June 25, 2012
I imagine that title got your attention!
Most runners are well aware of the damage chafing can do to our bodies while we run. When a shirt, shorts, undergarment, belt or shoe rubs us the wrong way, our skin can become very irritated, even to the point of bleeding.
I sometimes say “BodyGlide saves lives.” And it’s mostly true. BodyGlide is a product that you can apply to areas of skin as a lubricant to reduce uncomfortable rubbing and chafing. I use it between my legs, in the small of my back (to reduce belt chafing) and on the edges of my feet during long races. Vaseline or other petroleum jellies can serve the same purpose, but they leave a residue that can damage athletic clothing. Some people even use BodyGlide on exposed skin to reduce frostbite in the winter. I think Vaseline works fine on exposed skin in winter because you don’t have to worry about damaging clothing. I used to use BodyGlide on my nipples to reduce chafing on that sensitive body part, but not anymore.
I learned a lot when I ran the Mississauga Marathon in May 2011. Before the race I was geared up as I had all season, including the BodyGlide on my nipples. What I didn’t count on was that it rained for a lot of the marathon. I later found out that the BodyGlide rubbed off after 4.5 hours of sweaty running in mostly rainy conditions. Right after the finish line I had one of those foil wraps over me. When I got home my clothes went right into the laundry. It wasn’t until I took a shower I realized both my nipples were bleeding, a lot! Looking at the finish line photos, it’s pretty clear that I was bleeding. Some jokingly call this condition wearing race bib number 11.
It wasn’t until the expo for the Mississauga Marathon 2012 that I found a good solution. I had used bandaids over my nipples, but removing them was really painful. There were samples of different products in race kits, but I never had the quantity to re-use the product. At the Mississauga Marathon 2012 expo, I talked to a gentleman with a british accent was promoting ReSkin, a reusable bandage. I bought a box with 4 pieces and took it home to try. I was impressed.
This ReSkin product is very handy. It’s like another layer of fabric taped to your skin. But unlike a bandaid or tape, it comes off without removing skin or hair. My chest is pretty hairy, so it hurt a lot when removing bandaids. Another good point is that they are re-usable. I’ve been using the same piece for almost 2 months. As recommended, I put it on a piece of plastic between uses. I’m really happy so far because it’s eliminated the chafing and will last through sweat and rain.
I found another use for ReSkin recently. About a week ago I got a huge blister on the ball of my right foot. When I popped the blister and cut away the dead skin, I found it very uncomfortable to walk, let alone run. I fashioned a piece of re-skin to fit the cover the wound while it healed. I appreciated that the material is flexible because it fit around the curve of my foot at stretched a little as my foot moved.
This experience also showed some downsides of the product. Since it’s so easy to remove, it would sometimes come off when putting on or taking off my sock. It’s not a big deal, but I have to be careful.
I still have all the pieces I’m using on a piece of plastic, and 2.5 pieces in the box. I think it’s a great product that I recommend everyone try. There are probably comparable products from competitors, but I trust this product and look forward to buying more when I see it in store or at an expo.
Recently, I’ve been putting the used pieces onto an empty gift card that’s like a credit card and it works really well for keeping the pieces until I need them. I’ve found ReSkin at Shopper’s Drug Mart and they always seem to have lots in stock.