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My Face Is Burning After Sweat & Exercise

author image Jae Allen
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.
My Face Is Burning After Sweat & Exercise
Sweat may cause problems for sensitive skin.

Your motivation to exercise can be negatively affected if sweating or working out make your face burn. There are a number of common causes of facial hotness, redness or burning during exercise and sweating, and each may have a different solution. Consult your doctor or a dermatologist for a diagnosis before attempting to treat any symptoms relating to your face.

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Blood Vessels

Any physical activity that constitutes aerobic exercise will affect your heart rate, circulation and the blood vessels in your face and body. As you work out, your breathing rate and heart rate both increase, and your blood vessels may dilate as blood is pumped more quickly around your body. As the blood vessels in the face are relatively close to the surface of your skin, dilation of these vessels can cause your face to appear red and feel hot or burning.


Rosacea is an incurable skin condition that most commonly affects only the face. A sensation of facial skin burning is a typical symptom of rosacea, which may also cause itching, flaking and dry skin. If you suffer from rosacea, exercise and sweating will exacerbate these symptoms. Rosacea may be controlled with topical and oral medications, and by avoiding overheated or stressful situations (ref 2). Some people find that certain foodstuffs and drinks -- coffee, alcohol and dairy products, for example -- make rosacea symptoms worse.

Allergy to Sweat

Strange as it may sound, it is possible for you to have an allergy to your own sweat. As sweat is secreted by your forehead and temples during exercise, this sweat could cause an allergic reaction involving facial itching or burning sensations where the sweat touches your skin. A study reported in the April 1994 issue of the "Journal of Dermatological Science" indicates that patients with the condition cholinergic urticaria -- a type of skin rash, or hives, brought about by over-sensitivity to body heat -- tend to have an allergic reaction to their own sweat.


A sensation of facial burning can be caused by excessively hot or cold temperatures when you exercise. Additionally, high or low humidity can cause a red, itchy or burning face. If you exercise in hot weather or in an overheated gym, you will sweat more and your facial blood vessels may rise nearer the surface of your skin, creating a burning sensation. Direct sun, very dry air and very cold weather can also cause similar symptoms.

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