Why You Need to Ditch the Dirty Dancewear

June 26, 2016

After an especially long workout or grueling rehearsal, there’s a good chance your energy’s completely drained. And with errands to run, dinner to eat and homework to do, what’s the point of changing out of your leo and yoga pants? They smell fine and are oh-so comfy (not to mention pretty trendy these days!). But don’t be fooled—there are a number of nasty scenarios that could unfold if you lounge around in your sweaty dance clothes for too long.

Acne and Folliculitis

Dancing equals sweat—and, if you don’t take care of your skin properly, sweat can equal acne and folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicles). Athletic clothing tends to hold sweat closer to the skin, which means there’s more friction against your pores and they’re more likely to get clogged. Most dancewear is made with synthetic materials designed specifically to wick moisture away from the surface of your skin—and into the clothing’s fibers. So even if it feels like your clothes are dry and sweat-free, all that sweat is still in close contact with your skin. And don’t think acne only appears on your face and back—dermatologists have seen a rise in the dreaded butt breakout (“buttne”) because of sweaty, tight workout and yoga pants worn for extended periods of time.

Yeast Infections

Icky buttne isn’t the worst of it, though. Dirty workout pants go hand in hand with another gross (and serious) issue: yeast infections, which occur when your body chemistry “down there” is suddenly thrown off, causing too much yeast to be produced. One of the main causes? You guessed it: damp, sweaty workout pants. If you’re fresh out of the gym or a Pilates class, your pants are essentially the equivalent of wet bathing suit bottoms. Prolonged exposure to the moisture trapped in their fabric is the perfect scenario to trigger a yeast infection. If you notice any itchiness or discomfort, it’s best to consult with your doctor for a diagnosis—and ditch the 24/7 yoga pants uniform.