Sweat pimples: how to get rid of?

The surface of the skin is covered with a thin film of a complex and, normally, balanced composition. It mainly consists of lipids secreted by the sebaceous glands. If there are not enough of them, the epidermis flakes off, inflammation and microdamage are formed. In the case when there is too much secretion, the pores expand, and the face becomes oily.

The second most important component of the protective film is sweat. The salts it contains make the pH on the surface more acidic. This is necessary to protect against most pathogens that can only live and multiply in an alkaline environment. In addition, the acidic environment attracts symbiont bacteria that are beneficial to the skin. In the process of their vital activity, acids are produced, which create additional protection against pathogens.

If a person is healthy, and his hormonal background is within normal limits, the skin independently maintains its protective functions. In case of deviations, problems arise that lead to the appearance of acne.

What causes sweat acne?

There are several problems in connection with which the healthy functioning of the excretory glands is impaired, and the penetration of microbes into the pores and their reproduction is made possible. Understanding these causes begins skin care and prevention of acne.

Improper nutrition

In addition to protecting the body, the skin has the function of removing toxins, salts, metabolites and other substances. The sweat glands, along with the kidneys, are able to filter waste products from the blood plasma and bring them out. In this sense, it is reasonable to assume that an unhealthy diet equally loads the urinary system and the skin.

The most critical are:

  • Foods with excess salt. Preserves, sausages, snacks sometimes contain a daily rate of sodium chloride and other salts in 100 grams. The excess is removed with sweat, which irritates the pores. In addition, if kidney function is impaired or a person does not consume enough fluid, salts can crystallize, clog pores and injure them. 
  • Sweets, especially when combined with fats. Cakes, chocolate and other treats in the body trigger a powerful hormonal response. Metabolic products enter the bloodstream, and then into the sweat and sebaceous glands. As a result, sebum becomes thicker and sweat less acidic. The pores become clogged, comedones are formed , and the pH becomes more favorable for the reproduction of pathogens. Undigested glucose is also partially excreted in sweat, which further attracts bacteria and fungi. 
  • Caffeine and alcohol require a lot of water and enzymes to break down and excrete. Decomposition products enter sweat and make it conditionally toxic. In addition, the smallest capillaries leading to the epidermis are damaged. Without proper nutrition, cells die, the stratum corneum thickens, the exit from the pores is blocked by dead scales. In the deeper layers of the dermis, inflammation can occur at the site of blockage and death of blood vessels. With a decrease in immunity and the ability to self-purify and regenerate, this leads to the appearance of deep painful purulent infiltrates. 


During puberty, a huge amount of sex hormones is released into the bloodstream. In the body of a teenager, global changes are taking place, which cannot but affect the work of all systems. Before all of them are in balance, organs, including the skin , will have to cope with increased loads. 

Androgens and progesterone enhance the function of the sebaceous glands. At the same time, the breakdown products of other hormones are excreted in sweat. A sharp, unpleasant, “hormonal” smell is characteristic of all adolescents.

Interesting to know! Scientists have found that the most unpleasant smell of sweat of adolescents seems to their parents. This is a protective evolutionary mechanism, which, on the one hand, prompted our ancestors to quickly “push” children into adult independent life, and on the other hand, it protected them from possible close relationships. 

Sweat allergy

Sweat glands remove not only inorganic salts and water. Sweat contains proteins. In rare cases, the body’s immune system is able to perceive metabolites as foreign, hostile elements. A skin reaction is triggered, accompanied by edema, itching, redness, and the appearance of many small pustules filled with transparent liquid.


Nervous tension stimulates the work of sweat and sebaceous glands. In the case when stress is chronic, immunity is suppressed. Hypersecretion and clogging of pores with sebum mixed with sweat, along with loss of protection against pathogens, leads to the appearance of foci of infection and inflammation.

Stress hormone – cortisol provokes a spasm of blood and lymph vessels, disrupts skin nutrition and the removal of waste products from cells. Difficulty in metabolic processes affects the condition of the dermis. It loses its tone, becomes dull, dehydrated, the stratum corneum of the epidermis thickens. All this leads to poor outflow of sweat and sebum from the pores to the surface, which means the appearance of acne.

Combing the skin

Lack of hygiene, reproduction of demodex mites in the pores , allergies or acrid sweat lead to irritation of the nerve endings and the appearance of severe itching. Instinctively, the person reaches out to scratch the area of ​​concern. The problematic skin gets even more damage. Microcracks and abrasions form , which become the gateway to infection.

For the same reason, it is absolutely impossible to squeeze out acne. Even if you are lucky and the wound has been avoided, the healing process will begin. In order for the skin to recover, histamine is released at the site of damage, which activates the immune system to fight microbes, and fibrin, which adheres cells in the wound. In the process of regeneration, the smallest nerve endings are irritated, which is also accompanied by itching.

Important! It is categorically impossible to squeeze out the abscesses in the nasolabial triangle. This area of ​​the face is literally riddled with the finest blood vessels leading directly to the brain. Medicine knows cases when, after squeezing out a pimple, a patient soon developed meningitis, and a quick death occurred. 

How to deal with acne?

If the appearance of acne is associated with sweating, it will be possible to cope with them quite quickly thanks to:

  • Proper hygiene and skin care. First of all, you need to remove the stratum corneum of the epidermis with a gentle peeling. It is enough to carry out the procedure 1-2 times a week. For cleansing, use a product with a neutral pH. We’ll have to completely eliminate fatty creams and masks, products containing alcohol and decorative cosmetics that clog the pores. 
  • Changing the diet in favor of healthy foods and a more active lifestyle . Eating, drinking plenty of fluids, and walking outdoors will help your skin heal faster. 
  • Folk remedies that help relieve itching and inflammation. A decoction of chamomile, sage, peppermint, tea tree oil and rosemary is perfect for soothing the skin.
  • Skin cleansing that can only be performed by a qualified beautician.

Preventing Sweat Acne

It is easier to prevent any problem than to deal with unpleasant consequences later.

To prevent sweat from causing skin problems, you need:

  • Drink at least 2 liters of clean water per day;
  • Give up bad habits: smoking, alcohol, caffeine abuse;
  • Monitor salt intake;
  • Cleanse the skin after physical activity with gentle products that do not violate the acid-base balance;
  • Living stress ecologically;
  • Monitor kidney and intestinal health.

These simple steps can help prevent pore damage and clogging, reduce the skin’s natural defenses and develop acne.


The appearance of acne from sweat is a clear signal of disruption of the excretory system, deterioration of the immune system or intoxication of the body. You should not treat the problem superficially and try to cope with seborrheic inflamed skin only at the expense of caring cosmetics. To get rid of acne, once and for all, you will have to reconsider your lifestyle and your habits, take care of your health, diagnose and cure chronic diseases.  

event_note November 18, 2020

account_box Dr. Peter B Milburn

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