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Thread: Can exercise ruin our skin texture?

  1. #1
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    Default Can exercise ruin our skin texture?

    So glad to find this site!

    I recently started running as part of recovery from a physical injury, but my skin looks awful after I finish. I'm running a shady route after 7 pm, with sunscreen, hat, water break, even ice cubes in a bandanna around my neck. I cool down with a cool wet cloth on my face, drink ice water, and take a cool shower when I'm back. I wash my face with Eucerin anti-redness cleanser and put my Rx (Metrogel) and some lotion on my face right after.

    But even with all this care, for an hour after running, I'm not only bright red--redder than I've seen anyone else get, and all around the margins, not just the cheeks--but my skin looks withered and almost pitted, like there's some kind of swelling or even shrinking(?) reaction going on. It goes down, but I've only noticed this withery/pitted appearance lately, and I'm thinking it might be a cumulative effect of running for the past two and a half months.

    If so, that's enough to make me quit. I would love to find a way to keep running, but I don't want to do lasting damage to my face. It just makes me sad to look at it--like my skin is 20 years older than I am (early 30s).

    Do you have this kind of textural reaction to running? And if so, what is it? Does it progress?

  2. #2
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    how is your diet, Belgian? I eradicated rosacea symptoms mainly following the Paleo diet.
    "It's all illusion anyway."

  3. #3
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    Hi there, sorry to hear you are having these troubles.

    I myself exercise regularly and I actually think it really helps my condition, my P&P,s cleared up and my flushing basically stopped when I got to peak physical fitness.

    When I first started I was like you and I flushed really badly from running, my flatmates used to call me cherry. But as my cardiovascular system got better as I got fitter it got better to the point where I don't flush from exercise any-more.

    I understand your concerns though, my advice would be to perhaps start doing less vigerous routines and work up slowly, that may help.

    One thing's for sure though you dont want to stop excercising alltogether, being unfit and unhealthy is so much worse for roseceans in my opinion.

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    hi beligianred and everyone else here,

    i'm a lurker for quite a while on the forum. thanks for all the advice. it's been great.

    i'm really interested in responses to belgian's question as well. last year, right before rosacea struck, i was in the best shape of my life and ran a 15k. half the route was uphill. i don't really remember flushing at all afterwards. i even drank a beer afterwards!

    about a week after, i noticed my foot was hurting. i think i strained it during the downhill portion of the run, so i quit running and started biking. that was good exercise, but not the same. fast forward 5 weeks, i tried a new sunscreen because my eyes had been red and bothersome (looking back this was the first of the rosacea. damn it) because it was an all chemical sunscreen, i believe it triggered my initial full blown flare. i had no idea the devastation to follow.

    anyway, in searching for some relief, i quit exercising. long story short, i'm in the worst shape of my life right now and my rosacea has only progressed in the past year and yes, that includes texture changes. so, i've started the painful journey back to picking up my exercise and running. i curse the ayurvedic healer who told me to quit running, as this has not helped and in fact contributed to major depression. i've been going at night to avoid the sun and heat. i'm totally red and in pain afterwards for probably a good hour unless i use cool water on my face. i kinda think cool water is not a good idea though, so i just try to stay hydrated and calm.

    aside from the painful red, i feel so much beter mentally during and after a run. i've missed it so much. but i also wonder if i'm doing damage? i guess part of me doesn't care, because in my head i think, ok i can be a healthy in shape person with rosacea or a really miserable out of shape person with rosacea! maybe this is wrong. i don't know. i do hope and believe that just maybe, my body will adjust if i don't push it too hard. time will tell. one thing i have noticed is covering my head with a bandana, hat, sunglasses, etc. makes me much hotter during a run, thus the night time run in order to avoid those heat trappers.

    i sure hope someone with more exercise and rosacea experience chimes in. i'll update as time passes too. thanks again!

  5. #5
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    My skin looks the best right after I finished exercise but I guess it's different for everyone

  6. #6
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    I think it is different for everyone. Sometimes my skin can look good after exercise only to worsen over the next day or two. For me I have realised that sweating makes my seb derm flair and this increases my skin redness and worsens its texture. I have found that pulse dye laser helps and so does limiting how hot and sweaty I get. Nowadays I combine a variety of low and high impact exercises that range from nordic walking, pilates and short gym sessions that include maybe 20 minutes max high impact.

  7. #7
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    For me, it really depends on how intensely I exercise. I believe exercise is really good for the immune system so it's good to do. However, if you have rosacea it is best not to be too intense with it or to exercise in hot conditions. Try to run in an air conditioned place like a gym and see how you do with that. Also, lower the intensity or do some anaerobic workouts as those won't raise the blood pressure too much. Cardio is a killer for me and I really have to take it moderately with that or else I will be flushing for hours afterward.
    Current skincare regime for rosacea subtypes I, II and IV started March, 2012:

    *Strict diet. No dairy, wheat, sugar, nuts/seeds, legumes. Only meat, 'safe starches', and low-phenol starchy/unstarchy fruits and veggies and water with ghee, lard and duck fat as cooking aids and sources of fat. Also avoiding food intolerances.
    Supplementing with raw food multivitamin, liquid zinc sulfate with copper, epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate), calcium and vitamin C. Lots of water!

  8. #8
    Moderator Melissa W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by christine123 View Post
    For me, it really depends on how intensely I exercise. I believe exercise is really good for the immune system so it's good to do. However, if you have rosacea it is best not to be too intense with it or to exercise in hot conditions. Try to run in an air conditioned place like a gym and see how you do with that. Also, lower the intensity or do some anaerobic workouts as those won't raise the blood pressure too much. Cardio is a killer for me and I really have to take it moderately with that or else I will be flushing for hours afterward.

    I agree with Christine. I think exercise is critical to our well being- physical and mental so not exercising is just not an option (for me). If I exercise under controlled conditions- cool room, fan circulating air, hydrating as I go etc and focusing on endurance more than intensity I am good. Now, I often cycle outside under warmer conditions but I am usually OK because there is a breeze as you are cycling and I make sure to remain hydrated and lessen the intensity if it is too warm and just cycle a longer distance if my intensity is less. I do whatever it takes to continue exercising because I feel it is vital not just for our rosacea improvement but our overall health.

    Yoga and meditation may also be beneficial for you if you haven't already tried it.

    I am sorry you are experiencing this trouble belgianred and I hope the tips the RF members have shared here are helpful to you.

    All the best,
    Melissa

  9. #9
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    I just want to add something here. I have been doing an exercise regime and it seems like as days go by it is easier and easier for me to flush. At the beginning I didn't really flush but now it seems like I don't even have to get halfway into it before I'm flushing. I have learned that flushing from exercise is to allow your body to eliminate excess heat generated by cellular metabolism. For me, I believe this is the case as my facial skin feels extremely hot to the touch when I am flushing while exercising and I can actually see that my pores have opened up to allow as much heat exchange as possible.

    I found something that really helps me to minimize the flush afterward. I fill up the bathroom sink with cold water and dip one side of my face in the water, making sure to submerge my cheek and side of nose since that is where I am mainly flushing. I keep my mouth above water so I can breathe and I just stay there with my face under the cool water. I don't put running water on my face, I merely let my skin rest under the cool water. After about a minute, I change to the other side and do the same thing. I repeat this a few times until the flush has calmed down. I come up and look at myself in the mirror. If my skin starts turning red again I just go into the water and do the routine again until I am no longer turning red or else it is just a slight red and then I don't worry about it as it will go away on its own. This has definitely helped me and my skin is a lot calmer and more pale the next day. I think it's not good to allow your blood vessels to stay open for a really long time and this speeds up the heat exchange so your body can cool down and your vessels can constrict a lot quicker.
    Current skincare regime for rosacea subtypes I, II and IV started March, 2012:

    *Strict diet. No dairy, wheat, sugar, nuts/seeds, legumes. Only meat, 'safe starches', and low-phenol starchy/unstarchy fruits and veggies and water with ghee, lard and duck fat as cooking aids and sources of fat. Also avoiding food intolerances.
    Supplementing with raw food multivitamin, liquid zinc sulfate with copper, epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate), calcium and vitamin C. Lots of water!

  10. #10
    Moderator Melissa W's Avatar
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    Interesting Christine!

    I find that when I am sweating as I am working out it cools my face somewhat so my flush isn't as bad if that makes sense unless I am working out too intensely or under too hot/humid conditions. What is worse for me is when I am hot and not sweating on my face- that is sure to bring on a more intense flush. I guess it's because my face isn't cooling itself off by sweating. But just wanted to add that sweating is good and I agree it feels like toxins are being eliminated. Always a good thing.

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