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All That You Need to Know About Acne Mechanica

If you’re in the habit of working out on a regular basis or a sportsperson, you definitely have a really fit and toned body but this could also mean that your skin is prone to getting acne or acne mechanica. Never heard of that term? Let’s find out more about acne mechanica.

What is Acne Mechanica?

Acne mechanica is a form of acne that is most prevalent in sportspersons, athletes and young soldiers. This is the reason why acne mechanica is also known as ‘sports-induced acne’. Most of the time, acne lesions start appearing in all those areas of the skin where the skin gets rubbed. Acne mechanica gets triggered due to rubbing, pressure, excess heat or friction. For instance, sportspersons who use a backpack may experience acne on their shoulders. People who wear a helmet while playing a particular sport may experience acne on the forehead and on the chin if there is a helmet strap. If a person is already prone to getting acne, then the chances of developing acne mechanica is even more.

What does Acne Mechanica look like?

The appearance of acne mechanica differs from person to person and from one place to another. In the early stages, it may seem like the skin is slightly bumpy or rough and you won’t be able to see the actual breakouts. But with time, the tiny pimples increase in size, get irritated and they become inflamed.

What causes Acne Mechanica?

As mentioned earlier, acne mechanica is caused due to friction and rubbing. This usually happens due to one of the following sports equipment:

  • Bra straps
  • Backpack straps
  • Purses and bags
  • Tight fitting clothes
  • Athletic equipment
  • Helmets and pads
  • Tight fitting undergarments
  • Chin strap
  • Tight fitting hat
  • Synthetic tight headbands

Wearing any of the above things against your skin for a long period of time traps the sweat and heat against the skin. This makes the hair follicles of our skin become blocked. Due to continuous rubbing of the skin, the blocked pores become even more irritated and then turn into large pimples.

Who gets Acne Mechanica?

Most teenage boys get acne mechanica due to their athletic equipment. Hockey of football pads, sweatbands, baseball caps, and helmets; all of these can act as triggers for acne since they are heavy and do not allow the skin to breathe. The skin becomes sweaty and it becomes the perfect spot for acne mechanica.

Women may also get acne mechanica due to bra straps and tight fitting undergarments and clothes. Bra straps, and tight clothing makes the skin damp and the skin lacks air in areas such as the thighs, on the butss and shoulders and this leads to acne and breakouts.

Another group of people who are more prone to getting acne mechanica are soldiers. Soldiers carry huge backpacks on their shoulders for a long period of time and this puts a lot of pressure on the skin. This causes a lot of irritation and inflammation, which, in turn, leads to breakouts. In case, the soldiers are posted in areas that are hot and humid, the chances of developing acne mechanica is even more.

Another group of people who are susceptible to suffer from acne mechanica are violinists, who carry their instruments in big bags against their body. The violin mostly rests on the chin and this part of the face is also more prone to getting acne. If you’re in the habit of talking on the face for long periods of time, you can also get acne on the side of your face.

Is Acne Mechanica different from regular acne?

Acne mechanica and acne may be very similar in appearance but the causes for these are different.

  • Regular acne is caused due to hormonal problems experienced during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. On the contrary, acne mechanica is caused due to acne and friction. When your skin is clear in the common acne-prone areas and only breaks out in certain spots, it's definitely acne mechanica.
  • If you developed acne after you began working out or playing a particular sport, then you definitely have acne mechanica and not regular acne.
  • Your body gets acne especially during the sports season and it clears up after the game is over.

Most of the time, acne mechanica clears up after the underlying equipment or sports gear etc. exits the life of the victim. However, this isn’t a practical solution to put an end to acne mechanica. If you’re passionate about playing, you should definitely not stop playing, just to put an end to acne!

Click here to know more about acne mechanica


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