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 of face pain with sweating.
Blood Vessel Dilation
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 and Sweat Rash
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. 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.
According to a January-March 2016 article published by Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics, 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.
Read more: Ew! Why Do I Sweat So Much When I Work Out?
Consider Your Environment
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.
Sweat Rash From Heat
Sweat rash that occurs during hot, humid conditions is also called heat rash. According to Mayo Clinic, heat rash occurs when sweat is trapped under your skin by blocked pores. This condition usually clears up on its own, but consult a doctor if you also experience pain, swelling, redness, swollen lymph nodes, fever or pus drainage. You can help prevent heat rash by keeping your skin cool.