AcneNet Answers

Is it possible to get acne where you sweat a lot?

"Iím a backpacker, and Iíve started to get what looks like acne on areas of the skin where my pack rubs and I sweat a lot. Is this possible?"

Yes. Friction and sweating can be associated with the development of acne or acne-like lesions.

There are names for acne or acne-like lesions associated with constant friction and sweating. Fiddlerís neck is a condition affecting some violin players. Pigmentation, skin redness and inflammatory papules or pustules occur on the skin where the violin fits under the chin at the angle of the jaw and neck. Soldierís acne describes acne or acne-like lesions occurring on areas of the skin constantly rubbed by a military pack or weapon strap and may be more common among soldiers serving in tropical areas.

High school and college football players may develop acne on the forehead, where the football helmet fits tightly. This form of acne in adolescence may actually represent an irritation of microcomedones already present on the skin.

Overly vigorous cleansing and washing of the facial skin can also be a source of friction that aggravates acne.

Acne that seems to be associated with friction may be alleviated or prevented by removing the source of friction. However, acne already present may require ongoing treatment.

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