Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Chafe and its ugly sister, The Blister..

No one enjoys Chafing or having Blisters, but again, these can be prevented! Hooray!

Why do we Chafe?

Chafing is caused by friction against a part of your body due to fabric or another body part. Usually sweat, seams, loose clothing, dry skin, and cotton are the main instigators of chafing. Often if we gain a little weight, we tend to be prone to chafe more because the body is rubbing against itself. If your underarms chafe, try to wear long sleeves or arm warmers (my Fave!)

1- Clothing - dry fit material is great at absorbing sweat and wicking it away as opposed to cotton. It is called "dry-fit" because similar to a swimsuit, it dries quickly on its own. To care for your clothes - Wash with Cold water, No softeners, and No Dryer. They dry quickly on their own, a dryer is not necessary and it will lose its "dry-fit power".

Also, Not All Dry-fit is created equal. If you happen to chafe with a dry fit shirt, take note of

  • Brands - different brands use different combination of materials to create "dry fit" Some call themselves Dryfit, but they're just 100% polyester. (bleh)
  • Lines - Even within the same brand they have higher and lower quality material, check the tag and feel the fabric. I have Nike shirts that chafe and others that are fine. It's trial and error of what will or will not make your skin chafe. A good indicator, if it is Soft to the touch it is a better material than one that feels rougher.
  • Seams  - more rough surfaces that your body can rub against, less seams = less chance of chafing. 
  • Loose fitting clothing is the same concept. More fabric brushing against your skin = chafe.
2 - Dry skin - If your skin is dry, you'll chafe more. (More friction, and your body can't sweat evenly) Keep your skin moisturized and happy. If you hate putting on lotion, I use Avon Skin So Soft Oil. (After you shower, spray the oil all over your body, then rinse it off. It provides the perfect amount of moisture without leaving you sticky. And 2nds as a bug repellent. 

3 - Water - staying hydrated means you'll sweat regularly and your sweat wont dry on you leaving salt crystals on your body = more friction.

4 - Products -
  • Vaseline, Body glide, and other similar products are great ways to prevent chafing. Apply on the areas you usually chafe, and it really helps.


Similar causes of chafing, cause Blisters with the addition of HEAT. Blisters are notorious for our feet.

1- Shoes - find proper fitting shoes, improper shoes can either not breathe well for your feet, or cause excess friction. Also your feet swell when you run, so you want room for your feet to expand.

2- Socks - Find socks that your feet like. Some people like thin socks, others like thick socks. There is no right or wrong, its whatever works for you. Somehow all those "blister free" socks, give me blisters (the irony). I like thick cottony-dryfit kind of socks. You want one that will absorb sweat, but will keep your feet dry and airy = less heat.
Also Old Socks, are rougher and have less cushion -> friction -> Blisters

3- Products -
  • If you blister in the same areas, you can put vaseline over that area and wrap it with duct tape or Atheltic tape which will prevent the area from friction.
  • Drying powders
  • Moleskin

No comments:

Post a Comment