Exercise and acne
- 04-03-2005, 11:50 AM
Exercise and acne
I thought this might be interesting for all those that suffer from bad acne like I do.
- 04-03-2005, 12:52 PM
- 04-03-2005, 12:56 PM
04-03-2005, 01:30 PM
Here it is
Exercise Does Not Appear to Increase Risk of Acne
Information from IndustryAssess clinically focused product information on Medscape.
Feb. 23, 2005 (New Orleans) — Exercise and the resultant sweating that occurs do not increase outbreaks of acne in athletes, contrary to popular myth, according to Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.
Their single-blinded study found that changes in the participants' acne did not correlate with the days exercised, time spent exercising, time sweating during exercise, or the time between exercise and showering, the researchers reported. The study was presented here at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
"There is no statistically significant difference between the groups of men who exercised and those who didn't," said Alexa Kimball, MD, PhD, director of clinical trials at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "It's okay for people with acne to go ahead and exercise and take a shower within the hour." Dr. Kimball, who is now at Harvard Medical School, conducted the study while at Stanford.
The study dispels a long-held myth among patients and some physicians that strenuous exercise producing sweat can actually worsen acne, Dr. Kimball said. "Even though this is a pilot study, it dispels that myth."
In an earlier study of football players, researchers coined the phrase "acne mechanica" after discovering a variant of acne vulgaris that occurred in the areas where the helmet or uniform padding rubbed the body. That study left many patients and physicians with the perception that exercise producing sweat could worsen acne, said Dr. Kimball.
"Looking at football, the sport did worsen acne, but mainly from a frictional component from mechanical forces on the skin," she said. "There were concerns that the athletes' acne would worsen when they were sweating and dirty."
On the flip side, many believe that strenuous exercise and the subsequent sweating rids the body of toxins, said Dr. Kimball.
The pilot study included 30 physically active adolescent or adult men (mean age, 23 years). One group was asked not to exercise for two weeks, one group was to exercise five times a week and shower within an hour, and a third group exercised five times a week and showered four or more hours after exercising. The men exercised for an average of an hour a day and sweated for more than 30 minutes per day. All were given 100% cotton T shirts to wear during and after exercise. All of the men had at least 10 inflammatory acne lesions on the chest or back at the start of the study. Twenty-three subjects completed the study.
Subjective stress levels were assessed with the 14-item Perceived Stress Scale questionnaire both at baseline and the end of the study. Inflammatory acne lesions were counted by blinded investigators.
There were no statistically significant changes in acne among the three groups of men. Changes in acne did not correlate to the number of days exercised, time spent exercising, time of sweating during exercise, nor the time interval between exercising and taking a shower.
The nonexercising men had 60 acne lesions at study start and 52 lesions at the end of two weeks. The group of exercising men who showered within an hour had 44 at baseline and 95 at the close of the study, and those who showered after four hours had 40 acne lesions at baseline and 48 at study end. Stress levels were similar among the three groups of men. Dr. Kimball said that while the men who showered within an hour of exercising had many more lesions than men who delayed showering "this was not statistically significant."
Guy Webster, MD, moderator of the acne poster discussion session and vice chairman of dermatology at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said the study did not address acne mechanica, which can seriously disrupt the skin with athletic equipment. But he agreed with Dr. Kimball's premise about misinformation and acne. "There are a zillion different misconceptions about acne," he said.
Two of those misconceptions are that both diet and dirt have something to do with acne outbreaks, Dr. Webster said. "This study shows that the dirt you generate yourself — the dirt and grease on the skin — doesn't have much to do with acne."
AAD 63rd Annual Meeting: Poster 18. Presented Feb. 20, 2005.
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD
American Academy of Dermatology 63rd Annual Meeting
Peggy Peck is a freelance writer for Medscape.
Medscape Medical News is edited by Deborah Flapan, assistant managing editor of news at Medscape. Send press releases and comments to [email protected].
Medscape Medical News 2005. © 2005 Medscape
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