Skin Care for Runners in Hot, Humid Weather

Skin is the largest organ in the body. It serves to protect, provide sensory input and quite the most important for runners regulate the temperature of the body by virtue of its blood flow and sweating mechanism.

To prevent frictional chaffing of axilla (armpits, nipple and groin) use generous amount of petroleum jelly or moisturizing cream before the race. Use lubricant cream for your toes before wearing your socks which should preferably be dry fit material – this helps prevent burning sensation and blisters on feet.

Don’t run in a new dress this may not make the race organizers and sponsors happy but your skin would prefer to wear a familiar one. Use dry fit garment to help dry your sweat quickly and cool your system. The more colorful the garment better the UV protection – especially bright yellow (don’t we love them :)).

Runners to begin with require a good sunscreen over their face and shoulders as these are the sites which are most likely to get sunburn. For most Indians an SPF 26 and above is probably enough but since most of our races start early morning it would be better to carry a small pack of sunscreen to be applied again around 730 am (best if the organizers have arranged the same for you). Wear an open top cap preferably as it allows for easy cooling (unless you are bald). Running goggles not only protect the eye they also prevent sun burn of the cheek to a limited extent.

After race use Calamine lotion for a few days if you have any kind of burning sensation over sun exposed areas and moisturizing cream for the folds, groin and the feet.

Dr Anand
Amateur runner, Professional Dermatologist 🙂