Sweat Pimples

Sweat pimples are a bacterial infection. Sweat can cause trapping of excess oil, dead skin, and bacteria in the pores of the skin. When pores get clogged, bacteria multiply quickly. Inflammation of follicle walls is triggered resulting in the formation of sweat pimples.

Since this type of blemish is categorized in the acne vulgaris family, treatment features standard care practices.

Risk factors of sweat pimples

  • Medicines that have corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium can increase the prevalence of sweat pimples.
  • Dietary products like dairy foods, sugary and oil rich foods, and carbohydrate-rich foods can trigger this type of acne vulgaris.
  • Hormonal imbalances: use of oral contraceptives, disturbances during pregnancy, puberty, and any stage of life affect sebum production causing acne.
  • Having a family history of sweat pimples increases your risk of developing them.
  • Friction on the skin from cell phones, tight collars, helmets, and backpacks can worsen the sweat pimples.
  • Applying certain cosmetics or touching greasy or oily substances also may cause this condition.
  • Tight clothing and long periods of inactivity can also result in sweat pimples formation.

Excessive oil or sebum production and build-up of dead skin cells block hair follicles. This blockage creates an environment optimal for bacteria reproduction. The plug of dead cells and sebum causes follicle walls to bulge resulting in a whitehead.

If the plug bursts open on the surface, it turns dark resulting in a blackhead. When a clogged hair follicle gets inflamed or infected, it develops pimples, acne, or acne vulgaris.

Causes of Sweat Pimples

Dirty Pores

Dirty pores, blocked pores, and excessive sebum production may lead to acne. It is noticeable that exercise and perspiration causes an outbreak. Although other people suggest that a good sweat cleans out skin pores, science states otherwise. Oil pores and sweat glands are different. Sweat may not clean out oil pores. In fact, it can make matters worse.


Irritants like dirt and dust stick more on moist skin leading to clogged pores. When sweat gets combined with friction, it results in acne mechanica. Acne mechanica is what creates the sweat pimples due to constant wiping and rubbing of sweat from the skin.


Finally, bacteria that live on the skin contribute to the development of acne - they need nutrients. Most nutrients are located in the skin oil and dead skin cells include B vitamins. Bacteria also feed on thiamine and biotin present in sweat. It’s worth noting that the concentration of these nutrients increases with an increase in sweat production.

When you sweat more during vigorous physical activities, you are increasing the concentration of B vitamins. Therefore, you feed p. Acnes bacteria, increasing the rate of acne vulgaris development.

Symptoms of Sweat Pimples

Sweat pimples appear on the chest, face, back, neck, and shoulders. The most affected areas have the most functional oil glands in the human body. This condition can occur as non-inflammatory lesions that include blackheads and whiteheads. The pimples appear as a fine, bumpy, and itchy rash that causes a skin burning and "prickly" feeling.

Clear heat rash or Miliaria crystalline resembles small, clear beads of sweat on the skin. It is mild with minimal uncomfortable symptoms. Lesions on the surface may fill with pus.

Although they are non-infectious, constant itching results in a secondary pyogenic infection. A burning and tingling sensation coupled with itchiness that gets worse when exposed to sweat, is another symptom of sweat pimples.

How to get rid of Sweat Pimples

Shower after exercise

Showering after exercise helps clean pores to get rid of oil, dead skin, and bacteria that may be trapped by sweat. Any areas prone to developing sweat pimples should get washed twice daily using a gentle, non-drying cleanser to minimize skin irritation.

Wash exercise apparels

Clean all your exercise apparel after use. Dirty garments tend to compound the problem and worsen your skin condition.

Avoid tight clothing

Ensure that your workout attire is not tight to avoid skin aggravation that may cause sweat pimples.

Keep hair away

Keep your hair away from your face and neck throughout your workout. Hair assists in trapping dead skin, excess oil, and bacteria within your pores.


Over-the-counter acne cream, when applied on problematic areas, helps kill bacteria, dry excess oil, and prompt some peeling. The peeling process helps with skin exfoliation that in turn removes dead cells and dirt that may get trapped in the pores. Your dermatologist can prescribe acne medication, for example, retinol, to help get rid of sweat pimples.

How to prevent sweat pimples

Aloe Vera Gel

Various holistic solutions ranging from home cabinet remedies to healing topicals are available. Aloe Vera offers excellent relief for sweat bumps on the body. It prevents the condition from spreading while simultaneously taking care of the swelling and redness of your skin caused by sweat pimples. 99.75% pure organic Aloe gel acts as a moisturizer and protects the skin from infections.

Natural formula creams

Other substances that prevent sweat pimples include natural formula creams. They reduce redness, relieve itchiness, moisturize the skin, and reduce the swelling. Anti-itch lotion and heat cooling powder are other strategies that help prevent sweat pimples.

Sea bath salts

A bath-soak in sea bath salts helps in healing the body and relaxing your skin. The anti-inflammatory agents in this product help in reviving stiff muscles and calming flaring skin.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has many beneficial health attributes. Applying it to areas prone to sweat pimples dries out bumps and detoxifies pores eliminating all bacteria that could cause inflammation.

Wearing the right clothing during exercise

Wearing workout clothing that wicks moisture away from the skin also prevents the development of sweat bumps. Exercising in a cool environment is a preventive measure that you can take.

When to see a doctor

Sweat pimples usually go away after a few days. Nonetheless, if their symptoms last long or the rash seems to get worse, consult your doctor. Also, signs of severe infection, pus draining from lesions, or swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpits, increased redness, swelling, pain, and warmth around the affected skin warrant a doctor’s visit.