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Can Exercising Help Improve My Acne?

Does exercise really help your skin and acne?
- Margo*

Exercise has many benefits, like feeling good about yourself, being in top shape, looking good, and being mentally sharp.

It's not clear whether exercise helps improve acne, but it definitely doesn't hurt. The only exception may be the athlete who wears equipment such as protective pads and chin straps on helmets that rub against the skin and may make acne worse in those areas. But fear not, your run-of-the-mill favorite gym T-shirts won't cause any such problems.

Whether you have a lot of acne or just the occasional zit, exercise may actually help because it increases blood flow, unclogs pores through sweating, and reduces stress, a major acne trigger.

The bottom line is that the benefits of exercising, whether they include acne reduction or not, outweigh the benefits of sitting around on the couch. Who cares if you have great skin and a good complexion if you aren't taking care of the rest of your body?

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2015

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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