White Spots on Skin After Exercise: Causes & Remedies

Discovering white spots on skin after exercise can be a source of concern and curiosity. In this detailed guide, we delve into the science behind why these white spots appear and how you can manage them effectively.

White Spots on Skin After Exercise
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Why Do White Spots Appear on Skin After Working Out?

Experiencing white spots on skin after exercise might cause you a bit of worry. However, understanding why this occurs can offer peace of mind. Generally, these spots appear due to two significant reasons: blanching and sweat residue:


During intense physical activities, certain parts of your skin might experience pressure, leading to a reduction of blood flow to that area, a process called blanching. This temporary phenomenon results in white spots which disappear once the pressure is removed and the blood flow resumes.

Sweat Residue

Sweating is a natural process while exercising. As you sweat, the liquid evaporates, leaving behind salt crystals on your skin. These salt crystals can appear as white spots on skin after exercise.

Understanding that this is a natural process can reduce any anxiety you might experience seeing them on your skin.

Medical Conditions That Can Cause White Spots on Skin After Exercise

Beyond the common occurrences of blanching and sweat residue, medical conditions might sometimes be the underlying causes of the white spots on skin after exercise. Here are a couple of them explained in detail:

Tinea Versicolor

This is a fungal infection that thrives in hot and humid environments. It is known to cause skin discoloration that becomes more noticeable when you sweat. It often appears as patches of skin that may be lighter or darker than your surrounding skin. (Source)

Pityriasis Alba

This is a mild form of eczema that mainly affects children and young adults. It manifests as dry, light-colored patches on the face, upper arms, neck, and trunk.

The exact cause is unknown, but it tends to worsen with sweating, making it more noticeable post-exercise. (Source)

How to Prevent White Spots on Skin After Exercise

Fortunately, there are several precautionary measures you can take to prevent the appearance of white spots on skin after exercise. Here, we detail the steps you can adopt:

Hydration: Drinking sufficient water can aid in reducing the salt concentration in your sweat, minimizing the chances of salt crystal formation on your skin.

Moisture-wicking clothing: These types of garments help absorb moisture from your skin, reducing the accumulation of sweat and, consequently, the risk of salt crystal formation.

Check out these Amazon-listed Opna Women’s Short Sleeve Moisture Wicking Athletic Shirts.

Proper cleansing: Bathing with a gentle cleanser after exercising can effectively remove sweat and salt residues, preventing white spot formation. Make this a routine to maintain healthy skin.

Incorporating these preventive measures can go a long way in avoiding white spots on your skin after a workout session.

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When to Seek Medical Advice

While the appearance of white spots post-exercise can be harmless and temporary, it is essential to monitor any changes vigilantly. If these spots persist, increase in size, or are accompanied by symptoms such as itching, burning, or scaling, seeking medical advice is imperative.

Sometimes, persistent white spots can be a sign of underlying medical issues that require professional diagnosis and intervention. Keeping a record of the appearance of these spots can be useful when consulting with a healthcare provider.