When you’re out walking or running, your thighs can rub each other which can result sore, rough patches in between of your thigh. This situation or the irritation caused by this is known as chafing. Not only running or walking, the ocean can also make your skin chafing. When you’re swimming, the too much arm swimming could make you get chafing. Not only that, but the salinity of ocean water where you’re swimming and the water temperature could also cause chafing.
The ocean water also has a number of other chemical and organic ingredients, possible pollutants, and critters which can have impact the skin. The impacts could be bind or injure the lipid be-layers of cells and alter the normal waterproof nature of skin.
Ocean water frictions can also produce skin irritants and can cause chafing quicker than normal water like those in the pools. The salt crystals contained in the ocean water will start to build up immediately between surfaces of your skin that are in contact with it and shortly after, it will start to abrade your skin. Now for those who are not well aware or haven’t experience it, this may seem as unimportant.
However, this have continuously become a problem for sea swimmers since the skin that breaks due to chafing can be really painful and can take quiet a long amount of time to heal. Therefore, in this article we’re going to focus on ocean chafing and here are 17 ways to prevent ocean chafing. See also Differences Between the Ocean and the Sea
1. Choose Comfortable Swimsuit
One of the ways you can do is to choose swimsuit with comfortable seams. Try to choose swimsuits with less or very few seams, flat seams, and small flat stitches as they will worsen and cause chafing even more. Second is, to choose swimsuit that fit you well or medium fit. This way, the suit won’t create pressure on your skin nor it will shift around too much and create more fraction to your skin.
2. Apply beneficial cream
Lanolin cream can also help since it adheres to the skin more and create less chafing on your skin. The downside of using this cream is that it’s repellent natural smell. However, there are some people who are not comfortable enough to use lanolin since it contains a sheer proportion of sheep fat or other wool-bearing animals in it and might (on the very least) attract any marine inhabitants/predators.
Lubricate breasts’ undersides is also recommended for women. They are encouraged to lubricate the undersides of their breast since it can sometimes rub against their ribs, create frictions, and therefore can cause a painful chafe too.
Although you can choose whatever lubricant there is, Jim Miller of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee thinks that anhydrous lanolin is the best lubricant you can possibly find. It stays in place and doesn’t affect the stitches or integrity of wet or long suits (unlike some other lubricant including petroleum-based products who has some effects on stitching) although it is rather messy. See also Acidification of the Ocean
Sixth way you may try is to lubricate everywhere to know your vulnerable points of chafing. However, if you are a pool or unprofessional swimmer, do lubricate anywhere you can imagine since you don’t have enough experience to know which location on your body can experience chafing. After you swim on the ocean, then do evaluate on which areas of your body that got the chafing. See also Characteristics of Ocean Environment
3. Care of Stroke Mechanics
Watch your stroke mechanics is the seventh way for you to try. Because when you breathe slightly late when your head is above the water, your neck then will graze you shoulder and producing rub which can cause chafing if it happens repeatedly. Besides making sure of your stroke mechanics, you also need to change stroke mechanics when you began to feel the chafing and the burn that it causes. Although this way, you can also develop yet a new chafing on another area.
4. Shave Under arms
If you are the type to prefer looking clean on you underarm, you can shave your underarms 5 days prior to your swimming day since short hair will create less fraction and is softer than subtle hair from shaving immediately before swimming, thus, create less chafing for you.
Other Preventions (5-12)
Here are some ways of prevention that you may try:
- Petroleum Jelly. The usage of this balm can help for short swims. It however won’t help much on long swims since it will tend to not last long enough.
- Body-Glide is another solution if you are about to do just short swims. It is a rub-on stick so it is easy to apply. Body-Glide will usually last on your body up to an hour.
- Emulsifying Cream is also worth to try prevent you from getting skin chafing.
- Baby or Mineral Oil are also said to work well by some swimmers as one of the ways to prevent ocean chafing.
- Bag Balm can be a wise choice since both petroleum jelly and lanolin have downsides. Bag Balm can be a solution since it contains both petroleum jelly and lanolin.
- Channel Grease also contains both petroleum jelly and lanolin in it. Giving you another option as one of the ways to prevent the ocean chafing.
- Vaseline-Lanolin-Zinc Oxide Formula may work too. You can try to use this formula with 50% vaseline, 50% anhydrous lanolin, and 10% zinc oxide. Well, if one ingredient isn’t enough, might as well mix them.
- Apply lubricant at seams. Apply lubricant where seam runs at your swimsuit. Some athletes do this too.
Above are few ways you can try to prevent your skin from getting chafe. It is worth to be noted that if you are about to use no-fog goggles too for your swim, then make sure to use it first before you move forward and lubricant your body since the balms or oils of the lubricants might be hard to wash thus will make your goggles dirty if you touch it. Also make sure to bring a rag along with you to wash off the lubricants.
Tissues or toilet papers can actually help you wash off the lubricants too but it tends to be hard to use and keep them dry in a watery environment. There are other ways to prevent ocean chafing but we do hope that you would found this article helpful and good enough to help you enjoy your swimming experience. Who knows you might as well will get to enjoy the ocean phenomena throughout your swim. We wouldn’t want chafing to prevent us from the joy of swimming in the open ocean water, right?