HOW TO SOLVE 3 COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS FOR ATHLETES

HOW TO SOLVE 3 COMMON SKIN PROBLEMS FOR ATHLETES

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Whether you’re gearing up to trudge through a mud- and rock-laden obstacle-course race, attempt a century ride, or run like Forrest, logging extreme mileage can wreak havoc on your skin. From friction-induced blisters to damaged toenails, these problems suck. And they’re all too common.

So before you throw on your short-shorts and joggers, follow the tips below to prevent the most common endurance-relatedskin issues.

1. Blister

WHAT IT IS:

A small serum-filled bubble that appears on the skin.

THE CAUSE:

“Blisters are caused by friction between your equipment and your sweaty skin, which creates a split in the top layer of the skin,” says Brian Adams, M.D., professor and chair of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

THE FIX:

Reduce moisture by applying a drying agent like talcum powder. And never pop a blister. Simply prod it with a thin needle to slowly release the pus.

2. Chafing

WHAT IT IS:

A sore rash, which usually appears on the inner thighs, heels, and underarms.

THE CAUSE:

“Friction, moisture, and heat between your coarse-fibered shirt, pants, and undergarments cause chafing,” Adams says. “It usually happens with races of half-marathon distance or farther.”

THE FIX:

Invest in moisture- wicking clothes such as compression shorts. Also, if the area gets red, apply a lubricant like Vaseline. If it doesn’t get better, go see a dermatologist.

3. Jogger’s Toe

WHAT IT IS:

Repeated pressure applied to the toes, which can cause a host of unpleasant issues.

THE CAUSE:

“When the longest toe bears the brunt of the body’s pressure, long- term changes occur on the skin of the toe and nail,” says Adams. “A callus may build on the toe, bleeding might occur, or athletes may lose their toenail altogether.”

THE FIX:

This one is easy— find shoes that your toes don’t press against. Your local running store can outfit you with the right footwear for your specific needs.

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