Why You Should Use Anti-Chafing Cream For Open Water Swimming

Why You Should Use Anti-Chafing Cream For Open Water Swimming

Written by: Proswimwear

One problem that sea swimmers complain of again and again is chafing. Swimming in salt water is a whole different game to swimming in a chlorinated pool, or indeed fresh water. If you're going to be undertaking any marathon swims, or perhaps you have your sights set on swimming the British Channel, then pay close attention this could save you some serious soreness!

Let's attempt a bit of science here. Seawater is a solution made from salt ions such as chloride, sodium, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borat, strontium, and the list goes on. As the sea water evaporates salt crystals are left on the skin of the swimmer. The first salts to precipitate are calcium carbonate and a small amount of magnesium carbonate. You may know calcium carbonate (CaCO3) by it's more common name “Limestone”. As you can imagine, calcium carbonate particles are gritty, rough and irritating. It's these microscopic particles that cause a lot of the trouble for sea swimmers!

With the effect of these micro-particles, the normal frictions experienced in swimming become infinitely more irritating. Skin-on-skin contact as well as skin-on-fabric contact that normally doesn't cause any irritation suddenly leaves red and raw marks. It varies from swimmer to swimmer, some experience irritation after just 15-20 minutes sea swimming whereas others will swim for an hour before they feel uncomfortable.

Dr. Olmos-Lau explains the hair-to-skin chafing in Swimming World Magazine, "I have had severe burns with bleeding related to beard friction on my shoulder in the ocean. These were very painful." He gives advice known by many. “Petroleum jelly doesn't last but is useful in long pool swims. Lanolin adheres to the skin more, but the smell of natural lanolin is repellent. However, there are diluted compounds that are useful.”

If you're planning on swimming any distance longer than a few km then you're going to want to think about anti-chafing solutions. The most commonly affected areas are the underarms, neck and shoulders. A lot of long distance open water swimmers use petroleum jelly as their anti-chafing product. But, there are custom products out there designed exactly for this purpose, with hours of lab development time and real world testing to back them up! 

GurneyGoo™ contains the renowned benefits: Latest silicon technology with Tea Tree antiseptic qualities keeps your feet dry, prevents prune wrinkles in wet running and hiking conditions. Anti Chafing and Anti Blister Feet, armpits, crotch, butt cheeks & nipples. Prevents kayaking blisters. Tried & tested by Steve Gurney & his team during Adventure Races Also great for preventing baby nappy rash!  It is a triple whammy product; water proofing, friction reducing and infection protection! The complete anti chafe solution! Anti-friction, Anti-blister, Anti-chafing, Anti-septic, lubricating goop. One handy sachet - for when you're on the go ideal for runners, hikers and kayakers.