When it comes to dancing, one topic remains hush-hush -- it’s dancer acne. If you’re always dealing with painful and persistent pimples all over your body after a week of revelry on the dance floor, then you’re suffering from dancer acne.
What is dancer acne, and how do you treat it?
What is Dancer Acne?
Dancer acne is body acne caused by the same factors that trigger face acne - the overproduction of sebum, dead skin cells that block the pores, and a build-up of bacteria caused by sweating.
When you’re dancing all the time, you’re constantly sweating. And when you’re sweating wearing these skin-tight, fabulous outfits all the time, well, that's a recipe for disaster as far as your skin is concerned. The pores become clogged with hardened sebum and dead skin cells. Bacteria start spreading the longer you wear sweaty clothes, leading to inflammation and foul odors.
The good news is, there are ways to prevent body acne without limiting your time on the dance floor. It’s all about sticking to proper hygiene before and after dancing + taking care of your skin correctly. Here are some tips:
How to Avoid Dancer Acne
Choose Breathable Fabrics
Super skin-tight clothes make you look good on the dance floor, that’s for sure, but at the expense of your skin! You see, some clothes do a better job of wicking moisture from the skin than others. For example, clothes made with synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, and acrylic tend to make you sweat more, trap moisture, and cause friction on the skin --- all of which trigger acne. Yikes!
Clothing made from natural fabrics, like cotton and silk, are breathable, highly absorbent, and gentle on the skin. These are the best materials for dancers’ clothing.
Shower Before and After Dancing/Working Out
Being fresh and clean before and after dancing or working out is paramount to better skin health. Again, the enemy here is excessive perspiration and oil production. A quick shower before dancing and after eliminates sweat and/or leftover bacteria on the skin. This goes especially for dancers who attend rehearsals, dance classes, and social dancers attending events after work.
Always bring a change of clothes if you're jumping from one event to the other or if you have to attend multiple rehearsals in a day. Keep a small bag of toiletries on hand for a quick shower while on the go.
Exfoliate Your Skin
Speaking of showering, exfoliating your skin should be a part of your weekly bath time ritual. The skin is quite sensitive, so avoid abrasive physical exfoliants and opt for liquid exfoliants if possible. Skincare products with BHA or AHA are best for acne-prone skin. These skin care products can be applied in targeted areas apart from the face, like the back, chest, or other problem areas.
Exfoliate your skin at least once a week if you’re using a physical exfoliant like a face or body scrub. For liquid exfoliants, use the products as directed.
Use the Right Skincare Products
Acne-prone skin has different needs, and most times, it’s triggered by harsh chemicals. So it’s crucial to use the right product for your skin. For those with oily skin, use skincare products that regulate oil production without stripping the skin of moisture. Avoid overly-emollient skin care products to minimize oil production that could trigger a breakout.
If you’re dealing with dry skin, opt for skincare products that bring moisture back to the skin. If your skin is very sensitive, use products with non-irritating ingredients and are gentle on the skin.
Consult a Specialist
For severe acne flareups, you’ll need to consult a dermatologist. Severe adult acne is often rooted in hormonal issues, and a dermatologist could provide prescription medications to block certain hormones. Your dermatologist could also give skincare tips for your specific skin needs and recommend products that suit your particular condition.
Indulging in your passion for dance doesn’t have to be at the expense of your skin. Don’t suffer in silence and deal with dancer acne right away before it worsens. With these simple tips, you can dance to your heart’s content and enjoy clear, healthy skin.