Posts Tagged ‘skin irritation’

Runners Chafing

A runner’s chafing, just like an injury, may be the ultimate roadblock for runners. As summer is setting in, chafing can become a problem for some runners, as sweating increases the rub of clothing against skin. Chafing is a skin irritation caused by any activity that makes skin to repeatedly rub against another area of skin or article of clothing.

The most common symptom of chafing is a painful stinging or burning sensation in the affected area or areas. Moisture, either from sweat or rain, can aggravate chafing. It usually occurs around the groin, inner thighs, underarms, nipples, and around the bra line (for women) but it can also occur anywhere. Anybody can experience chafing. However, chafing is a particular problem in overweight people and in athletes.

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are some things you can do to prevent chafing from occurring, especially before a long run. Wear clothing that serves as a barrier between layers of skin, like athletic tights or cycling shorts. Though loose clothing may feel more relaxing on hot days, shorts and shirts that fit incorrectly can cause painful friction. Avoid clothing made of coarse materials. Clothing made of cotton absorbs sweat, once it gets wet it stays wet. Runners should choose clothing that fits snugly and is made of synthetic material like Lycra or Spandex that wick moisture away.

Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after a jog or run will. It is recommended that runners stay hydrated to keep sweat flowing freely, rather than drying into gritty salt crystals that can make chafing worse. To help soak up excess sweat, Colombia University’s Health Services recommend sprinkling talcum powder, cornstarch, or potato starch on chafe-prone body parts.

Apply some A+D ointment on chafed skin. The chafed areas should clear up in about a day. Be sure to cover up affected areas with BodyGlide, or Vaseline before heading out for a run. Many seasoned runners also swear by the efficacy of udder balm in preventive lubrication and treatment of runners’ chafing.

Anti Chafing in Sports

Good anti chafing measures will help your overall health because doctors know the condition of your skin is a mirror to how well you are in general.

According to the University of Maryland, chafing is defined as skin irritation that occurs when skin rubs against other skin, clothing or items like sports equipment.

Researchers advise against wearing coarse fabric.  All-cotton material or synthetics designed to wick moisture from the body are the most comfortable.  Friction can be minimized with the best clothing for the activity.

It is important to wear clothes that are dry and clean.  Irritation can be caused by dirt, chemicals and even dried sweat on clothing.

A temporary lubricant can serve as a barrier to moisture and form a sort of “second skin” in the areas of your body that become irritated. Common areas include inside the thighs and under the arms for runners, and the groin area for bicyclists and equestrians.  Everyone has their ointment of choice and these do not have to cost a lot of money or come from the department store.  Some people find relief at the drug store chains or equestrian supply store.

Proper athletic clothing can also be used in tandem with creams and ointments to prevent chafing.  Fabrics made of nylon or polyester are ideal for driving sweat and moisture away from the skin where it will contribute to rubbing and skin irritation.

Some of these clothing articles are made for the warm weather and are suitable for use with a sunscreen for protection from ultra violet rays.

Remember, the key to treating chafed skin is to avoid the activities that bring it on.  But if your occupation or your favorite sport necessitate repetitive motion, be prepared for chafing with the appropriate clothing and skin crème, both excellent weapons in anti-chafing efforts.