A fit Asian man exercising with battle ropes.

Every gym rat lives by the maxim, “No pain, no gain!” For these fitness enthusiasts, results come from hard work, no matter the cost. Never mind that sprinting drills and doing squats give them burning sweat rash. While it may be the least of any athlete’s worries, it’s still quite a nuisance. Here’s all you need to know about preventing and beating the itch.

What Is a Sweat Rash?

Sweat rash, a.k.a. heat rash, prickly heat, or miliaria, is a non-threatening yet intensely itchy skin condition. Blisters occur when gets trapped in ducts and pores underneath the skin, preventing perspiration from leaving the skin. This causes redness and irritation.

You can typically find them in parts of the body, like:

  • Underarms
  • Neck
  • Back
  • Upper chest
  • Belly
  • Elbow creases
  • Back of the knees
  • Groin
  • Arms and legs
  • Inner thighs

What does heat rash look like?

On fair complexions, heat rashes appear as small, raised bumps surrounded by red, irritated skin. In contrast, darker skin would have less visible spots with little to no redness. Instead, the sweat rash would be white, gray, or purple-hued inflammation. Although not contagious, the rash can spread all over your body. As such, it's best to nip it in the bud before it worsens.

Preventing Heat Rash From Exercise

Working out is no fun when you feel the prickly and burning sensation of a developing sweat rash. To prevent these pesky pimple-like clusters from interrupting your , try these out:

Wear breathable fabrics.

Did you know certain fabrics trap heat and perspiration, clogging your sweat glands? Instead of throwing on a random workout fit, use with moisture-wicking tech. These allow perspiration to evaporate and prevent too much skin friction. Just don't forget to change out of those sweaty clothes!

Always remember, rashes love moist environments. Bring a towel to mop up your sweat if you must get those daily reps in humid environments. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water as you exercise, and most importantly, listen to your body. Rest if you need to.

Take a cool shower or bath.

Your biggest ally in the battle against prickly heat isn't a fancy treatment procedure or expensive cream. The secret to combating rashes involves quickly cooling off the body. After sweating, it's important to shower immediately to lower your internal temperature.

But don't just wash with any soap. Bathe regularly with an antibacterial soap that stops the spread of germs and infections. Level up your shower game with Lifebuoy Antibacterial Soap Total 10 with Activ Silver+, which fights 99% of germs (as per a lab test on select bacteria) and provides lasting protection with regular use.

You could also use a bar or body wash for men. Unlike generic locker room cleansers, Dove Men+Care Deep Clean Body + Face Bar leaves you invigorated, clean, and fresh. Made with 1/4 moisturizing cream, Dove moisturizes your skin to make it more resilient to heat rash.

Stay hydrated.

Sweating is the body's natural way of cooling itself. Lack of hydration hinders your body's ability to produce perspiration, which can lead to overheating and poor temperature regulation. Replenish by drinking lots of water daily. When taking part in or exercising, bring along your favorite flask. The ideal intake range of fluids for every hour of vigorous movement is 16-20 ounces. If you're pumping iron in poorly ventilated gyms or spending time detoxifying in a sauna, go ahead and chug on more agua.

Resist the urge to scratch.

Many rashes are itchy and irritating – and you will want to scratch! But before you do, know that doing so can easily break the blisters open, causing bleeding or an infection. Instead of rubbing your inflamed skin, try applying calamine lotion or a prescription product from your dermatologist to alleviate sweat rash symptoms.

Don't let spoil your daily workout. Take charge with these easy and effective ways to prevent sweat rash. If your condition worsens, schedule an appointment with your doctor ASAP.