Why do I get these blistery-rash reactions when I run?
July 7, 2006 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Why do I get these blistery-rash reactions when I run?

When I run, I get these reactions that look like angry red burn marks, almost. They occur in places where seams or stitching of my running attire (usually it's a sports bra, sometimes other stuff) rubs against my skin.

I have had adverse reactions to latex bandaids before. I wondered if the elastic-type thread used in stretchy workout clothes might be causing this.

When the rash-spots fade, they leave distinct marks that look just like scars. There are many of them on the undersides of my boobs and also on top, where the scoop-neckline of the sports bra hits.

One (expensive!) Nike running top had to be discarded entirely- the meshy fabric lining it rubbed whole sections of my chest raw.

I look like I've had reconstructive surgery, from the abundance of scar-like lines and marks all around my chestal region.

Heat makes it worse, as does distance. The longer I run, the more likely this is to occur (I seem to have to pass the 4-mile mark); which makes sense because by then I am hot and sweaty and the irritation potential is greatest.

I have tried applying Vaseline pre-run to the most rash-prone areas. This did not work.

I have seen substances on display at the running store to help combat chafing. From those of you who have used such items- does it sound like it would work for what I am experiencing?

Or is skin-on-skin chafing not the same thing as the clothing-based reactions I am having?

I would love to find a solution because I am running a 15K on Sunday and I REALLY don't want to be suffering over such a long distance. I'll finish regardless, but adding to my "scar" repertoire is getting old.
posted by I_Love_Bananas to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
I really am of no assistance with your main problem, I'm afraid, but perhaps I can recommend trying "chamois cream" from a bike shop. It's designed to reduce chafing in almost exactly the situations you're talking about, but I have no idea whether it can help prevent the apparently-chemical problem that you also have. I have used it to great effect on long, long rides.
posted by wzcx at 2:39 PM on July 7, 2006

It sounds like you might have some sort of allergy problem regarding some of the materials (or whatever you wash them in - allergies to detergents are quite common). I would look to see if you can find a way around this first. I finished my first marathon last month - this was after a few months of trying many different solutions to minimise chafing. For me runners lube was well worth it - you might try that.
posted by rongorongo at 2:44 PM on July 7, 2006

Sounds like latex allergy to me. Latex allergy is classically aggravated by moistness, and the elastics in clothes often contain latex.

The only solution I'm aware of is to avoid clothes with latex in them.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2006

for your run this weekend: maybe you could wear a cotton shirt under your bra?
posted by lester at 7:57 PM on July 7, 2006

Best answer: I have problems with my sports bra chafing during long runs. I get scratches that last quite a while - it was surprising how bad the scratches were. Sweat was also a factor. I've started using bodyglide and it has made a significant difference. Vaseline not so good. It blocks the pores. As for clothing allergies, I would check with the manufacturer directly.
posted by poissonrouge at 8:23 PM on July 7, 2006

prickly heat?
posted by sweetkid at 10:07 PM on July 7, 2006

Sounds like a latex allergy. You should probably find out because these sorts of things can get worse and you don't want to remodel your life around avoiding latex.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:58 AM on July 8, 2006

Response by poster: Poissinrouge, your description sounds like you have the same thing I do. I'll check out bodyglide today!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 8:04 AM on July 8, 2006

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