Skin Is An Important Issue For The Endurance Athlete

Hi folks,

Three examples of skin. One is remarkable, one can kill you, and the other can save your life.

Sue and I just returned from a great ride, when I noticed this ‘still life’ as part of Sue’s car, and it got me thinking about skin. I sure wish that we could wrap all of our food in living and thus biodegradable skin like that of the banana. The skin of a car is hard and a real danger to us on the road when cycling, which is why we wear a reinforced head skin, or helmet.

My bike kit, left to right and top to bottom: 2 tubes, bag, allen wrenches, tire levers, New Skin, 2 CO2, puncture repair kit.

There are many ways that skin can interfere with your enjoyment of endurance sports, including neck rash from your wetsuit, sunburn, saddle chafing, and foot blisters. The worst of all is road pizza or road rash due to crashing on the bike. The real trick with severe skin abrasions induced by sliding along the ground is to keep these wounds clean and moist. Drying will cause them to crack, which increases the risk of spread of infection to deeper tissues, and it impairs the normal healing process that is dependent upon chemicals and cells designed by your body to kill infection and initiate tissue repair. This is why I carry ‘plastic skin’ (New Skin is the brand I use) on my bike at all times. It stings as you put it on, but this magic liquid will kill many ‘germs’ and seal the surface to prevent drying while you ride home and head for medical attention.

I also carry my phone, money, and a note in case I am found unconscious on the road, which says, “This is, or was, Kevin Morgan. Please call (919) … ….

-k Your Medical Mind


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.