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Medical Newsflash: Skin Problems on Race Day
Medical Newsflash: Skin Problems on Race Day

12 February 2018

Good day runners, we continue with our newsflash series with the aim of getting you to race day as fighting fit as possible. Today, we talk skin health and running.

FACT: As a runner, you are often exposed to the elements, including the sun, wind, heat, cold, and rain. Exposure is an unavoidable part of running, and can cause various skin problems along the way. Other predisposing skin injury factors include variations in running surface and running gear. Here’s some handy info, and tips to avoid problems come race day.

Common skin related conditions:

  • Chafing occurs in areas where skin rubs and moisture builds. Common areas are the groin, nipples, armpits, inner thighs, and between the toes
  • Blisters, most often on the feet
  • Sunburn
  • Lacerations and abrasions from falling

How do I prevent skin trouble?

  • Don’t be shy with the lube! Make sure you use a tried and tested anti-chafe cream or Vaseline™ on race day. Apply it in adequate volumes to high-risk areas such as the inner thighs, groin, and armpits
  • Never race in running gear or shoes that you have not sufficiently become accustomed to
  • In cold, wet and slippery conditions, please take extra caution when running as skin injuries are more likely
  • Ladies please ensure you wear a good quality, well fitting sports bra
  • Gents, nipple plasters work wonders in chafe prevention
  • Don’t for get the sunscreen! Use good quality high SPF sunscreens you are comfortable with, and make sure you cover all sun-exposed parts, even in cloudy conditions. Lightweight porous clothing is generally ineffective in UV protection, so sunscreen on the unexposed areas like the back and torso, will allso keep sunburn at bay

Your skin is important, treat it with respect and you’ll prevent problems, rather than having to cure them during or after the race.

Keep it up!

The OMTOM medical team

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