herpes simplex virus is increased.
- Blisters: repetitive stress and friction from actions like throwing a baseball hundreds and thousands of times commonly leads to blisters. Blisters are very different from dry skin as they entail swelling from blood or other bodily fluids.
- Sun damage: last but not least on our list, sun damage is perhaps the most overlooked but potentially deadly skin issue facing athletes. Melanoma is a deadly skin cancer which affects millions of Americans every year. Proper usage of sunscreen and protective clothing are the best options for athletes.
Why Active Lifestyles Lead to Dry Skin
It might seem like leading an active lifestyle would keep one’s skin healthy. In many ways, it does exactly that. Yet dry skin is more often associated with environmental issues and behaviors than it is with overall health. Holistic methods such as getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated certainly aid with skin health, but they are not enough to manage dry skin.
Perhaps the main reason that athletes are more prone to dry skin is their cycle of sweating, cleansing, heating, cooling, and exposure to the elements. Simply put, athletes are more likely to experience “extreme” skin conditions like very high or low temperatures than your typical person. Another key factor in developing dry skin is taking long, hot showers. As athletes ourselves, we understand the appeal of soaking for 20+ minutes after a day of practice or a big game. This may feel great, but your skin will dry out like the Sahara.
Simple Dry Skin Solutions for Athletes
So what can athletes do to get their dry skin under control? Here are three of our best tips to manage dry skin for those with an active lifestyle:
- Use moisturizer at least once daily. There is no surefire way to avoid dry skin in the first place — especially for athletes. Using a potent moisturizer once-daily with your shower routine is the best way to keep your skin healthy and strong.
- Avoid excessive hot showers and damaging skincare products. As we mentioned above, a common behavior of athletes, and most individuals generally, is taking showers or baths which are both too long and too hot. This saps the skin of its natural moisture. Low quality soaps and skincare products can exacerbate the situation with harsh ingredients.
- Consider proactive solutions for healthy interior environments. Most of us have experienced that winter dry skin that seems to last for 4 months no matter what we do. Simple solutions like keeping a humidifier in the bedroom can go a long way towards keeping skin healthy and hydrated.
What to Look for in a Moisturizer for Athletes
All moisturizers are not created equal. Consider a moisturizer which harnesses the hydrating power of humectants, emollients, and occlusives for complete protection. Athletes’ skin is their first line of defense. Other ingredients like amino acids help repair, restore, and renew cracked and damaged skin. Before you reach for the first moisturizer on the shelves, ask yourself if you are really giving your skin the protection it needs.
HEFF Relief is the Perfect Moisturizer for Active Lifestyles
That is where HEFF moisturizing cream comes into play. HEFF for dry, cracked hands, elbows and feet is specifically formulated for active men. Athletes put their hands through some of the most rigorous and damaging activities on the planet — and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Instead of holding back in the gym, field, or court, rely on the powerful amino acids found in HEFF daily moisturizer to restore, repair, and rejuvenate your skin!
To learn more, find us online or search for HEFF in any one of these major retailers. For any additional questions about HEFF, please feel free to contact us directly!