Looking after yourself and team mates is part of being successful at sport, for rare, intrusive conditions, or those we all encounter.
Our feet are common sufferers from sports activity, through blisters, corns, or other unwanted growths, primarily caused by friction.
Properly fitting shoes make a difference, as do socks which fit without folds, or creases. Regularly changing your socks will help to prevent the moisture build up which contributes to a number of skin issues.
You can buy socks made to reduce this, or antiperspirants which are proven to have a positive affect on blisters. Just be careful that different materials don’t bring irritation, or antiperspirants, which often do.
Similar principles of a good fit apply to a range of equipment, from gloves, to helmets, to most clothing. Wearing specially created moisture absorbent clothing at skin level helps, or just an absorbent t-shirt.
Reducing moisture build up and friction matters for more than blisters. Conditions ranging from sports acne to urticaria can be notably lessened.
Excessive, or unusual exercise early in training before your body adjusts is not helpful. Even for a seasoned athlete, ignoring signs of skin disorders and pushing on will worsen them, or could lead to exercise induced anaphylactic shock.
Frequent, thorough cleansing of your skin is a good idea but again, not in extreme ways. Hot showers, baths, or tubs may feel okay, yet your skin is likely to prefer a cooler and perhaps briefer option.
This is equally true for water based sports, hot showers after swimming help to create dry skin, as can standard soap solutions. A milder alternative, or soap substitute may make sense, along with moisturising.
Not staying in damp swimwear is a sound move, as is checking out the location. Sufficient chlorination and control of acidity levels matter in swimming pools, or hot tubs, not least to help keep infection at bay.
Managing Sun Exposure
Eliminating friction, heat, or contact with allergenic materials, such as rubber, or latex, can be valuable. We can not however control the environment at a planetary level and are subject to the sun’s rays.
As with the earlier pointers, the sun can cause immediate problems, such as sunburn and heighten other conditions but the long term is more vital. Wrinkled, or sun spotted skin is not great, skin cancer can be far worse.
UV rays from the sun are the primary cause of skin cancer, which takes years to develop but has roots in earlier exposure. Mild skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma are bad enough, melanoma is potentially fatal.
Please wear clothing which protects against the sun, limit time in the open and apply waterproof sunscreen. This should offer a high level of protection against UVA, or UVB rays, be applied 20 minutes before exposure and at regular intervals.
If you see a changing, or new mole, or any unexplained growth on your skin, contact a specialist dermatologist. Accurate diagnosis and early treatment are vital, they can also set up a monitoring program to safeguard the future.
Taking A Break
Our wish is to keep people pursuing activities they love but the best way to do this can sometimes be to take a short break. Stop the unwanted, friction, stress, or heat exposure, so your body can heal.
This can bring you back in better shape, to perform at a level you wish and without further damage. Identifying the cause and making adjustments to kit, or training regimes matters and our staff will offer any support you need.
The objective of sports dermatology is not to criticise, or stop the action you enjoy, simply to see you enjoy this more and stay healthy.
You may find the options below useful:
- Further details on: Common Sports Conditions.
- A complete guide to: Skin Cancer Treatment.
- Full alphabetic index of: Dermatology Conditions.
For advice, or to arrange an appointment, call 020 8441 1043, or send us an email via the Make An Appointment button below.