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Acne Due to Sweat

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Acne Due to Sweat
You can have clear skin on your back thanks to anti-yeast treatments. Photo Credit: csakisti/iStock/Getty Images

A type of acne called pityrosporum folliculitis is caused by a yeast, which sweat encourages. You usually find it across the upper chest and back, characterized by uniform, pinhead-size pimples and little white bumps that may itch. Breakouts most often occur in hot and humid environments or on people who exercise intensely or perform hard manual labor. Pityrosporum folliculitis is usually resistant to antibiotics and requires treatment that addresses the yeast overgrowth.

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Pityrosporum folliculitis results from an overgrowth of a naturally occurring yeast that you have on your skin. Excess sweat can encourage the yeast to grow in the pores -- especially if you wear synthetic clothing that's tight and retains moisture. Greasy sunscreen, especially when combined with sweat, can also foster yeast overgrowth. You may be more vulnerable if your immune system is weak or you're under a lot of stress. Some people are more likely to develop the condition; researchers aren't sure why.

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