Why Does My Face Sting When I Work Out? 5 Reasons & Fixes

Feeling like your face is stinging or in pain while you work out isn’t natural or normal.

Your face might feel like it’s burning up or puffy, but any prolonged stinging or burning sensation that’s uncomfortable, excessively tingly, or even painful is something worth looking into.

Why Does My Face Sting When I Work Out? 5 Reasons & Fixes

Needless to say, working out will cause increased blood flow around the body, including the face.

It may also lead to hot flashes, lightheadedness, and ringing ears, all of which can happen due to overexertion 

In any case, this guide offers five reasons why your face is stinging when you work out, along with the fixes that might help you to prevent and stop the sensation from occurring during and after your workout.

Sensitive Or Dry Skin

You might be working out without realizing that you have sensitive skin.

Sensitive or dry skin can react negatively to sweat and increased body heat, which can cause skin rashes and the sensation that the skin is burning up, sore, or stinging.

If you have naturally dry skin or eczema, you’ll know that it can get itchy often, specifically when the air is cool or excessively dry, or if you accidentally scratch your face, which causes the skin to damage and feel hot.

Sweat can cause itchiness, which could be another reason your face stings when working out.


Sufferers of eczema, dry skin, or sensitive skin can prevent facial irritation by using moisturizers and other skin treatments.

Sweat that causes stinging skin can also be reduced by wearing a headband or using a towel regularly while working out.

Extreme Heat

Working out in extreme heat, indoors or outdoors, can cause hot flashes, dizziness, lightheadedness, and nausea, with a feeling of facial burning, stinging, and general irritation.

This can be exacerbated by dry air and high humidity, as well as overexertion and dehydration.

Extreme heat, even extreme cold (whether caused by natural outdoor temperatures or indoor air conditioning), can negatively affect skin conditions such as eczema, which can lead to irritation, itchiness, and scratching.


Always be wary of the temperature before you work out. If possible, avoid working out in hot outdoor temperatures (in the sun) and excessively cold air-conditioned rooms.

Wind Burn

If you’re a regular runner or cyclist, depending on where you live the cooler seasons can increase the risk of wind burn, especially on windy days.

Even when running or cycling at high speeds in wide-open areas, wind burn can occur without high winds and cause a stinging, numbing sensation all over the face.

Wind burn can also affect the ears, making them feel cold, numb, and painful.

The same applies to eyes, which may dry out due to wind burn and cause a number of head-related problems, including headaches, migraines, and blurred vision.


Avoid running or cycling on cold, windy days or in wide-open areas where winds are strongest.

You can also avoid running against the wind, or wear head accessories that cover the ears, forehead, mouth, or cheeks to prevent numbness and stinging.


Vasodilation, or simply blood vessel dilation, happens as a result of increased blood circulation around the body caused by physical activity.

The blood vessels of the face are especially close to the surface of the skin, which can cause a hot burning or stinging sensation all over the face.

Blood vessel dilation is a natural process, but it should not feel uncomfortable, painful, or as though the skin is stinging – especially during any kind of exercise.


If necessary, blood vessel dilation can be reduced by decreasing the intensity of your workout.

If your workout involves upside-down movements or positions, this should also be avoided.


Needless to say, overexertion during any exercise, whether it’s a weighted squat or static plank, will lead to more blood vessel dilation.

This will present negative side effects, especially if you are not managing your breathing or attempting an exercise that’s currently beyond your ability.

Overexertion can cause hot flashes, dizziness, lightheadedness, a stinging sensation on the face, and, in more extreme cases, fainting.


Never attempt exercises that are unmanageable or too difficult. This includes heavy weights or static positions held for time.


There are many reasons you experience stinging of the face during or after working out, but the above reasons are the most common causes – some of which can exacerbate the other to make the stinging or burning sensation worse.

If the above fixes don’t work—or if you think that the above reasons for a stinging face do not apply to you—don’t be afraid to ask help from a healthcare professional.

A stinging face is not common when working out, and could be a sign of something more serious that needs to be diagnosed and addressed.

If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘7 Different Types Of People You’ll See At Barry’s Bootcamp‘ or visit all our articles at RateYourBurn.

Avi Silverberg
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