Four skin problems every triathlete should watch out for

By Ea Francisco

Sprained ankles and worn muscles aren’t the only problems a triathlete has to worry about. With three different sports, a triathlete has thrice as many skin problems they need to think about. These may not seem as serious as muscle injuries, but they’re still worth considering. Here are four of those skin problems that you’ll encounter.


Sunburn is the most obvious skincare problem. And it comes in varying degrees. The mildest and most common are the first degree, or superficial, burns. This is the usual redness, dryness, and irritation. The worst kind falls into the second degree, which is more painful and results in blistered skin. Symptoms are usually similar but if you start experiencing skin infections or severe pain, consult a doctor. The best treatment for this is to prevent it from happening in the first place, so always wear sunscreen if you plan on being out for more than two hours.


Blisters are a common problem that doesn’t need much medical attention. While it’s generally harmless, blisters can be quite painful; but if you continue to ignore the more painful blisters, it can cause bleeding. It becomes distracting to your race, so it’s best to prevent it beforehand. Make sure your shoes and socks fit properly; it shouldn’t be too tight because when you run, your foot starts to swell. If you have blisters and you plan on popping them, make sure to clean and cover it properly to prevent infections. 

Saddle Sores

As someone who rides a bike, you’d probably get these at least once in your life. It can go from looking like abrasions to open sores and infections. The heat and sweat from your lower region makes it a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. It usually heals after a few days but have it checked if it persists. You can use acne cream to treat it but a better bike fit can prevent recurrence. Proper hygiene also prevents infection.


Another irritating problem caused by friction is chafing. Triathletes are especially prone to this because of the sweat and moisture that generate alongside friction from movement. It can occur anywhere in your body—from your neck to your inner thigh. Picking the right wetsuit that dries quickly can prevent this.