Advertisement

How can the conditions found in the female athletic triad affect the skin?

Ben Kaminsky
Dermatology

Athletes who compete in gymnastics, dancing, swimming, skating, and running are at high risk for the female athlete triad, as they strive to appear lean and fit. And these athletes are usually the ones who must deal with constantly irritated skin as a result of excess sweating.

We know that more female athletes have amenorrhea than women in the general population. Amenorrhea is associated with decreased estrogen levels, which may be the cause of osteopenia or low bone mass. While low-calorie diets are usually the first predictor of eating disorders, excessive exercise or “going for the burn” can also be a sign of an eating disorder.

Women who experience imbalanced hormones or loss of menstrual periods, exercise obsession, and low bone density at a younger age often have problem skin with acne, rosacea, or other problems. Once one or all of these three conditions are dealt with and resolved, the skin problem usually resolves, too.

Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin Without Needles or Surgery

More About this Book

Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin Without Needles or Surgery

Sexy and ageless skin is possible for a woman at any age--and she doesn't have to resort to invasive treatments like Botox to get it-as long as she cares for her skin properly, says Ben Kaminsky,...
Female athlete triad can cause dramatic decreases in the amount of estrogen and affect the hormonal balance and lead to malnutrition. This can cause the skin to become dry and thin, and for the skin to develop lanugo, which is an accumulation of fine hair on the body. Due to the impaired health of the athlete, their immune system may be weakened, and this can cause sores or acne to develop on the skin.   

Continue Learning about Fitness

Busy Woman's Guide: Squeezing in Fitness
Busy Woman's Guide: Squeezing in Fitness
It was 6 a.m. and I was talking myself into getting on the treadmill. As much as I wish I were a morning workout person, let’s just say I’d prefer a c...
Read More
What can I do to stay fit when I travel?
Grannies on SafariGrannies on Safari
A traveler loses control over food choices by restaurant availability, by being restricted to what i...
More Answers
8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out
8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out 8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out 8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out 8 Easy Tips to Start Exercising—Even if You Hate Working Out
No experience? No problem. Here are some tricks to help you get moving. Exercise should be part of almost everyone’s weekly routine. It can help you ...
Start Slideshow
John Blievernicht - Everyone is an athlete, if you move.
John Blievernicht - Everyone is an athlete, if you move.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.