Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Chafing and Blisters, What to do?

Those of us participating in any of the WaterTribe Challenges this March will be faced with lots of physical (and mental) challenges. Paddling 40+ miles a day, every day, for a week if your doing the Everglades Challenge, or for 4 weeks if the Ultimate Florida Challenge, will require a good system for body maintenance and personal hygiene to help prevent chafing, blisters, dishpan hands and feet, heat rash, diaper rash, etc..., all which could put you out of the Challenge very quickly if infection sets in.

The past 2 Everglades Challenges I found that Hydropel Sports Ointment works for most of these problems. Hydropel provides a protective barrier that eliminates friction between your body and your clothes, shoes, or kayak/canoe that physical activity can create.

Hydropel will:

  • Prevent the blisters friction can cause
  • Provide a natural barrier to harmful irritants including and especially urine
  • Protects wherever skin is at risk from irritation or blisters--feet, underarms, thighs, chest, bottoms
  • Safely protects against diaper rash
  • Is waterproof, long lasting and hypoallergenic

Your feet and hands (even your butt) are often wet for long periods of time, Hydropel, as the name implies, repels water, it beads right up, helping to prevent dishpan hands and feet, and resulting cracking skin.

Using Hydropel on your hands does require a little getting used to, as it leaves your hands a little slippery, sort of like how your hands feel on your paddle after picking up some of your bodies natural oils after you've wiped your forehead. One tube is more than enough for a full week, I found myself applying a pea sized amount to my hands every few hours.

A google search will find places you can order it from, including www.argear.com, an adventure racing internet store.

Other miscellaneous things that have worked for me to help with blisters and chafing:

  • Talcum powder to easily rub away sand and salt grit before changing or getting in your sleeping bag.
  • Body Glide under the arms during paddling for chafing from your shirt or PFD
  • Wearing socks that wick under my paddling shoes (helps with chafing and blisters too)
  • Changing into sandals that air out your feet whenever and as soon as possible
  • Large Vitamin E capsules, opened. Use the liquid for blister protection
  • Sunscreen, don't forget your hands, and lips

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